Working with Children in a Diverse World

Juan is moving to Georgia with his family. His family is excited and anxious to learn English and the American way of life. They’re very proud of their heritage and cultural traditions. They have decided to learn and speak English at school and work, but speak Spanish at home. Juan is an outgoing young man who was an average second grade student in his native country of Peru. Juan’s parents enroll him in Ms. Romano’s second grade classroom. Ms. Romano welcomes him to the class. She believes that even though Juan doesn’t know English, he should try to follow the pace of the class and eventually catch up. Juan is frightened when he realizes he doesn’t understand what is being said. Ms. Romano decides to ignore Juan’s fearful facial expressions and allows him to be totally immersed in his new culture. In the afternoon, when the students take out their reading workbooks, Juan gets extremely worried. Not only was English confusing, but the entire reading period left Juan feeling lost. After a few weeks of unsuccessful lessons, Ms. Romano decides to refer Juan to the Special Education director. She will need to speak to Juan’s parents first. She’s been so busy the last few weeks that she hasn’t been able to meet them yet. Ms. Romano believes that Juan doesn’t understand the reading lessons and is scoring poorly on the tests and quizzes. She feels that perhaps Juan has some learning disabilities.

  • Do you believe the school and Ms. Romano is acting in Juan’s best interest? What would you change, if anything, about Ms. Romano’s approach?
  • What would be your preferred personal approach for helping children learn English?
  • Do you believe that Juan should be tested for learning disabilities? How would you respond to Mrs. Romano’s proposal to move Juan to a special education class? What kind of information should Ms. Romano have about Juan before she refers him to the special education director?
  • What should she know about his culture and family?
  • Why is there an overrepresentation of minority children in special education classes?

The text and the assigned articles are the primary sources for this project. Remember to review the reading in past units for this project as well as the readings in Unit 5. Additionally, you should use 2 other research articles from peer-reviewed journals that you found in the Kaplan Library. This project should be between 900 and 1,200 words, not including the title page and the reference page. The project should be written in essay form. You are required to give credit to the sources you use, and use proper APA formatting. Refer to the APA Quick Reference for help with APA, the Kaplan Writing Center or your instructor. Remember that all work must be your own and plagiarism is not tolerated. Be sure to review the plagiarism policy in your syllabus.


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