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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Cultural Sensitivity in the Classroom TEFL teachers are faced with different challenges in the classroom all the time and one of them is lack of cultural sensitivity. It is important to address this issue to ensure that the teaching instruction being delivered is not bias, discriminating or prejudice to the students. Being aware about the cultural differences of the students can help the teacher understand the learning approach of the student to the language. It is important not to assume and jump into conclusion when in doubt about the student's skills and understanding of the language.
Students who does not understand the english language are stereotyped as unintelligent and unmotivated because they don't understand the material being delivered in the english language. This is a bias assumption and can discourage students from participating in class and also can lead to hindering the students language skill even further. Teachers should understand that each student have different approach in studying the language. The reason might be because of their culture and what they are accustomed too. Having said that the teacher should create a learning environment where students can feel that they are appreciated no matter which culture they are from and teach them to appreciate and be proud of their cultural heritage.
Students can come from different parts of the world, but some countries have the same spoken language, for example spanish
is widely spoken in Spain and in South America. Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, most of Switzerland and Luxembourg are German-speaking countries. Although these countries share the same language it doesn't mean that they all share the same culture, therefore we should be sensitive to the students cultural beliefs and traditions. Creating a learning environment where students can share and explore other cultures will bring the students together and will make them understand each other better.
A good way to practice cultural sensitivity is to encourage cultural awareness. The teacher can develop a curriculum that will reinforce and practice the english language to explore the different cultures. Students can interact with their peers and at the same time they can practice and develop their language skills. Some examples of how this can be done is through a multicultural event that the school can organize for the students. The students can participate in a talent show showcasing their country's national dance or music. Students can also bring food from their country and share it with each other in the class. The teacher can give writing assignments with topics that pertain to the students culture and heritage and ask them to share it with the class. In these ways the students will have a better perception of their peers culture, customs and traditions. There are lots of ways to raise cultural sensitivity awareness in class the teacher just have to be creative and be open to them.
The goal of TEFL classrooms and cultural sensitivity practice is to instill upon to the students the value and importance of their own culture and differences while at the same time learning other cultures. Having multicultural activities in the classroom will bring out the students ability to embody and accept new cultures and be proud of their own culture. The teacher who is sensitivity to the needs of his/her students will be able to relate to them more easily, leading to a more successful teaching and more fulfilling students who are inspired in accommodating a new culture and language.