This narrated presentation examines some of the challenges and opportunities presented by the diverse student population. While the focus is on English Language learners (ELL), this overview examines Culturally Responsive Instruction and Communicative Language Teaching in terms of instructional technology as it applies across the education spectrum.
Cultural & Linguistic Differences in the ELL Environment A Communicative Language Teaching Perspective
Cultural & Linguistic Differences in the ELL EnvironmentA Culturally Responsive Teaching PerspectiveJim StanmoreITS 646Saint Josephs UniversityJune 2015
1IntroductionStatisticsConnection with studentsTeacher self-awarenessIntroduction According to Department of Education, or DOE, statistics from 2006, public school enrollment for historically under-represented racial or ethnic groups had risen to 43% from 22% in 1972. In contrast, DOE 2008 data indicates that 83% of teachers were white, and 41% students were non-white. In addition, as of 2009, some states have a predominately non-white student population. These states include 73% in California, 75% in New Mexico, and 67% in Texas; in each of these states the teacher population is over 50% white. These statistics indicate an outstanding opportunity for us as teachers to be able to connect with our students to support their learning. Good teaching has always involved making a connection with our students, but the importance of this connection has been overshadowed by an increasing focus on content. The increased cultural and linguistic diversity of our students has made it important to once again focus on our connection with our students. Before we can be fully aware of the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of our students and embrace their diversity, it is important for us to become aware of our own cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This self-awareness is accomplished through introspective evaluation which can be guided through professional development training such as todays presentation.
2OverviewIntroductionCultural & Linguistic differencesCultural DifferencesLinguistic DifferencesAvoiding BiasCLTCLT and CommunicationCLT and TechnologyCLT and PA-ELPOverviewOver the next few minutes we will discuss an overview of cultural and linguistic differences in an English Language Learner, or ELL, environment. After this introduction, we will look at an overview of cultural and linguistic differences and discuss a few highlights of each difference. Then, we will briefly discuss avoiding bias in our instruction. This will be followed by look at Communicative Language Teaching, CLT, and how it relates to communication, technology, and the PA-ELP.In all of our teaching environments, each of our students has a different cultural and linguistic background. Several years ago, the differences among students from a particular area may have been slight; in todays society, however, the students in a classroom most likely come from a wide range of backgrounds. Even if they have grown up in the same area, there is no guarantee of what their background is.In order to address the needs of our students in this environment, it is important for us to become culturally competent so that we can be culturally responsive to our students. This cultural competence also allows us to anticipate and embrace the linguistic diversity among our students.
3Cultural DiversityCultural CompetenceCultural ResponsivenessCulturally Responsive Instruction4Cultural CompetenceLearn from other culturesRelate to other culturesAwareness of personal backgroundCultural Competence
According to the IRIS center at Vanderbilt University, cultural competence is an ability to learn from and respectfully relate to other cultural backgrounds, heritages, and traditions. It comes from acknowledging and understanding ones own culture and values while respecting those of others.
5Cultural ResponsivenessRole of culture in educationLearn about students cultures and communitiesLearn about a variety of culturesDiscover issues facing diverse studentsCultural Responsiveness
Cultural competence has little value if it is not put into action through Cultural Responsiveness. The first step in cultural responsivenessis realizing that the culture and background of the student has a role in education. Not only does a students background influence and effect their ability to grasp and interpret current instruction, it also provides a framework on which to base our instruction. The next step in cultural responsiveness is to actively try to learn about the backgrounds of our students. One way to make this process somewhat easier is to spend time learning about other cultures regardless of whether you have students from that culture. This has two benefits. First, you will have a head start in learning about a particular students background if you are already somewhat familiar with their culture. Secondly, you will begin to see categories of information and similarities among cultures and begin to have some of the viewpoint of a sociologist. This perspective will help you have the right effective conversations with a new student and know important things to look for. Part of your learning about your students and other cultures is the third element in cultural responsiveness; learning about the issues facing your diverse students, their families, and their communities.
6Culturally Responsive Instruction (CRI)Unintentional biasCulturally Relevant TeachingTeach in a Way students understandCulturally Responsive Instruction (CRI)
According to the IRIS Center, the culture of a school may unintentionally enforce the dominant culture of the administration and/or teachers without any regard for other cultures. Culturally Relevant Teaching relates to the term Culturally Relevant Teaching coined by Dr. Ladson-Billings in 1992 and is defined as a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes. (Coffey, 2015). Dr. Rajapopal, 2011 California State Teacher of the Year, states it more simply when he says that, the teacher will teach in a way that students can understand. (Rajopopal, 2015).
7Impacts of Unresponsive InstructionActing out when stressedFeel unacceptednot sure how to succeedInferior or differentEmbarrassed by heavy accentImpacts of Unresponsive Instruction
Failing to provide culturally responsive instruction and not teaching in a way students understand can have several consequences. A well-documented student reaction to an unengaging or uncomfortable classroom is acting out. In terms of mastery, if the student does not understand what we are presenting and cannot relate it to what they already know or have experienced, they cannot begin to process the material being presented The IRIS Center points out some possible student perspectives that can impact student learning:Feel unacceptedAre not sure how to succeed in schoolBelieve that their skin color or ethnic characteristics (e.g., manner of dress) make them somehow inferior or too different from the school cultureFeel embarrassed because they speak English with heavy accents and so experience stress or anxiety during class
8Using Culturally Responsive InstructionContent from other culturesMake content relevant and meaningfulVary presentation materialsRelate background to curriculum contentVaried instructional strategiesUse authentic materialsConnect culture with academic terminologyUsing CRI to Make Instruction Relevant (Avoid Bias)
There are several methods to help make instruction relevant for our students and, therefore, avoid cultural bias. Many of these are actually part of any effective instructional strategy but, they should receive extra attention because incorporating them may be critical for many of our students.Include curriculum content about the histories, contributions, experiences, points of view, and concerns relevant to students from diverse backgrounds. (SLIDE)
Provide curriculum content to students in a way that is validating and meaningful (SLIDE)
Use a number of sources in addition to textbooks to provide curriculum content (SLIDE)
Make connections between background knowledge and content standards (SLIDE)
Utilize an array of instructional strategies (e.g., role-playing exercises, response cards) to address students distinct preferences (SLIDE)
Teach students to respect their own and others cultural identities and differences
Promotemulticultural educationduring instruction as well as during other school activities
Use multicultural literature to teach reading and writing and to illustrate the social or cultural contributions made by various groups of people (SLIDE)
Once the teacher hooks the students attention using their vocabulary, the teacher must go back and make the connection between the students language and the actual academic terminology so that the students can compete in the real world. (SLIDE)(IRIS, 2015)(Rajopopal, 2015)
9Linguistic DiversityMethod of communication (not means)Linguistic competenceTeacher and cultural expectations differGoalsLinear responseLinguistic Diversity
Along with cultural diversity, we should also briefly discuss linguistic diversity. This is somewhat different from language diversity in that it considers the method of communicating and not the means. According to the IRIS center, to become responsive to linguistic diversity, teachers should familiarize themselves with students styles of communication. Academic environments are usually structured to expect a response style that could be different from the natural cultural style of a student. While it is one of our goals to enable the student to function in the dominant culture, we need to ensure that we are able to responsively instruct the student in order to get them to that point. Students are usually expected to respond in a linear manner that is concise and to the point, maintaining eye contact, restricting their physical movements, and checking their emotions.Some students organize their ideas