ERIC Number: ED317273
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Educating Language-Minority Children.
Bowman, Barbara T.
This ERIC Digest delineates problems posed by the increasing number of language-minority children in schools and offers suggestions for teaching children from different cultures. It is maintained that a group's language reflects its culture, and the uses to which that language is put are culturally determined. When children and adults do not share common experiences and beliefs, adults are less able to help children encode their thoughts in language. To overcome problems of the multicultural classroom, teachers need to learn to recognize developmentally equivalent patterns of behavior across cultures. They should not value some ways of achieving developmental milestones more highly than others. Teachers need to begin instruction with interactive styles and content that is familiar to the children. Whether this entails speaking in the child's primary language, using culturally appropriate styles of address, or relying on patterns of management familiar to the children, the purpose is to establish a basis for communication. One of the most important tasks for teachers is interpreting the school's agenda to parents. When differences exist between the cultural patterns of the home and community and those of the school, teachers must deal with the differences directly. Formal assessment of learning outcomes should be delayed until teachers and children have built a set of shared meanings. (RH)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.