ERIC Number: ED350836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jul
Multicultural Sensitivity: An Essential Skill for the ESL/EFL Teacher.
Anderson, Gregory G.
The need for teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) to have cultural sensitivity is discussed. First, it is proposed that ESL teachers must develop multicultural understanding and sensitivity to the cultural needs of students in order to help them reach their full potential. This means avoiding cultural domination, treating students as human beings, avoiding oversimplification, and understanding that cultural needs have as important a role as linguistic needs in intercultural language instruction. Second, ways the teacher can increase cultural sensitivity before entering the classroom are discussed, including developing one's own personal understanding of culture, acknowledging the link between language and culture in the human experience, understanding the classroom as culture and the effect of language learning on the student's interpretation of reality, and developing a sense of oneself as a cultural being. The classroom context is then addressed. Common stages of and student reactions to acculturation are examined and two strategies for dealing with students as they undergo these stages are offered. Issues of English language variation and dialects are outlined. Finally, three methods teachers can use to practice their cultural sensitivity are presented. A brief annotated resource list and a 53-item bibliography are appended. (MSE)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Classroom Environment, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Education, Cultural Pluralism, English (Second Language), Intercultural Communication, Language Teachers, Language Variation, Second Language Instruction, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Qualifications
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Master of Arts requirement, School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont.