This paper draws from the understanding that cultural differences and imbalance has extensively repressed the process of learning as well as literacy development. This factor is evident by the continual differential treatment of teachers on white and black children thus affecting the progress of colored children in literacy development. Learning literacy encompass the efforts employed by the teacher to help the child develop reading and writing skill in the second language.
As such, this process occurs within the threshold of culture and is influenced by social factors ranging from the belief of the teacher and the ability of the children to literary skills. The evaluation of methods of literacy practice help in deigning validity and reliability of the instruments of instruction used in literacy acquisition and development amid cultural differences and conflicts reflects an element that formulates an important factor in situations where the teacher and his beliefs as well as the literacy practice extensively leverages the varying degrees of the whole language.
Literacy acquisition and development is a pedagogical aspect that begins long before children commence their formal education as well as formal school instruction. During these years, children acquire skills and knowledge that are typified by literate behavior in a setting that is guided by socio-cultural manifestations. The whole process is influenced by a number of factors ranging from cultural implications, the beliefs of the teacher and the instruction methods for literacy practice.
The teacher should emphasize on the development of literacy as a process that is ongoing, and through a classroom learning environment. This means that for the efficiency of literacy acquisition development, all aspects of literacy must develop simultaneously, with the language and literacy sharing similar features hence allowing students to encounter a natural hierarchy to the stages of development.
Methods of Literacy Practice
The complexity of literacy development rests on the pedestal of the children’s ability to effectively read and write in English as the formed literate culture. Delpit argues that our cultures and communities lay the basis on which differences in instructing children as they learn new language is evidenced (Delpit, 2006). This cultural bias and weakness presents a conflict which should be resolved by the teacher’s attempt to maximize the educational potential of children from colored racial background.
The teacher and his belief about literacy development play a significant role in the entire process of literacy and language development. There is an interrelationship between literacy and language such that, the teacher should base his instruction on language; which plays a key role in building the foundation for reading and not on the racial backgrounds.
Accordingly, the teacher should use the method of immersion to enable children develop literacy by being surrounded by spoken language. In so doing, children will not only learners to talk but will also encounter print language in charts labels and stories and an organized library which enables students to read and write in areas of the print language.
In addition, it is plausible to note that as a teacher, it is vital to use a practical method of instruction that help children demonstrate the literacy skill being learned in a context where the teacher uses good classroom management to root out racial power imbalance that exist in classrooms. As such, this should be done both in classroom and outside classroom situations. For example, Delpit contends that when people around children use language positively, things happen positively.
Ideally, language, which the backbone of literacy, become part of life around children (Delpit,2006). This out of classroom situation means that a teacher should emphasis on the importance of language which is mirrored through books, literacy events and writing and thus children will learn the language at home, in town and in the villages where they are. In a classroom setting, demonstration of literacy skills should be enhanced by the teacher through modeling where children learn the four skills of language such as reading skills, writing skills, speaking skills and listening skills throughout the day. In this way, children will acquire and develop literacy skills by observing purposeful literacy in a myriad of ways.
Furthermore, the teacher should advise parents to highly expect their children to talk thus relieving the whole process the pressure and tension of literacy development from learning in an environment that is cultural conflict. The teacher works on helping the students to learn literacy skills by working on these skills at appropriate levels.
As a result, a teacher should provide children with enough materials that match their literacy levels and by catering for individualized differences; a teacher sets the pace of developing literacy skills thus structuring the class with expectation of leaning. To illustrate, the ways by which people respond and react during a conversation influences the behavior of a child and usually non verbal expressions such as smiles, cuddles and other remarks creates a verbal interaction that shapes the development of literacy.
Therefore, acquiring and developing literacy skills does occur anywhere; at home, in groups, with relatives among others and this natural way should be used in helping the process of literacy acquisition and development. With the classroom, the teacher should create a collaborative learning environment where children have the opportunity to provide positive feedbacks to their peers which specifically is encouraging and constructive in terms of learning literacy skills.
With regard to this, little children should be engaged in learning whether at home or in school the teacher should help the children to aim at better speaking skills, reading skills, writing skills and listening skills at school in activities that help them to make sense of their acquired literacy knowledge and skills.
Racial, class, ethnic and gender conflicts influence the quantity of literacy instruction in a racially mixed class. However, a teacher should influence children and parents from disfranchised cultural groups to develop measures of subverting negative pressure dominant group. Delpit notes that the community environment as well as home leverages the literacy development of a child. As such, schools, homes, families and classroom are learning environments situated in the community.
In this case, the out of class element extensively influences learning opportunities and gives a chance to take part in the process of literacy acquisition and development of their child (Delpit, 2006). Significantly, this narrows down to a cultural aspect in learning and impacts on the literacy development children acquire. For example, a child from a poverty stricken neighborhood encounters a disintegrated learning environment and owing to the fact they are likely to be face social emotional and behavioral conditions that are strong makes them develop non Standard English hence their literacy skills being interfered with.
In addition, Delpit contends that the culture and environment directly relate to the ability of the child to develop vocabulary skills and thus the literacy development at kindergarten should be well structured because it determines how the child’s academic achievement varies in school and classroom.
Children’s, socio behavioral, emotional self regulations are viewed within the precincts of cultural orientations and all these are influenced by homes, families, schools and society at large. On this ground, Delpit postulates that the development of a child’s literacy skills should be allowed to take place at all times and in every place (Delpit, 2006).
Accordingly, literacy is construed to be composite of varied dimensions that transcend the boundaries of classroom and society and this interplay strongly affect the learning opportunities that children are presented with both at home and in school. In light of this, there is considerable evidence that shows that proficient literacy obligate that children must have strong foundation in oral language; an element that borders phonological and vocabulary skills as well as the overall language skills which is basically determined by the cultural orientations. This falls in the wider dimension of influencing how a child demonstrates systematic and explicit ways of decoding, comprehending and writing language which is greatly impacted by the cultural base of the child.
Due to the cultural influence in learning language and literacy skills, the preschool experience forms an important factor in the acquisition and development of literacy skills. Therefore, it has been speculated that achieving this learning element depends on the social economic status of the child’s family. Accordingly, children form less fortunate families begin their literacy levels late and without financial ability to buy literacy resource, many children from such backgrounds become literate very late.
As such, the teacher should come to the aid of this group of children by working out a correlation that will improve home and classroom learning environment through what is inarguably called direct parent training and education. In essence, Delpit portends that parents from such economic thresholds should strongly embrace the concept of early preschool interventions in a bid to socially and academically make a vital difference in the literacy acquisition and development of their children.
Similarly, the classroom environment influences the belief and mindsets of a teacher in their literacy development instruction. In essence, the attitude of the teacher over the children he is instruction posses a shared characteristic that is marked by a safe and orderly environment high expectations for the literacy achievement of the students, strong educational leadership, the amount of time given to literacy instruction classroom management and available methods of evaluations and instructions.
Accordingly, a flexible and homogenous literacy skill provides a more successful effect on reading, speaking and writing thus making the instruction children receive in the class more substantially. However, in the event of a heterogeneous literacy skill, it becomes difficult as the teacher to have clear cut expectations on the literacy achievement thus his beliefs may not allow him to substantially provide instruction that enhances literacy awareness.
For the most vulnerable children in the black American community, the development of literacy skills is under certain progression challenges such as underachievement but Delpit shows that the social and motional support offered by the teacher creates a climate that leads to the efficiency in building literacy levels of children from multicultural backgrounds.
The classroom setting should provide a highly social, emotional support and the teacher should therefore come in with a n instructional support which will systematically a stronger child literacy development and social outcomes. Particularly, such learning environment become important for children from the back community because they are typical of social problems and during the development of literacy skills, they may exhibit weak social skills. The engagement of children in different learning environment helps boots their motivation to learn and this contributes to their literacy growth.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that the type and amount of literacy instructions that a teacher should give to children in classroom and the continuous learning of literacy skills at home and in the society facilitates a constant and systematic literacy growth. Accordingly this involves a combination of methods that range from code focused strategies o holistic and meaning strategies prove to be the effective models of enhancing literacy development.
Teachers therefore should use sustained interventions that range form intensive and balanced pedagogical aspects in literacy acquisition and development. Teachers therefore need to structure the instructional designs on the structure of the language and other social cultural elements that aids in the acquisition of literacy skills.
Delpit, L (2006) Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in Classroom. New York: News press
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