Cultures and Languages: Five-Step Action Plan

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Cultures and Languages: Five-Step Action Plan by Mind Map: Cultures and Languages:  Five-Step Action Plan

1. Japanese students

1.1. Agree on clear classroom expectations

1.1.1. Who will carry out the step?

1.1.1.1. Classroom teacher, in collaboration with students

1.1.2. What is the step?

1.1.2.1. Encourage students to participate in the process of setting classroom behaviour and participation norms, including taking control of own learning and asking for help when needed.

1.1.3. How and why will it be carried out?

1.1.3.1. In the first lesson, have a class discussion about rules and behaviour expectations. Get feedback from students about their needs and agree on their responsibilities. Create a poster of classroom norms to be displayed in the classroom.

1.1.3.2. Japanese students are used to teacher-oriented classrooms with a lecture-style format. They may need to be encouraged to participate in class activities.

1.1.3.3. Make it known that lively debate, polite disagreement, risk-taking and making mistakes are not only accepted but encouraged - this will help encourage students to feel good about participating in class activities. Japanese students often don’t feel comfortable speaking out in class, or asking for help and may need encouragement to do so.

1.1.3.4. If Japanese students increase their confidence and participation in class activities, the step has been successful. If necessary, reminding students of the classroom norms, by referring to the poster, can help encourage participation.

1.1.4. Where will it take place?

1.1.4.1. Regular classroom

1.1.5. When will it take place?

1.1.5.1. First day of school

1.2. Get to know the students

1.2.1. Who will carry out the step?

1.2.1.1. Classroom teacher with participation from the whole class, as well as previous EAL teachers

1.2.2. What is the step?

1.2.2.1. Get to know the student’s educational and cultural background, as well as their personality traits, through prepared presentations given by students and discussion with previous EAL teachers. Allow students to get to know their teacher as well.

1.2.3. How will it be carried out?

1.2.3.1. Talk with students, get them to present or write or fill in an online quiz to see what gaps in the student’s knowledge

1.2.3.2. Speak to the student outside the classroom to break down the strict student-teacher relationship expectations

1.2.3.3. Ask students to reflect on how they learn best in science - this will help guide the planning of lessons and assignments

1.2.3.4. Ask students to introduce themselves in front of the class, and explain what their name means and how to say it correctly. If the student is normally called by their surname and feels more comfortable this way, this is how you should address them

1.2.3.5. If these methods prove unsuccessful, collaborate with previous EAL teachers about student personality, strengths and weaknesses, interests and hobbies

1.2.4. Why is it important?

1.2.4.1. In Japan, the teacher is the “authority” and this can limit how much the teacher can really get to know the students on a personal level. Speaking to students outside of class times, in a more informal setting such as the hallway or cafeteria, can make students more willing to share their personalities, and have an impact on interactions within the classroom.

1.2.4.2. Correct name pronunciation is important for a feeling of respect and acceptance in the classroom, and Japanese students will not want to correct you if you pronounce it incorrectly.

1.2.5. Where will it take place?

1.2.5.1. Student introductions take place inside the classroom

1.2.5.2. Individual student-teacher interactions should also occur outside class

1.2.6. When will it take place?

1.2.6.1. Second day of class (after the subject has been introduced and students get to know the teacher) and continuing throughout the school year.

1.3. Ensure class activities are differentiated and inclusive

1.3.1. Who will carry out the step?

1.3.1.1. Classroom teacher

1.3.2. What is the step?

1.3.2.1. Use different instructional strategies and be flexible in how students display their knowledge.

1.3.3. Why is it important?

1.3.3.1. Japanese students may feel more comfortable in a lecture-style lesson format, as that is what they are used to in their school system. They may also prefer to stand when giving answers to questions.

1.3.4. How will it be carried out?

1.3.4.1. Use a pace that helps students take notes during lecture-style teaching

1.3.4.2. Help students find mnemonic devices to help them learn new vocabulary

1.3.4.3. Make it known that productive risk and failure is part of the learning process, and expected during lessons.

1.3.4.4. Ensure that there is flexibility in the way assignments and presentations are structured.

1.3.4.5. If students are struggling when asked a direct question, offer them the choice of another way to answer (via email, writing on the board, drawing a picture)

1.3.4.6. Include role-playing activities in the tasks - when Japanese students can take on a different role they may not feel so confined by their cultural norms of classroom behaviour and may open up more.

1.3.5. Where will it take place?

1.3.5.1. Regular classroom

1.3.6. When will it take place?

1.3.6.1. Preparation during lesson planning time; practice and improvement throughout the school year.

1.4. Prepare for "spark moments"

1.4.1. Who will carry out the step?

1.4.1.1. Classroom teacher; input from discussion with other subject teachers

1.4.2. What is the step?

1.4.2.1. Identify any issues that can arise when controversial material is discussed (such as the Japanese whaling program during extinction discussions) and plan for how to guide class discussion around these issues

1.4.3. How will it be carried out?

1.4.3.1. Identify any controversial issues that may arise from discussion of the coursework.

1.4.3.2. Seek input and advice from teachers who have presented this material before.

1.4.4. Why is it important?

1.4.4.1. Japanese students are conflict-averse and will not assert themselves in a discussion in which their country's policies are criticised, but they may feel deeply uncomfortable. The discussion must be guided in a way that allows them to participate in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

1.4.5. Where will it take place?

1.4.5.1. Outside of classroom and in departmental meeting room

1.4.6. When will it take place?

1.4.6.1. Class preparation time and in departmental meetings

1.5. Group students for success

1.5.1. Who will carry out the step?

1.5.1.1. Teacher, with input from students

1.5.2. What is the step?

1.5.2.1. Ensure there is plenty of opportunity for group work in learning and assessment activities

1.5.3. Why is it important?

1.5.3.1. Japanese students are group-oriented and prefer to get a group consensus before giving answers. Working in small groups can free students from the fear of addressing the whole class.

1.5.3.2. When students are motivated by earning points for a team, the stigma of 'showing off' is removed.

1.5.4. How will it be carried out?

1.5.4.1. Gamification of tasks allows students to work in groups and to win points for their teams.

1.5.4.2. Allow students to choose their own small groups for group work. Observe the groups and shuffle them around if necessary to ensure all voices are being heard.

1.5.4.3. Group members can be assigned roles - for example, a 'director' can lead the group discussion, a 'secretary' can take notes and the 'reporter' can report to the class.

1.5.5. Where will it take place?

1.5.5.1. Regular classroom

1.5.6. When will it take place?

1.5.6.1. Periodic group work tasks and assessments should occur throughout the school year.

2. Swedish students

2.1. Negotiate classroom expectations

2.1.1. Who will carry out the step?

2.1.1.1. Whole class activity

2.1.2. What is the step?

2.1.2.1. Introduce students to the class rules and encourage them to develop the classroom norms and expectations, as well as communicating what they need from their teacher and each other.

2.1.3. Why is it important?

2.1.3.1. Swedish students are used to a lot of autonomy in the classroom. Giving them a voice in how the class should be run will help them feel like valued members of the school community.

2.1.4. How will it be carried out?

2.1.4.1. Students will get individual time to come up with ideas, followed by a class discussion where the class rules are agreed upon.

2.1.4.2. Rules will be displayed prominently in the classroom so they can be referred to at a later date

2.1.4.3. Behaviours for mutual respect will feature prominently in the classroom norms.

2.1.5. Where will it take place?

2.1.5.1. Regular Classroom

2.1.6. When will it take place?

2.1.6.1. First day of school

2.2. Get to know the students

2.2.1. Who will carry out the step?

2.2.1.1. Teacher and students

2.2.2. What is the step?

2.2.2.1. Get to know the students' educational and cultural backgrounds, and find out about their personalities and interests.

2.2.3. Why is it important?

2.2.3.1. Due to the number of different educational models in Swedish schools, it can be difficult to know what academic level students have reached.

2.2.3.2. Understanding students' interests can help develop appropriate tasks and assessment topics.

2.2.3.3. When students hear each others' interests and hobbies they can find similarities, which can help students integrate with their classmates.

2.2.3.4. Swedish students often have extremely good conversational skills (BICS) which may mask a weakness in academic language (CALP)

2.2.4. How will it be carried out?

2.2.4.1. Getting-to-know-you games, small class quizzes and general class conversations can help students and teachers get to know each other, and to allow teachers to gauge the levels of understanding in their subject material.

2.2.5. Where will it take place?

2.2.5.1. Regular classroom

2.2.6. When will it take place?

2.2.6.1. Second day of school, after classroom norms have been negotiated.

2.3. Encourage self-motivation

2.3.1. Who will carry out the step?

2.3.1.1. Classroom teacher in collaboration with students

2.3.2. What is the step?

2.3.2.1. Include class activities where learning is self-directed, or where the student has a high degree of autonomy over what and how they learn.

2.3.3. Why is it important?

2.3.3.1. Self-motivation is a key factor in education in Sweden. Students will have good skills in this area that should be fostered and shared with the rest of the class.

2.3.4. How will it be carried out?

2.3.4.1. Encourage Swedish students to explain to the class how self-directed learning works, giving them a feeling of importance and worth in the classroom

2.3.4.2. Allow students to choose from a range of topics to complete an assignment or presentation on

2.3.4.3. Negotiate with students to determine the weighting system for different assignments, so they can maximise their strengths.

2.3.5. Where will it take place?

2.3.5.1. Regular classroom

2.3.6. When will it take place?

2.3.6.1. During the introduction of the first task, and reinforced throughout the school year.

2.4. Think outside the classroom

2.4.1. Who will carry out the step?

2.4.1.1. Classroom teacher, with input from principal and facilities manager

2.4.2. What is the step?

2.4.2.1. Allow some school activities to take place outside the classroom

2.4.3. Why is it important?

2.4.3.1. Students coming from Swedish schools are used to working in different environments, not just in the classroom. This change in environment can be beneficial for many students provided the conditions are favourable.

2.4.3.2. Swedish students are used to this level of responsibility, and when the teacher expresses their trust in the students it can boost their confidence.

2.4.3.3. Working outside the classroom can increase creativity and enhance communication between students.

2.4.4. How will it be carried out?

2.4.4.1. Negotiate with the school principal and facilities manager to allow students to work in the cafeteria or on benches outside in warmer months.

2.4.4.2. Discuss with students their responsibilities and your expectations for their behaviour outside of the classroom.

2.4.4.3. Students may take their laptops to work in designated "out-of-class" areas, with occasional supervision by the roaming classroom teacher.

2.4.5. Where will it take place?

2.4.5.1. Cafeteria, outside areas, hallways or other designated "out-of-class" areas.

2.4.6. When will it take place?

2.4.6.1. Periodically throughout the school year, after discussion about the behaviour expectations.

2.5. Group students for success

2.5.1. Who will carry out the step?

2.5.1.1. Teacher, with input from students

2.5.2. What is the step?

2.5.2.1. Allow students to organise themselves into small effective groups for group tasks

2.5.3. Why is it important?

2.5.3.1. Swedish students are independent learners, and working in groups with other students is a good way to promote class integration and cultural understanding

2.5.4. How will it be carried out?

2.5.4.1. Group Swedish students with other students who are experienced in the kind of group work being assigned.

2.5.4.2. Ensure there is a good mix of social types in the groups and ensure that quiet students don't get "drowned out".

2.5.4.3. Tell students that they will be asked to reflect on their contribution to the group - this will get them thinking about their role and participation from the beginning.

2.5.5. Where will it take place?

2.5.5.1. Regular classroom

2.5.6. When will it take place?

2.5.6.1. Periodically throughout the school year.