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1 Reaching Immigrant Students: 10 Strategies for Teachers Virginia M. Tong, Ph.D. ( TESOL, Hunter College of CUNY) Tom McIntyre, Ph.D. (Special Ed, Hunter.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Reaching Immigrant Students: 10 Strategies for Teachers Virginia M. Tong, Ph.D. ( TESOL, Hunter College of CUNY) Tom McIntyre, Ph.D. (Special Ed, Hunter."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Reaching Immigrant Students: 10 Strategies for Teachers Virginia M. Tong, Ph.D. ( TESOL, Hunter College of CUNY) Tom McIntyre, Ph.D. (Special Ed, Hunter College of CUNY) While youre waiting What things do you do to help your immigrant students adjust to their new country? H How do you help them to better handle the struggle between two cultures as they redefine their personal sense of self?

2 2 Stages of Acculturation 1. E uphoria (Excited, Enthusiastic, Curious). 2. C ulture Shock (Disillusioned, Homesick). 3. G radual Recovery. - An active search for ones true self ensues - A Cross cultural identity begins to form - Change is a constant intra-personal companion. 4. A ssimilation/Acculturation/Adaptation (full recovery). Brown, 2001.

3 3 Adjusting to America… Culture Scenarios Which stage of acculturation? Chen crosses the street while staring blankly into the sky. Chen crosses the street while staring blankly into the sky. Carmen, a 17 year-old high school student tells you that she wants to finish school and return to her home country. Carmen, a 17 year-old high school student tells you that she wants to finish school and return to her home country. Ven is afraid to raise his hand to ask to go to the bathroom. Ven is afraid to raise his hand to ask to go to the bathroom. Ben got into college and began to understand what it meant to be in America. Ben got into college and began to understand what it meant to be in America.

4 4 1. Learn About The Cultural Backgrounds Of Your Students Teachers should learn about the home life of their students… But what & why? These important influences on ones sense of self can be categorized into Levels of Culture.

5 5 Level 1: Surface culture Items produced by a culture Items produced by a culture Artifacts Artifacts Technology Technology Foods Foods Architecture Architecture Clothing Clothing Other cultures are often judged as "superior" or "inferior" based on this level… the physical realm Other cultures are often judged as "superior" or "inferior" based on this level… the physical realm Few individuals are able to converse intelligently at deeper levels of culture. Few individuals are able to converse intelligently at deeper levels of culture.

6 6 Level 2: Actions & Movements (ceremonies, body language, movement patterns, emotionality) Which is the correct way to non-verbally indicate "me"? Which is the correct way to non-verbally indicate "me"? Which is the correct color to wear to a wedding? Funeral? Which is the correct color to wear to a wedding? Funeral? When you're in your house of worship, which is correct? When you're in your house of worship, which is correct? Be quiet while leader speaks. Be quiet while leader speaks. Talk back to the leader & make your support known verbally. Talk back to the leader & make your support known verbally. Sit with your family. Sit with your family. Sit with others of your gender. Sit with others of your gender. Close your hands with face down when praying. Close your hands with face down when praying. Open your hands with face up when praying. Open your hands with face up when praying. When you meet someone, how should you respond? When you meet someone, how should you respond? Clasp their hand in your own. Clasp their hand in your own. Clasp your own hands. Clasp your own hands. Stand tall with strong eye contact. Stand tall with strong eye contact. Bow with eyes down. Bow with eyes down.

7 7 From your study and experience, what have you learned about: From your study and experience, what have you learned about: Body spacing and touch? Body spacing and touch? Gender and cross-gender considerations Gender and cross-gender considerations Age considerations Age considerations Forbidden places (other than groin & buttocks) Forbidden places (other than groin & buttocks) Eye contact? Eye contact? During conversation During conversation When chastised by authority When chastised by authority

8 8 Level 3: Speech & Language Major effect on how reality is perceived & processed Affects "promptness" & whats meant by "on time. Affects "promptness" & whats meant by "on time. European languages place great emphasis on tense. European languages place great emphasis on tense. Black English expresses & uses tense differently. Black English expresses & uses tense differently. 1st peoples languages don't use tense. 1st peoples languages don't use tense. Aborigines might be judged as "backward by us. Aborigines might be judged as "backward by us. (Our technology use & a kaleidoscope of words to describe.) (Our technology use & a kaleidoscope of words to describe.) However, they might view us as "socially stunted". However, they might view us as "socially stunted". Our language places emphasis on "things, not"people". Our language places emphasis on "things, not"people". They have more 500 words for kinship… social connectivity They have more 500 words for kinship… social connectivity Language structure & terminology often reflect level 4. Language structure & terminology often reflect level 4.

9 9 Level 4: Thought Values, ethics, religion, metaphysics, learning styles. Major Western & Eastern religious figures are males Major Western & Eastern religious figures are males Major 1st Peoples & African religious figures are ??? Major 1st Peoples & African religious figures are ??? Level 4 affects, & is reflected in all other levels. Appropriate clothing for age & gender. Appropriate clothing for age & gender. Who sits where. Who sits where. Who is viewed as Head of household. Who is viewed as Head of household. Gender use in languages. Gender use in languages. Europeans stress importance of individual. Europeans stress importance of individual. Most other groups emphasize interrelations. Most other groups emphasize interrelations. If someone fails to complete his/her homework & asks to look at yours, is it OK? If someone fails to complete his/her homework & asks to look at yours, is it OK? Many students have to change when came to U.S. Many students have to change when came to U.S.

10 10 Task oriented People oriented School supersedes family Family is priority Emotionally restrained Outward or More restrained Resolve disputes verbally Resolve physically Defend views with facts Truth is felt Monochronic Polychronic Precision time Flexible time IndependentInterdependent Self-defined goals Family defined goals Excel as an individual / Family supports efforts Excel as a group / Family must not suffer for achievement Future oriented / Delay gratif. Present oriented Learn from adults Adults & older kids Question authority (politely) Don't question authority 1 st in each pair is EA middle/upper

11 11 Sharing Culture Storytelling. Storytelling. Show & Tell. Show & Tell. Culture Simulators (see 10 tips article handout). Culture Simulators (see 10 tips article handout). Culture Capsules. Culture Capsules. This reference can be found in your handout.

12 12 Exploring Culture Capsules A culture capsule consists of 3-4 paragraphs. A culture capsule consists of 3-4 paragraphs. It explains one or more minimal differences between the customs of one culture & corresponding American customs. It explains one or more minimal differences between the customs of one culture & corresponding American customs. It is usually accompanied by photos, illustrations, & relevant relics. It is usually accompanied by photos, illustrations, & relevant relics. Culture capsules can be presented in 5 or 10 minutes. Culture capsules can be presented in 5 or 10 minutes. cultural_capsules.html. cultural_capsules.html. cultural_capsules.html cultural_capsules.html

13 13 Chinese New Year &American New Year (Chinese New Year)Chinese New Year &American New Year (Chinese New Year) Chinese New Year is the longest & most important celebration in the Chinese (Lunar) calendar. Chinese New Year is the longest & most important celebration in the Chinese (Lunar) calendar. At celebrations, people wear red clothes & children receive lucky money in bright red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire that according to legend can drive away bad luck. At celebrations, people wear red clothes & children receive lucky money in bright red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire that according to legend can drive away bad luck. Fireworks shower the festivities, based on the ancient belief that loud noise frightens away evil spirits. Fireworks shower the festivities, based on the ancient belief that loud noise frightens away evil spirits. The New Year is a time of family reunion. The shape & color of foods served hold significance (long life, good luck) The New Year is a time of family reunion. The shape & color of foods served hold significance (long life, good luck) On the 15th day of the month, the Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival & is highlighted by the dragon dance. On the 15th day of the month, the Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival & is highlighted by the dragon dance. (source: (source:

14 14 Chinese New Year &American New Year (American New Year)Chinese New Year &American New Year (American New Year) The most famous tradition in America is the dropping of the lighted crystal ball in Times Square, starting at 11:59pm. Thousands gather (& millions view TV) to watch the ball make its one-minute drop, arriving exactly at midnight. The most famous tradition in America is the dropping of the lighted crystal ball in Times Square, starting at 11:59pm. Thousands gather (& millions view TV) to watch the ball make its one-minute drop, arriving exactly at midnight. People make New Years resolutions, promises to improve themselves in the coming year. At midnight comes the singing of Auld Lang Syne, a song about remembering old friends with fondness, & forgetting any personal offences. People make New Years resolutions, promises to improve themselves in the coming year. At midnight comes the singing of Auld Lang Syne, a song about remembering old friends with fondness, & forgetting any personal offences. The Rose Bowl football game is played in Pasadena, CA on New Years Day. The Tournament of Roses parade with its elaborate & creative floats precedes the game. The Rose Bowl football game is played in Pasadena, CA on New Years Day. The Tournament of Roses parade with its elaborate & creative floats precedes the game.

15 15 2. Match Your Teaching Style to the Learning Styles of Your Students Research: Culture is the largest influence on learning style (We learn how to learn at home) Research: Culture is the largest influence on learning style (We learn how to learn at home) Visual vs Verbal Visual vs Verbal Preferences while learning Preferences while learning Behavioral traits while learning Behavioral traits while learning Inductive vs. Deductive Inductive vs. Deductive Field Independent vs Field Dependent Field Independent vs Field Dependent Sequential vs Simultaneous. Sequential vs Simultaneous.

16 16 Organize this incoming information. Source: K-SOS

17 17 EA (especially male) versus CD Source: K-SOS

18 18 Tell me what is happening in these pictures. Source: K-SOS Source: K-SOS

19 19 What do you see? For more information on matching teaching styles to culturally different learning styles: Does the Way We Teach Create Behavior Disorders In Culturally Different Students? (This reference can be found in your handout).

20 20 3. Evaluate Student Behavior in a Cultural Context ESL and/or Immigrant students experience ESL and/or Immigrant students experience Anxiety Anxiety Other emotions due to stress related to acculturation & fitting in. Other emotions due to stress related to acculturation & fitting in. For more information on determining whether aninappropriate behavior is different, deviant, or a result of acculturation stress consult these (online) references (found in the handout): For more information on determining whether aninappropriate behavior is different, deviant, or a result of acculturation stress consult these (online) references (found in the handout): Culturally sensitive & appropriate assessment for EBD. Culturally sensitive & appropriate assessment for EBD. The culturally sensitive disciplinarian The culturally sensitive disciplinarian Guidelines for providing appropriate services to culturally diverse youngsters with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Guidelines for providing appropriate services to culturally diverse youngsters with emotional and/or behavioral disorders.

21 21 4. Determine the Reason (s) for Academic Troubles Limited English proficiency Limited English proficiency Vocabulary Vocabulary Structural differences from home language Structural differences from home language Stress & mental exhaustion from high levels of concentration Stress & mental exhaustion from high levels of concentration A valid Learning Disability (special ed label) A valid Learning Disability (special ed label) (To determine whether it is LEP or LD, assess students in their native/1 st language.) Acculturation Stress / Trauma from refugee experience Acculturation Stress / Trauma from refugee experience Mismatch between learning & teaching styles Mismatch between learning & teaching styles Mismatch between the teachers views & the students perceptions of appropriate student behavior in learning situations Mismatch between the teachers views & the students perceptions of appropriate student behavior in learning situations Limited or different exposure to formal education. Limited or different exposure to formal education.

22 22 5. Keep Expectations High We all hold high expectations for our kids… We all hold high expectations for our kids… BUT are we expressing them in ways that will produce the results we seek? Are we giving feedback on their performance (behaviorally & academically) that is motivating them to put forth their best efforts? Are we giving feedback on their performance (behaviorally & academically) that is motivating them to put forth their best efforts? What recommendations do you have for offering praise and criticism? What recommendations do you have for offering praise and criticism?

23 23 Say What?! OK OK Thumbs upThumbs up V for victory V for victory Pointing & summoning with pointer finger Pointing & summoning with pointer finger Showing the soles of your feet. Showing the soles of your feet. Stars on stellar papers Stars on stellar papers Others we should know? Others we should know? Cmon…Theyre in America (Canada) now. Cmon…Theyre in America (Canada) now.

24 24 6. Obtain & Provide Effective Supports for Recent Immigrant Students For which supports might we advocate in order to create a welcoming and supportive learning environment? For which supports might we advocate in order to create a welcoming and supportive learning environment? What programs, materials, personnel, etc. are important for the success of our students? (academics, acculturation) What programs, materials, personnel, etc. are important for the success of our students? (academics, acculturation) Which supports can help them to develop a positive cross-cultural identity? Which supports can help them to develop a positive cross-cultural identity?ans

25 25 Suggestions (Tong, 1998) Designate mentor teachers…advocates for individual students. Designate mentor teachers…advocates for individual students. Recruit & hire staff who are immigrants, or speak the language(s) and/or know the culture(s) of your immigrant students. Recruit & hire staff who are immigrants, or speak the language(s) and/or know the culture(s) of your immigrant students. Create mini-schools within larger schools. Create mini-schools within larger schools. Create smaller classes. Create smaller classes. Initiate more group work & cross-age tutoring to allow students to support others. Initiate more group work & cross-age tutoring to allow students to support others. Set up student outreach centers that provide support & services for immigrant and LEP youngsters. Set up student outreach centers that provide support & services for immigrant and LEP youngsters. Form school culture clubs to promote student awareness, tolerance, & celebration of cultural/linguistic differences. Form school culture clubs to promote student awareness, tolerance, & celebration of cultural/linguistic differences. Conduct professional development workshops to educate staff in culturally proficient assessment, instruction, behavior management, and interaction. Conduct professional development workshops to educate staff in culturally proficient assessment, instruction, behavior management, and interaction.

26 26 7. The Power of Personal Relationships The greatest motivator that teachers have at their disposal is themselves. What are some things that you do to create positive & valued inter-personal bonds with your students? What are some things that you do to create positive & valued inter-personal bonds with your students? Establishing a history of positive interactions Establishing a history of positive interactions Celebrating their ethnicity & language Celebrating their ethnicity & language Helping them to succeed at challenges: Helping them to succeed at challenges: Academic Academic Intercultural Intercultural Personal Personal Building self-confidence & competence with effective praise & criticism. Building self-confidence & competence with effective praise & criticism.

27 27 8. Accept the Cultural Tendencies of Your Students While Encouraging Them to be Cultural Chameleons Promote pride in the old & new cultures and languages… the foundation for a positivecross cultural identity. Promote pride in the old & new cultures and languages… the foundation for a positivecross cultural identity. Help students to recognize & understand the Help students to recognize & understand the Strengths Strengths Similarities Similarities Differences Differences within & between the two cultures (to promote proficient management of demands of both). within & between the two cultures (to promote proficient management of demands of both).

28 28 9. Learn Basic Words and Ways Greetings in Many Different Languages Greetings in Many Different Languages WikiHow WikiHow Languages Languages Languages Languages Jennifers Language Page Jennifers Language Page Omulticultural Omulticultural *See your handout for these & other resources.

29 Enjoy the Cultural Experience A teacher never knows where his/her influence ends. A teacher never knows where his/her influence ends.

30 30 Your Thoughts?

31 31 Why wouldnt this stuff work with your kids? Why wouldnt this stuff work with your kids? What are the exceptions to the rules? What are the exceptions to the rules? Other thoughts, questions, concerns, & additions? Other thoughts, questions, concerns, & additions?

32 32 Thank you. Have a wonderful remainder of the conference Ginny & Tom


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