The Importance Of Students Cultural And Linguistic Diversity In The Classroom

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New Zealand society has changed over the years from a bicultural society to a multicultural society. Due to this change, within the classroom teachers have had to find new ways to support students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds to succeed academically (Whyte, 2012). For us to effectively accommodate these students within the classroom we need to recognise them as individuals who have their own identities and culture (Ministry of Education, 2007). While there a number of different approaches that can support students’ cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom, within the constraints of this essay four will be considered, being the importance of knowing your students, funds of knowledge, learning a language and …show more content…
Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities. Every language has its own ways of expressing meanings; each has intrinsic value and special significance for its users” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 24). Research shows that language plays a crucial part in establishing, maintaining and developing connections with learners (Maihi & Leonard, 2014). Daly & Hunter (2014) state that “one way we can validate cultural and linguistic diversity is by teaching an additional language”. They disclose the importance of teaching through meaningful and purposeful experiences, being aware of cultural and linguistic competence so that when you learn a language that you use it appropriately. Liddicoat & Scarinos (2013) agrees when they advise that the cultural aspect is integral in creating meaning and interpreting the language. Teachers need to promote learning through connecting to what the students already know, and provide opportunities to learn the language through viewing speaking and writing (Daly & Hunter, 2014). Ellis (2005) also advises the importance of focusing on meaning and form, as well as teaching formulaic expressions and grammatical competence. When students learn a language and its culture it enables them to extend their own linguistic and cultural understanding …show more content…
We need to provide a caring and supportive environment that is conducive towards learning. Build relationships with not only the students, but whānau and the community as well. We need to recognise the value of “identity, language and culture” (Ministry of Education, 2013, p. 4) through the funds of knowledge, experiences and beliefs that they bring with them to the classroom. Provide opportunities for students’ to learn a language along with its culture through meaningful experiences, so students’ will be able to make connections and endorse their own cultural experiences. When schools recognise the importance of key strategies that supports the learning of culturally and linguistically diverse students they will not only have an environment that is conducive towards learning but they will also become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners (Ministry of Education,

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