Karabenick, S. & Clemens Noda, P. (2004). Professional development implications of Teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward English language learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 28, 55-72.

Summary

Multiculturalism is said to be the process of accepting and appreciating the diversity of people and their cultures. Multiculturalism takes different dimension in terms of social, economic and cultural community values.

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Multiculturalism entails uniting the natives of a society and the immigrants. Appreciation on the other hand focuses on acknowledging the fact that we come from different social backgrounds and so our view of some social norms is different (Karabenick & Clemens Noda, 2004). In this paper, the focus will be on multicultural education and in particular, English as a language.

Multicultural education is as a result of an influx in the number of people in a society that are non-natives speakers. Such immigrants are referred to as English language learners (ELL) and English language to them is considered English as a Second Language (ESL). This group of students forms the bilingual class.

Analysis

According to a survey conducted in America, there are different opinions and views in regard to English language learners. A majority of the teachers embrace multiculturalism, but fails to implement it in their classroom environment. For instance most learning institutions do not permit foreign and immigrants to speak their first language within the institution vicinity.

Although the immigrants are not prejudiced against in terms of academic and education matters they are forced to engage in observing and participating in norms that are of the natives and others from the education institution policies. Honoring days like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and all these factors lead towards assimilation of the immigrant’s culture and beliefs.

Some of the teachers in the survey from the dominant culture expressed dissatisfaction in having multicultural students because communication becomes a barrier and have to change their mode of teaching instruction to accommodate the immigrant’s students. However, this has been caused the failure of some teachers to collaborate with ELL teachers on how to modify their teaching approaches, discuss academic expectations with the ELL parents, or just having to take time to know their new students.

Most English teachers are trained on the model and value of the dominant culture. However, with the increased influx of immigrant students teaching becomes challenging. Teachers need to be empowered with tools and inculcate new methods in the curricula model so as to negate the negative belief and attitudes that teachers may hold against teaching EELs. In addition to multiculturalism, learning needs to be aware of the demographic changes within their states.

A casing point is the influx of Latinos in America. These immigrants are linguistically challenged and therefore, although there is the existence of ELL classes, most teachers do not value them as being grounds towards understanding their diversity and culture, but see ELL classes as just being English tutorials for these immigrant students. Whether they do understand and appreciate the dominant culture does not bother them as long as they speak English at the end of it learning period.

Application

The consequence of this attitude is that most immigrant students opt to drop out as they cannot fit in their new social-cultural environment. Others take a negative view of the dominant culture as being oppressive and discriminative and so rebel against the education system and engage in speaking their first language within the institution’s vicinity as a means of protest.

To ensure that America as a whole natures a promising society, it is important that teachers are given a specific training on how to handle the EELs so that this group of students is incorporated and assimilated into the education system rather than adopting measures that are repulsive to them (Karabenick & Clemens Noda, 2004).

References

Karabenick, S. & Clemens Noda, P. (2004). Professional development implications of Teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward English language learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 28, 55-72.