ERIC Number: ED473086
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
Language, Culture, Class, Gender, and Class Participation.
This paper explores reasons why some students with English as a Second Language (ESL) feel less entitled to speak out in class than others, discussing ways in which teachers can widen the definition of participation. The first section explains how student background can affect participation. For students who are non-native English speakers and who come from various ethnic backgrounds, being female and/or coming from working class backgrounds can be a barrier to participation. Instructors can address difficulties students have in actively participating in the class by being aware of these students' dilemma, discussing the issue explicitly with students, explaining why participating in discussion is considered essential in the U.S. educational system, and giving specific examples of how and why students studying in U.S. schools should speak out. Instructors should consciously widen their definitions of class participation, because some students who do not speak much in class show their involvement in other ways (e.g., body language). Teachers can structure class time to allow everyone time to speak out, rather than asking open-ended questions so that the same few people speak out. Students can be asked to give short written responses to questions that can be read aloud or handed in. (Contains 32 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 14-18, 2000).