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Given that it is unlikely that any classroom will include the teacher and all students belonging to the same cultural heritage and linguistic background it is important that every teacher from the outset of their practice be aware of the impact differences of language use will create for their learners If one individual or group is unable to understand the communication systems in place in the classroom that individual or group quickly becomes alienated and excluded from the classroom learning experience Green and Campbell 2003 52 There is no doubt that the values and strategies adopted by the teacher will impact on the success or otherwise of the second language student It is helpful to make an effort to develop some level of understanding of the features of students first or home languages as these linguistic differences are associated with sociolinguistic and cultural differences Dwyer 1989 Reader 299 and thus it will also ensure that the student feels both hisher first language and culture are valid and valuable increasing their self esteem and sense of belongingness This understanding can also assist the teacher to comprehend the way in which their students are processing new information putting them in a position to make adjustments to the delivery of this information if necessary if they fail to learn we will question our strategies rather than blame their weaknesses Dwyer 1989 Reader 299 Teachers who recognise and value the connection between language culture and identity can influence how ESLESD students are treated in school contexts 282 Unit Guide 20 In fact the strategies that teachers put in place to enhance the learning of students with English as a second language or dialect will stem directly from these values held Some understandings about the processes of learning a second language or dialect will also be useful A teacher may be aware that linguistic output does not necessarily reflect cognitive understandings learners often know far more than
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