ERIC Number: ED273137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Learning among Culturally Different Populations.
Teaching a second language and culture means teaching culturally different patterns of perception, communication, and effect. When teachers of English as a second language develop sensitivity to what students bring to the classroom and understand the students' reasons for their actions, their teaching can aid and not hinder students' full development. Teachers can show acceptance and respect for real cultural differences by planning appropriate teaching materials and by recognizing the child from another culture as a learning resource with wider experiences than most of his or her classmates. This attitude and approach maximize further learning about the native language and allows students to take pride in their heritage. Linguistic bias and damage from ethnocentrism can be erased by helping students interact successfully in a cross-cultural setting rather than in a culture-bound intellectual atmosphere. To understand international students' situations, those who teach them must value cultural diversity and not interpret being different as being deprived. It is very important for teachers to admit the humanness of all people, to become knowledgeable about the world community, and to understand the cultural barriers to effective communication. Because foreign students in the United States often feel very threatened, their comfort should be a primary consideration for language teachers. References and a handout entitled "Parallel Principles of Second Language and Cultural Learning" are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (Lexington, KY, April 24-26, 1986).