The cultural make up of most schools in California is a population that is linguistically diverse. Language is an important aspect in the classroom that can be both positive and negative for a child. For example, Ryan (2001) states, “Because children are growing up in a multilingual world, they confront two languages on a daily basis, and are not afforded the option of living in a monolingual world.” With the number of second language learners increasing in schools across the United States, it is imperative that curriculum is devised to assist their needs.
According to Nieto (2000), “The number and variety of language minority students has escalated tremendously in the past two decades. By ...view middle of the document...
Behaviorist theories are derived from, children learning their first language through behavior or stimulus, response, and reinforcement. Innatist theory is derived from Chomsky who believes that language is innate and that children are born with the ability to understand and process language (Peregoy & Boyle, 2000). Interactionist theory states that interaction with children from birth plays a major role in their language acquisition. For example, if a child baby-sitter speaks Russian to that child on a regular basis, it is highly probable that the child will start responding to that language.
Curriculum for linguistically diverse students requires curriculum that support students and their individual needs. The first goal is to establish a form of communication. This can be done by placing a child with a teacher that speaks their native language or placing the child with another child that is fluent. Student centered learning, thematic units, and reading programs are some ways to help English learners. Student centered learning encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and involves students directly in the learning process. Centers could include programs on computers that assist with language, reading in small groups with the teacher in order to support more one on one interaction, and collaborative projects. This allows students to work together and learn from each other.
The format in which curriculum is presented is important as well. The most effective way for Second Language Learners to understand and become interested is through a thematic unit. “Into English” by Hampton Brown (2000) is a program that has been adopted through the school district in which I teach. One unit that works well for culturally and linguistically diverse students is entitled “Chile Peppers”. The lessons include every curriculum area from reading, vocabulary, social studies, art, math and even cooking. On the first day, students are given different seasonings and spices that are unlabeled and asked to identify them. Once we review what the spices or seasonings were, we go into our Social Studies lesson that discusses how spices and seasonings were not in America at one time. We also discuss how they were imported from Spain. We talk about certain terms as preservatives, importing and other terms to familiarize themselves with the lesson.
Strategies on the technology level or the use of the computers and multimedia skills for students they can advance their skills by using the internet with research information. By using the internet is a good basic curriculum. I have my students search the internet for articles and observations. Some articles pertain to the special need child disable child and children with disability deformity the internet has so many information and knowledge learning skills education is the most important skill and teaching as a professor.
In order to identify and celebrate cultural awareness, I begin my school...