New Zealand is a diverse and multicultural society, some ethnic groups established themselves in Aotearoa many decades ago such as the Chinese, Croatian and Indian communities and other groups have arrived more recently such as Koreans and South African(student guide). As an early childhood teachers that it is important to appreciate, understand and respect different cultural and religious ideas. The whole environment of early childhood setting needs to reflect a multicultural and multilingual approach. In Te Whariki state: " The families of all children should feel that belong and are able to participate in the early childhood education program and in decision making(Ministry of Education,1996)". There are some strategies I have to discuss to support children and families who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Firstly, teachers should have the awareness of where are the children and their families come from, their religion and their culture. Children do not choose their religion, they are born into it, as children grow up, they need to feel that they belong to the group. The early childhood setting is often the first group outside the family and its friendship network that the child joins. It is important when welcoming families to a setting that they feel a sense of belonging.
Secondly, teachers can using every day activities to explore different cultures. It is particularly important to introduce children to different cultures through the activities of daily life, such as cooking. Teachers can encouraging children to use what they know, that children gain by using their own cultural experience and knowledge in an open way. Invite parents and whanau to come, cooking their cultural food with the children, children may not have experienced in others culture food, it might be possible to invite parents and whanau to the nursery to demonstrate and introduce the children to another culture.
Sharing books, stories, songs and games, these are useful in linking children with their previous experiences, they are available about children from different cultures. For example, use stories from different cultures to introduce children to myth, legends and folk tale, also invite parents and whanau to come and tell their cultural stories are much effectively and efficiently.
Provide familiar objects for every child in the different areas of the centre. These artifact of their culture might be cooking utensils, clothes or fabrics.
Acquiring language is part of child...