One issue of linguistic diversity, is you has the teacher needs to identify the needs of the children in your classroom. A teacher needs to address their own attitude toward the children and families that are linguistic and cultural diversity. If a teacher knows that most of the students are going to Spanish speaking, for example than she needs to prepare herself for this before schools starts. A teacher may want to get with other teachers at the school or school district and talk about ways to deal with non-English speaking children and families.
I think another issues with linguistic diversity is that the teacher needs to expect has much out of the non-English speaking students as the English speaking students. If a teacher starts off expecting less than she will get just that. A teacher needs to monitor herself and meet with other teachers and discuss observations, progress and the way that students are tested and evaluated so that the teachers are not setting them up to fail. All students need to think that they can progress and not fail at everything.
I think and issue of not being able to communicate with the families is a big issue for everyone. The families feel uncomfortable coming to the schools, especially if they do not have a translator with them or their child has to do the translating. The teachers feel uncomfortable because they do not know if they are getting the right information to the parents. So I think the community needs to come together and try to think of ways to solve this problem so our children will feel more comfortable at school and more valued.
Teachers need to support cultural diversity by recognizing the importance of a child’s home language (Linguistic Diversity and Early Literacy). The best way to do this is to involve families and invite them to the classroom so they feel comfortable. Have the families reading to Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education The children in the classroom in the home language than have another parent read the same book in their home language. I think the more that we as educators get these families together the better so that they do not feel so isolated.
We as educators need to teach all our parents to be the first teacher for their child. We need to give all families the tools so that parents can become their child’s primary teacher and that way we all can become full partners in their child’s education. The Early Head Start article that I read is a very good example of what we need to do as an early intervention. I like Head Start because they give you specific guidelines and ways to do things that everyone can follow.
I think the earlier that we get children and families focused on their children and their role in the child’s life as their teacher the better off we all are. Hiring bilingual staff may be one option on preserving the child’s native language and to ensure that information is shared in a timely manner. Ensure that staff is aware of cultural issues and differences provide an opportunity for staff to learn another language to communicate with the families.
Language isn’t just about the child it is also about the family has a whole. References Otto, Beverly, 3rd ed. Language Development in Early Childhood, Pearson Precious Children, Diversity in the Classroom, National Association for the Education of Young Children (retrieved May 31, 2010). www. pbs. org/kcts Linguistic Diversity and Early Literacy, Serving Culturally Diverse Families in Early Head Start (retrieved May 31, 2010). www. ehsnrc. org.