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Final Exam Essay

2086 words - 9 pages

One of the most difficult times for a child is when he or she moves from one school to another. They must become accustomed to a new group of peers, teachers and school community. There is a feeling of isolation and loneliness that these children must deal with. In most cases, it is a matter of a few short weeks before the student is at ease. However, for an immigrant, this process and the challenges faced are much more extreme and difficult to overcome. When an English Language Learner (ELL) enters the new school system, they are exposed to a 'cultural slurry' of their new land (Gunderson, 2000). This includes new foods, customs, language, ethnicities, hobbies, religions and everything else that makes Canada a proud and diverse nation. Ideally, children should experience a balanced educational environment where they learn English, while their first language and culture are maintained and reinforced. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. A high number of ELL students are immersed in the conflict of loss (Gunderson, 2000). They feel everything that makes them who they are is slipping away and being replaced by an alien culture. They yearn for faces they recognize, foods they know and the sounds of home The case study chosen is deeply rooted in this conflict. Anastasia, is a sixteen year old girl, that is offering much resistance towards her new life in Canada. It is preventing her from succeeding academically and socially within the school community. It is said, she has excellent English skills, so it is accepted she can read and write and therefore be a functioning student. Many believe the learning of English is a basic requirement of for citizenship, their democrat- responsibility (Crawford, 1989). This paper focuses on ways to engage Anastasia to help her achieve high level learning, and English acquisition. Through different strategies, she will start to accept this new culture, while celebrating her original one.
It will be assumed that Anastasia will be starting a new semester in Grade ten She will be a student in a Social Studies class. From discussions with her previous teachers, it is known that Anastasia hands in work past the due date and complains about her desire to go back home. According to the BC ESL Performance Standards this puts Anastasia in the Hostility stage of adjustment. This generally sets in around four to six months of being in one's new home. It is important to start any new class, with or without an ELL, with plenty opportunities for the students to become acquainted with each other and more importantly comfortable with one another. A classroom, where students feel free to express opinion, debate and discuss is a successful one. Spending more time in the beginning on such activities to instill that behaviour allows the rest of the year to be much more productive. As the students enter your classroom greeting them with a hello can go a long way. They feel welcome and it opens the door of...

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