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Communication is the act of sharing information Most of the time it involves the use of oral or written symbols and on other occasions it implicates various types of nonverbal symbols such as body language Communication is the medium for instruction assessment family and public relations and group interactions The population of the United States is currently experiencing radical demographic changes According to recent statistics one American in four currently defines himself or herself as non-white By the year 2010 because of higher birth rates and immigration trends non-whites are expected to constitute more than one third of the American people These demographic trends also reflect in schools approximately one in four children were minority students in 1984 and by 2020 that figure will increase to nearly one in two By the year 2050 the average US resident will trace his or her descent to Africa Asia the Hispanic world the Pacific Islands the Middle East almost anywhere but white Europe Students with different cultural norms are at risk if teachers have little knowledge sensitivity or appreciation of the diversity in communication styles Such teachers may perceive differences as problems and respond to students distinction with negative attitudes low expectations and culturally inappropriate teaching and evaluation procedures In turn the students may respond with low self-esteem and low academic achievement in a school atmosphere they perceive as hostile As diversity increases in the nations educational institutions faculty and staff must become more knowledgeable about the assumptions characteristics and norms of a range of cultures These challenges will occur in every dimension of school life from the curriculum to the communication that occurs in classrooms The failure of many schools to take cross cultural communication issues into account will contribute to school related problems experienced by specific groups of children The current crisis of African American males in many of the nations schools demonstrates this point The percentage of African American males who graduate
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