Author Topic: Teaching Immigrant Populations  (Read 1117 times)

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Offline yama2to

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Teaching Immigrant Populations
« on: April 04, 2016, 06:59:51 PM »
      The teaching for immigrant population does matter especially in the US context where an increasing number of refugees escaping from war-torn nations and seeking diaspora as well as immigrants from countries where many social factors devastating their livings abound. The parents and their children are seeking their education here to attain social and economical success, but in reality not that many educational services have been offered to them and many people might view them negatively due to the insufficient proficiency in English. However, teachers at schools should be able to counteract against the conception that a person who is not competent enough in English are “a deficit”.
     Although the space does not allow me to fully elaborate this issue here, I would like to point out that the recognizance of their language capital in classrooms does help. In a classroom where the students can use both their L1 and L2, they can feel confident in their L2 through the usage of L1 in which they are most likely to be fluent.
One reading activity might be to have students (for instance, 8 to 9-year-old) read a book written both in English and L1 that has lots of visual images and stories which are related to students’ home culture or traditions (ex. Latina/o students from Mexico might celebrate El Día de los Muertos, and like to listen to the music of mariachis, etc…). For those students who do not like reading, they might be asked to make their own books by creating their stories through constructing each sentence with the help of teachers and drawing pictures based on the stories, and then they might be more likely to read the stories because the students themselves wrote the book.
     As one writing activity, for instance, a teacher can have students write down questions based on the stories they have read and ask the questions to other students who have read the same ones. This way, they can not only practice writing but also check their reading comprehension. In the process of questioning, students might be asked to write questions in English and ask those questions to other groups of students with the help of L1. Although this might necessitate a little more work for teachers, it is worth doing because of its high degree of collaboration among students.
     I also would like to mention that teachers in ESL classes must have the general overview of immigrant populations and their level of proficiency as well as how the English literacy affects their social upward mobility. I attached one well-articulated source especially for adult learners to this post. Please feel free to go over and see what points we as teachers are to have for creating effective lesson plans tailored for them.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 07:04:23 PM by yama2to »

Offline sanfran

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Re: Teaching Immigrant Populations
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 01:31:33 PM »
Hello there. Just a quick thought or two here. Firstly, I completely agree with your stance that teachers need to be greatly aware of their students' cultural backgrounds, and should strive to get a sense of their roots. However, a word of caution when tying in classroom content with their varying traditions; some students may, in fact, find it offensive if you assume they like to listen to mariachi bands (to use your example). It's possible that they may find it irrelevant to discuss such things in an English-learning context. Of course, this isn't always the case and I'm sure there are a handful of students that appreciate a teacher taking the time to understand their culture. Therefore, it might be a good idea to assess students on what they would like to see in the classroom, what their favorite holidays and such are, and if they'd be willing to talk about them to others. In a classroom so diverse, I also believe it's a fantastic opportunity to have students enlighten each other (and the teacher!) on their multitude of cultures/traditions. Just thread carefully and make sure that what you are talking about is not only culturally appropriate, but culturally accurate and comfortable with the students!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:32:30 PM by sanfran »