The purpose of this study is to figure out which ways experienced teachers work best with culturally and linguistically diverse students. This study illustrates which strategies experienced teachers have found to work best. The diversity in school in the United States has increased each year. This means that there are an increasing amount of students who are learning English, English language learners (ELLs). This article comes from the perspective that each child should be taught to their specific needs. All students deserve a fair chance to learn. Fair means that every student is treated differently, not equally. Every student learns differently. In order to give every student a fair chance at learning, you must teach them according to their needs. An experienced teacher, Tiffany, describes her experiences working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. This study watches her methods and discusses what works based on data analysis of the success of her students.
There are several key ideas that are crucial to understanding the best way to teach young, ELL students. The first idea is the importance of recognizing ELL’s feelings of isolation and alienation. When a teacher recognizes this, they are more capable of helping the student feel a part of the class. The student will struggle to participate if they do not feel like they belong with the other students. There is not only a language barrier, but also sociocultural differences that prohibit them from feeling accepted. Tiffany emphasizes the importance of acknowledging this problem and being aware during classroom activities. She suggests that you get a deep understanding of their cultural background, not just a “touristy” one.
Communication with parents is very important for the success of ELL students. Tiffany shares that it is difficult because parents feel intimidated by talking to the school in any form because of the language barrier. Tiffany suggests taking advantage of using a translator to communicate with parents. However, she warns that translators can have a lot of families that they work with and it can be time consuming. She especially suggests getting to know older siblings that are in the same home as your student. They know the parents and know how to best communicate with them. In many cases they have been in school longer and know English pretty well.
Tiffany has found that ESL classes can be very beneficial for students. In her experience, students feel as though they are participating in special activities that other students do not get to participate in, rather than feeling like they are being singled out. ESL classes use many fun activities to teach students English. It is also important to have social interactions with peers. When students play, read, and talk together with English speaking peers, they learn the most about culture and develop necessary linguistic skills. Natural interaction with peers is when ELL students will gain the most, because most...