Cultures and Languages in Education

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Cultures and Languages in Education by Mind Map: Cultures and Languages in Education

1. Summary of monitoring 5 step action plan development

1.1. During each stage of this action plan I will continuously monitor the students progress and write down any observations that I feel I need to raise to my team. My team and I will all closely observe and interact with the new student to assure they settle in comfortably within the class. We will take extra care to make sure they are always given attention when needed and that they are happy at all times.

2. Summary of cultural awareness in my class

2.1. If the student is of different ethnicity, race than Chinese I wouldn't raise the subject unless it was absolutely necessary. If the student has a different skin colour or wore some cultural clothes such as a hijab I would only mention it once in the class during morning talk as the children will be curious. I won't talk about this too much as I don't want them to feel separated from the class. I may show the students a video or some pictures of the new students culture and country only if the student wants to, or if the students are still curious and the student agrees to me showing them about his/her culture.

2.2. I model open-mindedness in my classroom by not drawing attention to what is different about the students, instead, what is the same about them. This method of social inclusion creates a healthy community in the classroom and erases any form of segregation between the students.

2.2.1. If the students family are willing I may invite them to come into our class and share some culture with the students. Perhaps bring in some food for the students to try and so they get to be more open-minded and practice respecting one another.

3. Summary of language used for a new student

3.1. If the student speaks Chinese I will only speak in simplified English to him. My co-teachers always speak in Chinese, including the English teacher. If they are from a non-Chinese speaking country I would also follow the same step and speak in English and using body language to convey a message. Simple repetition of words such as stand up, sit down and go potty will help the student retain the basic language they will need to adjust to our routines. During our unit of inquiry class they may struggle at first expressing their deeper thinking if they were not English or Chinese speakers. We would have to rely on simple yes and no questions with a lot of visual aids to help the student understand.

3.1.1. The classroom language in my school is supposed to be English. As an IB International school the students are supposed to be bilingual with teachers often speaking English. This is rarely the case and all the teachers speak Chinese as not many of them have English language experience. This does slow down the students English Language learning which in turn makes it more of a challenge for me when I teach my class. I have come to know my class very well and know what they understand and what they don't. I always try to extend their English language knowledge in everything I do with them. Last year I had an American boy in my class and the Chinese teachers would always give him to me to 'handle'. His Chinese was very limited and was at a young age so his English wasn't very good either. It is difficult to fully integrate a child from another culture if the teachers do not model good behaviour and consideration themselves. I use language suitable for every student when I talk to them as a class and differentiate my instruction when talking to them individually.

4. Summary of possible changes

4.1. The action plan is completely subject to change. Depending on the individual student and their level of development in Socialising, Thinking, Self-management, Emotional development etc. The only thing that I can ensure as a teaching and a carer of young children is to ensure I am trying my best to make them feel comfortable, safe, and most of all happy with their life at school. The plan will be adjusted to the individual students needs and I will collaborate with my team to make sure we are all taking part. I will make sure I pass on my observations and suggest ways which we can better the students inclusion in the class. For example, if the student displays signs of behavioural problems we will take steps to ensure we focus more on reminding the child of classrooms rules and right conduct. If the issues persist I will try alternative steps and a different approach.

5. Action Plan

5.1. Step 1 : Welcome to our class

5.1.1. What?

5.1.1.1. Welcome the student into our class to make them feel comfortable, happy and belonged.

5.1.2. How?

5.1.2.1. I will welcome the student into my classroom warmly and with a smile. I will kneel down to their height and ask them their name and introduce myself. I will also try to engage in a brief conversation with the student depending on how they seem to feel after the initial introduction. Depending on the parents English level I will ask them some questions about their child. The rest of the teacher will follow with the same example.

5.1.2.1.1. Example questions

5.1.3. When?

5.1.3.1. This will take place as soon as the student walks into the classroom for the first time.

5.1.4. Who?

5.1.4.1. Me and my classroom team will take part in this step as it is crucial for the student to become familiar to those responsible for him/her.

5.1.5. Why?

5.1.5.1. This first step is crucial as first impressions are everything to a child starting a new school, especially for the first time. It begins the process of creating friendship and trust between the teachers and the student. It is important for the student to feel comfortable and happy when they enter the class as this is where they leave the people they know and are alone with strangers often for the first time. It starts the process of easing the child into education with a positive and calm social interaction.  Getting to know the child means also learning about the child’s family, being sensitive to the child’s culture and traditions, and having an awareness of the child’s experiences at home. This can assist when I am planning my lessons to include differentiated instruction for the new student and enhance his learning experience from his/her first class. At the young age of 3 - 4 students have often cried when their parents leave them.When children leave their family they are leaving their familiarity. My school is a boarding school which boards down to the age of 2 years old. These students arrive on Sunday and stay until late Friday afternoon. The children in my class are now used to the parents leaving them and have built a strong relationship with myself and the other teachers. The close relationship with young children is essential as it reestablishes familiarity which they lose until their parents return. so we welcome them into our class as part of 'OUR' family. The outcome of this step often foreshadows the next steps to come and can often have a changing impact on them.

5.1.6. Where?

5.1.6.1. Often this takes place just inside the classroom by the door. Depending on the child they either come inside or might be crying outside afraid to come in. If this is the case we often approach them individually so not to overwhelm them and make them even more upset. We sit down with them on the shoe bench and talk to the parent while the child calms down and is ready to enter the classroom. If the child still seems to be distressed we may take a walk with the child to gain their trust. Depending on the circumstances of what we are currently doing in class, how many staff are available etc affect how this step happens.

5.2. Step 2: Immediate social inclusion

5.2.1. What?

5.2.1.1. For step two we will immediately include the student in the current class activity. We will pause what we are doing, gather the students together and introduce the new student. I will assign a student as a buddy to help the new student become familiar with our classroom. At this stage I wouldn't raise their ethnicity, race, or mother tongue to the students or to the child directly. At this stage it is all about the child getting used to being with others, making new friends, being comfortable within a group, social inclusion and becoming familiar with their new learning environment.

5.2.2. How?

5.2.2.1. I will walk with the student to the classroom, we will often hold hands if the child is willing having gained their trust and enter into the classroom area. I will ring the silence bell and ask the students to stop what they are doing and gather in a space, usually on the carpet. I will introduce the new student, or if they are confident and able the will do it themselves. I would tell the students to welcome him into our ICKC1 family (name of my class) and help show him how our class goes out our daily activities and routines. I will ask the students "Who can help our new friend?" Often all of their hands go up. I pick a student who is confident, very social and warm to other students. The new student and now their new 'buddy' will stay together and work collaboratively while I observe them to see how the student behaves and interacts with others. The rest will also return and continue their work.

5.2.3. When?

5.2.3.1. This will happen as soon as the child is ready to enter the class and join the other students. Sometimes the parent will stay to fill out various paperworks with the headteacher and may observe his/her child in our class to see how they get on. Sometimes students come in to our class for an introduction and won't return for actual class until a day or two later for the parents own reasons, such as moving into a new home. This step of social inclusion will be an ongoing step to ensure the student is fully submerged socially with his classmates and his teachers.

5.2.4. Who?

5.2.4.1. I usually introduce the new student in the class, which is helpful as I am different ethnicity to them and can be quite daunting for small children as I am also quite tall and male. The students also help with the step listening to my instruction and modeling my friendship and understanding with them. The buddy would often be a student with good language skills and of the same sex as they often feel more comfortable with a child of their own gender. My headteacher may take the role of introducing the student if I am unable to, perhaps from talking to the parent which is rarely the case. I will observe the student

5.2.5. Why?

5.2.5.1. This step is very important and I try to implement it as soon as possible. "Children who feel a part of the classroom community will be better able to focus on building healthy relationships and having a happy experience."-Teachpreschoolorg, (2016) They immediately will feel more connected to the teachers and their classmates. They will also start to become familiar to the class environment. For the child to truly feel like they belong to our class they must build friendships. The buddy system I implement in class gives them a friend and provocates social interaction. This will help insure they start building confidence, relationships and find their place in our class more quickly.

5.2.6. Where?

5.2.6.1. This will most probably happen in our classroom, unless the student enters the classroom during outdoor activity time or during an excursion.

5.3. Step 3: Class participation and Daily Routine

5.3.1. What?

5.3.1.1. The goal is becoming familiar with our daily routine and activities so the students become more comfortable in their new environment, they show active participation in all activities, model good behaviour and are able to follow instruction.

5.3.2. How?

5.3.2.1. From the first circle time, morning talk or class time I will include try to include the student as much as possible in all activities. These will be mostly group activities either in small groups or as a class so the student experiences as much social interaction with his classmates and teachers. The student will be introduced to daily routine and will possibly take part in our weekly helper system if they are willing to help. Depending on the students immersion, attitude to his new school life, I will decide whether to dismiss his/her buddy, if no longer needed. In the morning talk I will often share a song or a video with the students for us to sing and learn together. We shall sit in close proximity with one another using a lot of body movement and oral language. We will also have English class and Unit of Inquiry class with activities where the students work in small groups or in pairs. The student will follow his/her buddy to introduce our daily routine e.g drinking water, going potty, lining up, brushing their teeth, folding clothes,  ensuring classroom tidiness etc. I will make sure I often talk to the student directly praising good deeds and correct activity to ensure they student is happy and knows they're completing tasks correctly. I will also make frequent eye contact to ensure the student is understanding the instruction and tasks given to him/her. I will use a lot of body language when giving instruction, praise etc so the student can easily recognize what is being communicated to him/her.

5.3.2.1.1. During outdoor activity I will often play with the children to develop a close bond with them participating in games building our relationship. One activity I often use as first time play is oversized bouncy balls. The balls are mostly bigger than the children and they love playing with these. It is a fun, safe way for the children to play with me and enables the new student to play together with me and the class; if they are not ready, they can also play in parallel to them but still be in the same play area.

5.3.3. When?

5.3.3.1. This is one of the steps will continue for a possibly a few weeks and then lessen, but still remain to an extent for regular class inclusion.

5.3.4. Who?

5.3.4.1. Myself and the other teachers will all take an equal role in this step. Their buddy may also take part as well as other members of the class who may help the new comer.

5.3.5. Why?

5.3.5.1. This step is to ensure the new student is completely emerged and engaged with learning from the early moments of their arrival in the class. Participating in a group will help the student build confidence and build their social skills. Taking part in group activities such as singing and dancing will develop trust and enthusiasm. Other inclusive practices such as centre time where we focus on open-ended activities is an opportunity for the students to learn from one another and work together on a project. Making regular eye contact will ensure the new student is paying attention and understanding instruction. Body language is very important as the student may be a non-native English speaker. Often in my class they will be native Chinese speakers so spoken word alone will often not be enough to communicate with the student. Body movement gives us a visual representation of communication and universal signs such as thumbs up works a lot better. Interaction from the teachers is equally important. I will play with the new student to gain their trust and friendship. The other students will be happy when I join in to play and will be keen to play with me. This display of affection and happiness will help the new student become more open towards me in and out of class.

5.3.6. Where?

5.3.6.1. This step will take place everywhere we go in the kindergarten. The canteen, classroom, play area, ball pit, swimming pool, school field, library etc.

5.4. Step 4: Introduce and regulate classroom rules, manners and right conduct.

5.4.1. What?

5.4.1.1. The student will be informed and regularly reminded of our classroom rules we call essential agreements. The student shall also be informed of how we use manners and right conduct in and out of class. We also will make sure instructional language is followed and they follow the teachers examples.

5.4.2. How?

5.4.2.1. I will ask the students to tell me how we should behave in the classroom. I will often ask the students to demonstrate good and bad behaviour in class so they have a visual representation to follow. I will choose a student who is confident and easy going to demonstrate as they are often very keen to demonstrate exaggerated bad behaviour.

5.4.3. When?

5.4.3.1. During morning talk time and transitional periods is a great time to remind the class of our essential agreements. Even as we walk from place to place in the kindergarten. Anytime is a good time to remind them of how we behave and respect our kindergaten.

5.4.4. Who?

5.4.4.1. Myself and my co-teachers will remind the students on a regular basis. I personally try to involve the students as much as possible. The students will demonstrate the rules together.

5.4.5. Why?

5.4.5.1. I will choose a student who is confident and easy going to demonstrate as they are often very keen to demonstrate exaggerated bad behaviour. which makes the review less formal and can present the rules in a fun way to illustrate following the rules can be fun.This method also shows me how much they know about the essential agreements and so I can asses the students knowledge on procedure and behaviour. I then will review the areas where the students may not know how to behave or how we should follow certain procedures to ensure they are knowledgable on all aspects of step 4. I will inform them of the class expectations and how we can better and monitor each others behaviour. This creates less confusion with the new student and

5.4.6. Where?

5.4.6.1. This step can be taken anywhere where there is a rule,manners and right conduct to be implemented. The time is more of a factor than the location, I will observes the students and decide when we need to review our agreements or remind the children how to behave appropriately.

5.5. Step 5 Review students individual performance and and evaluate learning plan with other teachers and communicate with parents.

5.5.1. What?

5.5.1.1. The students immersion into school life will be discussed between me and my co-teachers with the input also from his/her parents. We will discuss their development, especially in the early stages of their arrival into our class. We will discuss ways to improve their immersion and learning in our class. We will discuss how they are getting along socially with our students, emotionally and their learning performance.

5.5.2. How?

5.5.2.1. This will be done through observations and note taking during activities and between classes. I will talk to my colleagues when we have a spare moment and share our observations. We may have a meeting about the child if there is a problem. I will consult the parents usually through my headteacher if the student is Chinese or by myself if they can communicate well enough in English. The opportunity to talk to parents would be when one of us is free we can talk to them on wechat (a social messaging app) or when they come to collect/drop off their child before and after school.

5.5.3. When?

5.5.3.1. This will be everyday with the new student as a main focus until they settle into our class the observation will become less. Depending on the student, this could take a few weeks or a couple of months.

5.5.4. Who?

5.5.4.1. Myself and my co-teachers will make these observations and evaluations. I will also invite the parents to give us feedback on the child's feelings of school he tells those at home.

5.5.5. Why?

5.5.5.1. It is important to review the student on a regular basis to suggest improvements or changes to our methods to try and integrate them into our class. Particularly in the first few weeks, assessment and evaluation is crucial as this is the time everything is new to the student and we need to establish familiarities the student feels comfortable with. We will update the parents as it is important for them to know the progress of their child and made aware of any issues the child is having, so the parent may to give suggestions or take action themselves because they know the child best. It is important to share amongst my co-teachers actions we notice which show development so they may be aware of changes to adjust their own methods to accommodate our new student. This will make the students progression and inclusion a lot faster as we are attaining to their individual needs.

5.5.6. Where?

5.5.6.1. This will often take place, but isn't limited to social apps and conversations in our classrooms and/or the staffroom.

6. Sources

6.1. Teachpreschoolorg. (2016). Teachpreschoolorg. Retrieved 16 June, 2016, from http://www.teachpreschool.org/2014/07/every-child-needs-to-feel-like-they-belong/

6.2. Oureverydaylifecom. (2016). Our Everyday Life. Retrieved 18 June, 2016, from http://oureverydaylife.com/strategies-welcome-young-children-daycare-14321.html

6.3. Wikihowcom. (2016). WikiHow. Retrieved 18 June, 2016, from http://www.wikihow.com/Welcome-the-New-Kid-at-School