Plan for Multicultural Education
The demographic profile of USA has been rapidly changing and this has also been reflected to the student populations in schools at all levels. However, despite the diverse populations the programs offered in educating students have not been changed to conform to the diversity. For instance, is the case of educating students with diverse linguistic and diverse backgrounds majority of who find it hard to succeed in moving on to the next schooling level or even pass (Mora, 2000). The focus is specifically with students who have no proficiency in English and are forced to integrate in the American culture. “These ELL (English Language Learners) have a dual challenge of learning English and at the same time obtaining sound academic skills that would enable them get productive adult life (Callahan, 2005).” Therefore the challenge is in providing quality programs that would cater for ELL learners entering US schools at every grade level and at various times. This paper will provide a plan for an education program that would enable students lacking English skills fulfil Education needs in America.
The stakeholders involved in programs offered to linguistic diverse groups are educators, parents, state and federal governments, and peers. From these listed groups the ones that are part of the problem are parents and peers. In the case of parents they are new in a country and therefore they are seen to preserve the culture that they have come with. This is a hurdle to students being educated as they find a conflict where at school programs do not accommodate their diversity and at home they are pressurized not to adjust to the expected culture (Callahan, 2005). In addition, when it comes to peers they are seen to discriminate, ridicule, and harass students with diverse backgrounds hence affecting their education (Mora, 2000).
The solution to the problem is through educators and the government. Educators are a solution when they offer different assessment criteria to identify problems that diverse students face and work with them to better them. Government—both federal and state—are part of the solution when they come up with policies that would produce programs that are suitable to these diverse students. Programs formulated are to be implemented by educators hence proving that the two are part of the solution.
The best solution in dealing with students having no English language skills is in using Sheltered Instruction Approach. This is because the aim would be to obtain high academic success and at the same time teach them to be proficient in the language. The approach can be used in classes that contain both ELL and natives since the natives would provide a strong English language model (Reeves, 2006). The theoretical rationale of the approach is that students could obtain educational knowledge, content, skills while improving language skills at the same time. This was proved by Levine & Marcus, (2007), who proved that language acquisition was enhanced through application and interactions using the second language. Hence separate instruction of language from academic instruction as is mostly done is not the best solution and is less effective.
The first thing is to make sure that teachers are trained in Sheltered Approach techniques. The administration must be supportive and provide money and extra time in making sure that educators get the necessary skills in using this approach. The next step is in Districts developing a grade-level sheltered curriculum for each subject offered. These would act as the most important resource for parents, teachers, and school administration. Money would also be essential in getting extra education materials such as visuals, extra reading materials, audio-visuals, models, and hands on materials (Levine & Marcus, 2007). Furthermore, extra time is needed by teachers in assessment of students so as to identify the level of progress. Assessment methods that could be used are: end of unit tests, portfolio exams, and informal exams.
The time for implementing the approach will be affected by factors such as: duration taken by the district to come up with the curriculum, the time of training teachers, and the time in getting resources needed for schooling. Therefore if the factors are implemented at the same time then within three months the strategy could be able to be implemented. Less time could be obtained if resources are available and only the curriculum and training of teachers are unavailable.
In interacting with native speakers who act as a language model, learners would be able to quickly learn the language and also understand the native culture. Learners would also be able to develop diversity consciousness as studies have shown that through interactions prejudices, stereotyping, ethnocentrism of cultures and languages are reduced (Mora, 2000). It is also expected that the gap between performances in science and math subjects would be less since interaction by teachers would assist in understanding what is expected of them in assessments.
Callahan, R. M. (2005). Tracking and high school English learners: Limiting opportunity to learn. American Educational Research Journal, 42(2), 305-305-328. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/200368076?accountid=45049
Levine, T.H., & Marcus, A. S. (2007). Closing the Achievement Gap through Teacher Collaboration: Facilitating Multiple Trajectories of Teacher Learning. Journal of Advanced Academics, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p116-138, 23p, Retrieved from EbscoHost
Mora, M. T. (2000). English-language assistance programs, english-skill acquisition, and the academic progress of high school language minority students. Policy Studies Journal, 28(4), 721-721-738. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/210570146?accountid=45049
Reeves, J. R. (2006). Secondary teacher attitudes toward including english-language learners in mainstream classrooms. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(3), 131-131-142,192. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/204214273?accountid=45049