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Free Example of Student's Belief System and Confidence Essay

One cannot understate the crucial role teachers’ play in the molding of a student. Teachers affect the student’s belief system and confidence. Thus a teacher’s actions and attitudes towards cultural minority students play a pivotal role in determining how these students perform both academically and in English. Certain actions and perceptions by teachers solicit a negative academic development in these students. They include:

  • Teachers may poses a low expectation toward these students, especially due to the stereo types that still exist that promote discrimination. A considerable percentage of people believe that the racial and cultural minorities are still inferior to theirs. Teachers who share in this belief do not take the time to understand the students, they show no effort in helping these students and they fail to draft teaching strategies that could aid the students in learning the English language.

It is cited that group of students sorted largely by race and class difference receive varying educational experiences based on the occupations they are expected to assume within the existing class structure. Victims of these are usually the traditionally underserved students who struggle to overcome bias and racial stereo types. (Bowles and Gintis, 251)

  • Teachers’ belief that in order to promote English development in these students instructions communicated to them should always be in English and that the students should respond in proper English, has been a common illusion that further complicates language development. Recent research indicates that students taught in a diversity of languages perform better than those taught in one language.( Porter, 187)
  • Teachers may easily misunderstand a student’s behavior especially when the classroom’s culture is different from the home culture. ( Bowles, 128) An example, African American children are raised to be highly physical, they desire interaction. A teacher may very easily confuse this for disruption and consequently punish those involved. This disconnects between teacher and students evolve into resentment and a negative attitude towards the subject as a result the students posts poor grades in academically.
  • The staff at school forces these students to assimilate into the American culture; they view the native language as a crunch that impedes language development. Some teachers have the belief that conversing in the first language inhibits language development of English. There is the popular belief that when the students communicate using their first language they may not need to communicate using English, where they need to practice. Willey (156) advocates for quality exposure to English as opposed to the quantitative exposure advocated for by teachers.
  • The principal of tokenism hinders proper language and academic development. Though it was started to promote multiculturalism, it adversely affects the attitudes and confidence of multicultural minority students who feel that the secured the position in their class not because of their wit, but due to the color of their skin. (Bowles , 158)As a result they remain docile in class, due to their perception that the other kids are better than them. Teachers and staff also exercise caution when participating these students in class discussions since they are afraid it could easily degenerate into them being teased by their classmates.
  • There is a common misconception that If a student can converse well in English they can do well in main stream subjects taught in English .It is assumed that a student’s ability in everyday communication is a valid measure of his/her competence to use the language in a variety of settings such as demanding academic school work. A gap exists between everyday and academic language use in students, which could lead to difficulty in accessing information. Second language learners fail academically since they are tested based on their Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BISC) not Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).( Birgit, 79) As a result second language students who are incorporated into mainstream studies fair poorly.

Activity one

Characteristics of the culture

 Correct name of the cultural group

They can be easily confused for being highly aggressive, due to being raised in a highly physical environment. They long for constant interaction

Answer: AFRICAN AMERICAN

They can be confused for being too docile in class. They do not show interest in answering questions directed to other people, since their culture discourages this.

Answer: RED INDIANS

There is a stereotype that concludes that they are very sharp, they respect teachers and authority due to their culture that emphasizes on respect for figures of authority.

Answer: ASIAN AMERICANS

We need to create awareness to teachers and school staff concerning their actions and perceptions that adversely affect students. Instructors also need to be educated on how to change in order for them to create a suitable environment for language development and academic development. Possible ways to do this include:

  • Instructors need to be educated on the current performance indexes of students who come from cultural minorities and the cultures of these students in order to allay popular stereo types.
  • Instructors need to be informed on the crucial role culture plays in the classroom.
  •  Instructors need to learn how to make their teachings more comprehendible to cultural minority students.
  • The instructors need to verse themselves with the principals of second language acquisition and how to promote development of social and academic English in mainstream classes.
  • Instructors need to acknowledge the critical importance supporting student’s first language development as an additive form of bilingualism.
  • Mainstream teachers need to learn how to incorporate language and content learning.
  • Changing the examination from BISC to CALP. This will ensure that the students assimilated into mainstream learning have successfully gained proficiency in English, in its diverse applications. Thus they will be able to compete with their counterparts.
Code: Sample20

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