ERIC Number: ED393960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Figures of Speech, Symbolism and the Communicative Process in the Multilingual Classrooms.
Suleiman, Mahmoud F.; Moore, Rock
The increasing linguistic and cultural diversity of U.S. public schools requires teachers to be more sensitive to how symbols and figures of speech are used to maintain an effective cross-cultural communication. The purpose of this paper is to address and discuss the role of sociocultural factors that shape the insights and perspectives of diverse students in the process of interacting with others. Diverse students come to the classroom with a limited view of the use of English figures of speech and language symbols; they also employ culturally-bound symbols and figures of speech that cause miscommunication in the target language. Teachers need to foster a classroom environment where these symbolic differences are taken into consideration. They also need to create conditions that promote effective use of symbols and figures of speech. These conditions involve valuing linguistic and cultural diversity, contextualizing learning tasks and activities, and utilizing language functions to maintain meaningful interaction. Moreover, classroom pedagogy should center around empowering the students to communicate creatively in a more culturally sensitive environment. Finally, teachers should encourage students to use figures of speech to communicate their unique meanings to others in the learning environment in order to promote more cross-cultural understanding in diverse classrooms. (Contains 25 references.) (Author)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Communication (Thought Transfer), Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Differences, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Figurative Language, Limited English Speaking, Multicultural Education, Second Language Learning, Sociocultural Patterns, Symbolism
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Language Minorities
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico (15th, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 8-9, 1995).