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ERIC Number: ED408821
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Organization of Space and Activities among Latinos: A Strategy for Making School More Culturally Familiar.
Wortham, Stanton; And Others
In an ethnographic study, teachers investigated a cultural difference between Anglos and Hispanics involving organization of space and activities at home, and applied the findings to high school classroom organization. The research was undertaken in a small community where a significant proportion of Hispanic students have English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) instruction at school. Visits to Hispanic homes and interviews with their inhabitants found that household life often allows more fluid boundaries between spaces and activities than is found in mainstream Anglo homes. Schools in the United States generally favor the Anglo style over the Hispanic, ignoring or even inhibiting Hispanic communication conventions. One high school ESL teacher designed her classroom using Hispanic stylistic parameters, with no clock, an open door, and less rigid use of time, and encouraged students to speak Spanish and help each other. The teacher took a role closer to that of a mother than a supervisor. Observation of interactions within the room found the atmosphere to approximate more closely the fluid Hispanic home environment, with students feeling positively about it, and ultimately treating it as a haven. Attendance and effort of lower-achieving Hispanic students improved. Implications are discussed. Contains 15 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A