In today’s education system, teachers are constantly being faced with new challenges. In an ever-changing diverse world, teachers must adapt their curriculums and teaching strategies to work in a number of environments. One major challenge that educators face is effectively teaching in a multicultural environment. Teachers must be able to deliver lessons to ESL students while concurrently reaching and benefiting all students. What exactly is multicultural education? It’s a field that aims to level the playing field for students from a variety of cultural, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. ESL students (English as a Second Language) are in a unique situation when they arrive at a new school, and an encouraging and knowledgeable teacher can make all the difference in how their experience pans out. All students should be able to achieve the highest education possible. An educated and knowledgeable community can work together and make goals to improve our world. The first step towards attaining these goals is find effective ways to teach and educate the young people of our society.
There are a variety of strategies that teachers can employ to better understand the best way to approach multicultural education. There are laws at the federal and state levels that may apply to English Language Learners in certain school districts. There are many good classes that teachers can take to help understand multicultural in education. In addition to the specific rules and regulations pertaining to multicultural in education, teachers should be well versed in the struggles that multicultural students face. Teachers should also learn about the different cultures that ESL students represent. The success of ESL students depends on many things, but there are a few main things to consider. First is their past language learning and development. How well they know their first (or second, third, etc…) language will affect how well they can learn English. Second, their personality plays a part in language learning. Those that are social by nature will have more incentive to learn English to communicate with others, which is a necessary part of their happiness. Third, the unique situation of the student always has a role in the success of learning English. In terms of teaching methods, multicultural education courses should review different methods of teaching when it comes to English classes, especially pronunciation, writing, reading, and speaking. Maybe the structure of the English language can be compared to a student’s native language to give them a better understanding of how the two relate. Sometimes taking just a few extra minutes with a student to understand their needs can make a meaningful difference.
In general, the best way for a teacher to learn how to approach multicultural education is through a training course, whether it be online or in person. Effective courses will cover ESL stereotyping, different multicultural and ESL teaching strategies, various textbooks and possible controversies, group strategies, developing student activities, curriculum building, and real-world application of these strategies. Teachers armed with the knowledge to effectively teach in a multicultural and diverse environment will be able to help many students and make a real difference.
Vince Welsh is the President of Teacher Education Institute. TEI offers graduate-level professional development courses for teachers on-site and online. For more information about multicultural education or multicultural in education visit http://teachereducation.com