Cultural Awareness In Bilingual Education

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Cultural Awareness

As a future teacher I have learned it is my job and duty as an education to understand, respect and acknowledge every student 's culture. As stated by Gay, “Culture encompasses many things, some of which are more important for teachers to know than others because they have direct implications for teaching and learning. Among those are ethics groups’ cultural values, traditions, communication, learning styles, contributions, and relational patterns”(Gay, 2002, p.107). My goal is to adapt and approach every student on an individual basis, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, learning style or race. This starts with being culturally aware of my surroundings, open minded and compassionate towards my student’s needs.
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Although I understood that the United States is a melting pot of culture, ethnicities and races I failed to realize how many students were being left behind due to our educational system. While writing my personal narrative I found that my family was personally effective by the poor educational standards available to first generation Americans. The worst part about the past educational system is that it has everlasting effects on future generations. As explained by Finn, “For involuntary minorities, the dominant group is not only different, it is the enemy” (Finn, 2009, p.47). Often times first generation American students become discouraged and doubt their capabilities in school. As they grow up and have children of their own, they oftentimes do not have confidence in the public schools. As a educator it is my job to ensure that all english learners receive fair and equal opportunity to learn in the classroom. The vicious cycle of resenting the school system is compounded by negative publicity of English learners not performing well in school. As mentioned by Krashen, “There is no evidence that bilingual education results in higher dropout rates. A minority of Hispanic children in California are in bilingual programs, and the reported dropout rates refer to all Hispanic Children” (Krashen,1999,p.7). Taking part of the story and not explaining the entire story leaves many to believe that Hispanics as a whole are not capable of performing in school, this could not be further from the truth. Although children that are English learners may not be fluent in English, if the material is presented in their native language they tested at or above those whose primary language is English. “Modiano reported that children who learned to read their primary language were significantly more likely to be selected by teachers as being able to what they read in Spanish and significantly outperformed comparison children on

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