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Table of Contents

Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Students

Cultural Considerations, Trends & Sensitivities

  • Acculturation
    Phases/stages/process immigrants/English Language Learners go through while getting used to a new language and adapting the mainstream culture
    • Honeymoon Phase – exhilaration, hopefulness
    • Culture Shock Phase – confusion, discouragement
    • A djustment Phase – understanding of new culture, acceptance of differences; balancing and blending native and new
    • Acceptance Phase – identification with new culture
  • External Elements of Culture
    Shelter, Clothing, Food, Arts, Literature, Religious structures Government, Technology, Primary Language
  • Internal Elements of Culture
    Values, Customs, Worldview, Mores, Beliefs, Expectations, Rites, Rituals, Patters of Nonverbal Communication, Social Roles, Status, Gender Roles, Family Structure, Patterns of Work, Leisure
  • Present Best Practices
    • Assess current language proficiency
    • Diagnose problem
    • Formulate plan
    • Enlist help of others (people/technology)
    • Differentiate instruction when needed

Pull/Push Factors that impact CLD Students/Families

  • Pull Factors – what pulls people toward a new place of:
    • opportunity, freedom, family unification, educational opportunities, health care availability, housing, etc.
  • Push Factors – what pushes people to leave their homes
    • poverty, oppression, persecution, lack of needed health care

Differences Among Various Processes of Cultural Contact

  • Assimilation – a negative, ELLs absorbed in dominant culture
  • Acculturation – a process of adapting to mainstream culture
  • Biculturalism – successful ability to function in two different cultures even with different values, beliefs and behaviors
  • Accommodation – mainstream culture adapts, and minority culture accepts some change

Political and Socioeconomic Factors Affecting ELL Students and their Families

  • Parents/guardians’ voting and citizenship status
  • Family income and employment
  • Housing, health care availability
  • Parents/guardians‘ level of educational attainment

Components of Culturally Responsive Schooling that Promotes Achievement

  • Genuine respect for students’ cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Opportunities to work with culturally supportive “mentors”
  • Facilitating or limiting attitudes and abilities of ELLs
  • Ability to sustain high expectations for all enrolled students
  • A concerted site effort to marshal parental and community support for schooling
  • Demonstrate understanding of cultural differences in patterns of nonverbal communications
    • distance between speakers (proxemics)
    • eye contact
    • gestures
    • touching
    • facial expressions (including smiles)
  • Ways schools use language to perpetuate class inequality
    • Tracking practice of placing students in groups of matched abilities labeling)
    • Testing not in primary language, timed, authentic vs. standardized
    • Curriculum design
      • lack of supportive environments that maintain high standards
    • Pedagogy: way students are taught, understandable instruction
    • Physical structure of school architecture: fortress vs. clean campus
    • Disciplinary policy: some kids punished more than others because they test, tease and intimidate teachers and other students
    • Limited role of students
  • Humanistic teacher/school thinking for ELLs
    • EL Learners need and use language to reach out, to survive, and to befriend others. That is more important than the mastery of sentence structure and vocabulary (i.e. don’t overcorrect syntax and symantics)
  • L2 Language Acquisition Benefits
    • L2 acquisition connects people across cultures
    • L2 makes it possible to address dreams and aspirations
    • L2 acquisition leaves everyone in community more enriched
  • Issues/Stumbling blocks for some cultures – teachers mostly white, middle class, monolingual who may not fully understand the benefit of/or need for specialized methods and strategies for effective education of students.
  • ELD (English Language Development) Classrooms
    • Need modified and explicit instruction in English is standard practice
    • Need teachers with a strong interest and a sense of compassion
    • Need teachers to develop ELL students’ literacy skills as well as the fundamentals of speaking and listening if they are to achieve grade-level academic success
  • School is a place to teach ELL students to work in a society
    • Help socialize ELL students
    • Help ELL students gain knowledge & skills for success
    • Help ELLs maintain social relationships
    • Help ELLs acquire roles and identity in larger culture

Historical, Legal, Legislative in the Education of English Language Learners (ELLs)

  • Historical Benchmark Dates
    • 1848 Treaty Hidalgo gave Mexicans right to speak Spanish in California
    • 1870 Harris, St. Louis superintendent, argues for bilingual education, citing weaknesses if people lose ability to use their native language
    • 1879 Native Americans are separated from families, forced to attend boarding schools, punished if caught using native language
    • 1959 Cuban immigrants arrive in Miami after revolution
    • 1961 Dade County, FL implements a full bilingual program for Cubans
    • 1980 Dade County, FL overturns bilingual education
    • 1994 CA passes Prop 187, illegal to provide education to illegal residents. Overturned on appeal
    • 1998 CA voters approve Prop 227
    • IDEA aligns closely to NCLB helping to ensure equity, accountability and excellence for children with disabilities
  • Legislative
    • Proposition 227 - CA State Only. California legislation requiring public school instruction be provided “overwhelmingly in English” and that bilingual programs require parent waivers
    • No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Title III – 2001 - Federal Provides Federal funding to school for the purpose of supporting the instruction of ELL students. Accountability requires annual progress in learning English, progress towards reclassification, and academic progress
    • Individuals Disability Education Act IDEA) – Federal
      • Reauthorized previous special education law
      • Requires highly authorized teachers
      • Aligns with NCLB, Title III
  • Judicial
    • Lau vs. Nichols - 1974 – U.S. Supreme Court
      Supreme Court decision ruling that providing identical instruction and materials to all students is not equitable. “Fair is not equal.” Special provisions for ELL students are necessary.
    • Williams vs. State CA – 2004 -CA State Only CA schools must provide equitable access to textbooks and facilities, and teachers must be appropriately authorized.