Week 9: Blog Reflection: Cuture, Socialization, and Education

March 16, 2014

I have had the pleasure of teaching an ESL class since November, 2013 and I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by my students and have enjoyed teaching this class. With that being said, I can also say that it has been an interesting excursion for me and I have encountered many elements along the way. Some good, some bad and some quite unexpected!

 

Culturally I think I have learned quite a bit from my students, I have students from eight different countries and they all have differences. I have some male students who find it difficult to take instruction from a female teacher. I have experienced them telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about because their male teachers didn’t tell them that (they later apologized and said they asked their teacher and I was right). I’m glad they were able to move past this incident and now we are able to discuss most topics without having problems of this nature.

I have students from gang-infested countries that find it difficult to be in school and are struggling with basic content. Several have had limited experience with school due to the violence of their countries and have a great deal of difficulty catching up and learning a new language and how to read.

 

I find it very unfortunate that several of these students do not socialize with other students in the school. I have found that ESL students who were in the US from an early age have socially made a better adjustment than students who have been here for only a few years. I also think that Asian students are able to adjust better than some Hispanic students (maybe because they have fewer people from their background to associate with). I think some of my students hide out and avoid socializing with other students, because they just don’t feel comfortable with them.

 

My students love technology, I a few students who don’t speak very good English that I allow to express themselves visually through apps on the iPad and they love and seem to excel. They are able to communicate visual and have started to communicate better verbally. I also use a lot of SmartBoard games, which they love. I like having the students work together to solve problems, not only are the communicating, they are collaborating and working through problems and barriers together.

I’m sure that other people have had varied experiences in their journey of teaching, but I must say that it has been an enjoyable experience and one that I hope to continue and build a better classroom off of.

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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EDCI 500 Blog Reflection 3: Immersion

February 24, 2013

While watching the video Skwerl, I found it to be just another evening in the life of these people. You could occasionally pick up on a few words here and there, but for the most part you were at a lose to understand what was going on in the video. Except when they were arguing, I think universally everyone understands when they are in trouble. It is more about facially expression at that point, like American Sign Language. In sign language it is essential to maintain eye contact and facial expression is the key to understanding the conversation, the signs and motions are secondary. I think this video brings attention to how children who come from a family that speaks a foreign language, or use sign language have great difficulty when they enter the classroom and have to struggle all day long to understand what the teacher is saying and what their classmates are saying. They also have to be able to read what is written on the board, we only had to watch a four minute video, I would go nuts if I had to go through that all day long five days a week. I also feel that this would be a difficult experience for children who have auditory processing disabilities, all of the chatter and background noise would make for a difficult environment. This problem if left unaddressed only leads to frustration and children tend to just give up.

The video would have been very difficult to understand and relate to if it was an audio file only. You would lose the facial expressions, props, background music, and you would not have been able to establish a setting, which all lend to help you understand the context of the video. All of this visual and audio information together should help us, as teacher’s to better understand the difficulties the students are facing. The classroom is an experience that needs to provide visual, audio, and tactile clues for all of the children to draw from. By providing them this additional information they are gain more information to make connections between the lesson and how to apply it. The sooner that children who are monolingual begin the learning process of adding an additional language to better they are at processing information and have to use only one hemisphere of the brain to make the connections (Woolfolk, 175).

 

Another key element to a multi-culture and multi-lingual classroom is to incorporate “culturally relevant teaching by utilizing the backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences of the students to inform the teacher’s lessons and methodology” (Coffey, 1). By making your classroom culturally relevant for all students you are making them feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom. By creating a comfortable environment you help them identify themselves as learners and as belonging in the environment. Woolfolk states, “for a child, genuine acceptance is a necessary condition for developing self-esteem”(238). As a teacher we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by creating a multi-cultural environment for children.

Coffey, H. (2008). Culturally relevant teaching. Culturally Relevant Teaching. Retrieved February 23, 2013, from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4474

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Why aren’t Spanish speaking kids getting an education? (2009, June 02). YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwgiwnzbDa4

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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