Helping Students Maintain and Extend Their Pride in Their First Languages and Cultures in Classroom Settings

Background

Ideally, every instructor should have in place a comprehensive plan, or outline, of how to help own students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, languages along with cultures in classroom settings. For a student, learning his or her heritage culture, as well as language, is important in the development of a sense of personal identity, or self. Notably, the language symbolizes or is an expression of the student’s personal and cultural identity. When a student maintains, as well as extends, own pride in and relation to own first, or native, language and culture, he or she does not become alienated from his or her community and language (Christensen, 2008). Indeed, the first, or native, language and culture are ways through which parents communicate to their children easily. As well, they are a way that the parents take absolute responsibility for socializing the children and readying them for the interactions that define schooling milieus. Families inculcate belief systems, as well as values, and other interpersonal competencies into their children via interacting with them using their shared native languages according to Tabors (1997).

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Often, for a child, the native language, as well as culture, is commonly the only means of communicating with community members and family. Communication is thus vital for students’ appreciation of own native languages as well as cultures. Students who maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture do not feel destabilized and disconnected (Hepburn, 2007). Notably, their destabilization and disconnection may be averse to their developing personal, as well as cultural, identities. Even as students learn second languages, there should be conscious efforts geared towards providing systematic exposure to their native languages, as well as cultures, always. Instructors should remain keen on ensuring that there are no radical transformations, or changes, in the students’ native language, as well as cultural, environments. Such transformations can harm language development languages according to Tabors (1997). As well as, they can create challenges for the students. Ideally, instructors and parents need to collaborate to make certain there is success along with consistency in students’ maintenance, as well as extension of, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and cultures (Bhatia & Ritchie, 2012).

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There are numerous factors influencing students’ cultural, as well as language, development. Such factors include the students’ exposure to their varied quantities, as well as styles, which define how their native languages are used; practices that define child-rearing; parents’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds; and caregivers’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Others include whether the students have siblings and other relatives; and the students’ individual development. Every student is special, or unique, in how he or she develops his or her language. Families and schools with bilingual students should ideally learn and have plans for native language development ideally (Christensen, 2008). Moreover, instructors should readily support students in their acquisition of their native languages as well as cultures. The instructors should collaborate with the parents of the students in developing the students’ competencies regarding their native languages as well as cultures (Hepburn, 2007).

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Plan for Supporting Students in Learning Their Indigenous Languages and Cultures

Children are entering educational environments when they are rather young (Hepburn, 2007). That means that instructors and caregivers will be quite influential on the students’ worldviews, perspectives regarding culture and community, and values. Besides, the instructors and caregivers impact on the students’ cognitive, emotional, and social development considerably (Christensen, 2008). Consequently, the instructors and caregivers need to adopt plans to support the students to maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture in classroom settings (Crawford, 2008; Crawford & Crawford, 2004).

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Collaboration between Instructors and Caregivers

To ensure that students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture in classroom settings, instructors and family members of the students should collaborate to ensure that their schooling environments are supportive and that they do not lose their native languages (Christensen, 2008). Such collaboration is important to ensure that the students do not cut links with the community and family languages according to Tabors (1997).

The collaboration and the related support ought to commence when the students enroll for their initial childhood language programs. To ensure that instructors have a good appreciation of the students’ native languages, they should make enquiries about their use. They should enquire about who utilizes the languages, the times the use the languages, and the reasons they use the languages. If the instructors become knowledgeable about the students’ native language acquisition at home, they serve the students properly (Hepburn, 2007).

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Training

To ensure that students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture in classroom settings, those instructing them on the same should get professional training to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the languages and the related issues and benefits (Hepburn, 2007). They should learn and publicize the dangers that students may suffer from not learning the languages and the benefits they may gain from acquiring the languages. That especially makes minority languages welcome in classroom settings.

Notably, the training, as well as the related awareness, assists in creating continuing dialogues between the instructors and the students’ families throughout the periods when the students are acquiring the languages and the related cultural persuasions. When instructors become well-versed with speaking their students’ native languages, they should speak them with the students ideally (Christensen, 2008). That demonstrates to the students that other important persons use the languages as well. It increases the students’ pride in their indigenous cultures along with languages. Commonly, family feel obligated to ensure that their young ones assimilate, as well as learn second languages speedily to succeed, leading to the loss of their native languages (Crawford, 2008; Crawford & Crawford, 2004). That may damage the young ones’ personal identity and can be checked well through the training.

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Teaching Students Tolerance

To ensure that students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, languages and cultures in classroom settings, those instructing them should ensure that they students are not discriminated against when using the languages. There should be mutual respect among the students and between the students and their instructors. Every student should be taught and implored to have deference for other cultures and languages. That will help the students to have positive views about themselves (Christensen, 2008). Each student will learn to work, as well as live, with others respectfully. Instructors should be keen on the establishment of classroom communities hinged on respect and support for one another.

Instructors should appreciate the legitimacy of their students’ native languages and esteem their native cultures. They should involve the students’ families in the settings respectfully. Each student should be allowed to share dances, stories, and songs from own culture with her or his classmates (Hepburn, 2007). That will make the student proud of his or native language and enjoy connecting with the classmates to celebrate their different cultural backgrounds devoid of fear.

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Classroom Techniques

Translation Services

Instructors should allow students to use their native languages in the settings to ensure that they maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, languages and cultures (Crawford, 2008; Crawford & Crawford, 2004). Instructors may need translators in acquiring information from their students’ families regarding the students’ cultural, as well as linguistic, backgrounds. Where instructors are incapable of accessing parent liaisons, they can opt for community members as translators (Christensen, 2008). Such members can be accessed from sources such as local stores, community media, community agencies, churches, and public schools. Such translators can be trained and employed to offer services in learning environments.

Body Language

To ensure that students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture in classroom settings, their instructors should utilize body language accordingly in communication. The instructors can add directed gazes, actions, or gestures to help the students’ understanding of their indigenous languages as well as cultures. They may repeat particular phrases or terms to emphasize them for improved comprehension by the students.

Expanding Students’ Vocabulary

Instructors should use words from their students’ native languages or cultures to help develop and grow their native vocabulary (Crawford, 2008; Crawford & Crawford, 2004). That helps to ensure that students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, language and culture in classroom settings. Instructors should take the words spoken by students using their native languages and expand the related ideas and vocabulary as well. Besides, the students should be challenged to gain, or develop, more and more vocabulary, especially the vocabulary utilized in describing the students’ wishes (Christensen, 2008).

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Summary

Instructors and caregivers are quite influential on the students’ worldviews, perspectives regarding culture and community, and values. Preferably, every instructor should have in place a comprehensive plan, or outline, of how to help own students maintain, as well as extend, their pride in and relation to their first, or native, languages along with cultures in classroom settings. Instructors should utilize body language accordingly in communication. Instructors should get professional training to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the languages and the related issues and benefits. Besides, instructors and family members of the students should collaborate to ensure that their schooling environments are supportive and that they do not lose their native languages.

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