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The IRIS Center Module

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Maria has come from Mexico, she is in the fourth grade and in a new school, and therefore she is small in age and going through many new cultural beliefs, styles, values, attitudes, language differences. These differences came to her life at once, when things rushing speedily she cannot coop up with all at once and quickly. Mr. Bennett has to understand how this culture difference affects this child. There are many similarities within these two cultures and many individual differences too. Mexican education comes from rural area it may be one-room schoolhouse, therefore existing big school, teachers may frighten her. The language which teacher speaks she may have not understood due to differentiated pronunciation. Even the meanings of a word will be differing in English language according to the country wise; it may be UK English or US English. Therefore Mr. Bennett should understand and have to address those areas without ignoring. No child in Maria’s age can take this sort of a cultural and linguistic difference within three months’ time; she needs more time to adjust and more motivation from Mr. Bennett too.

The possible reasons for Maria’s behavior in the classroom she may cannot understand the teacher’s language. Her reading may be poor due to some other physical problem like poor eye sight or the language differences.  If she talks with other children in English, that proves she has no language problem, but the afraid of teacher may be a fact not talking to Mr. Bennett. She must have given the earlier education as Victorian type home visited teacher, they are closer to the student because, they are teaching one student at a time homely atmosphere. The school teaching tools of stereotypes, may give uneasiness to Maria and as well as many teachers, many students, and new subjects may making her thoughts not sure to succeed at school. Maria may know math but shy or feel embrace to talk to the teacher. Her tardiness for school can suggest due to, she still cannot adjust to the time difference or may be her parents not giving her proper attention and motivation for her education. Maria may having a understanding that her stay with this school will be short term so she may have no interest, therefore the parents may not take any concern to prepare her to school in time. May be Maria’s parents knows her difficulties, maybe she is a slow learner, that may be the style of her learning but she may have got good grades earlier, therefore parents ignore teacher’s calls and notes. Home culture and mother tongue are a part of the child's very being, and Mr. Bennett has to understand the elements which fundamentally important to the child. Classroom experiences will probably not be successful if teachers view home culture and language as an illness to be cured.

According to Maria’s story her personal reflection and culture is different from present, therefore first we have to give her an understanding about the present culture. At the time she is fighting to learn the cultural differences and learning she will understand the values of the present culture.  Due to these not having proper cultural understanding Maria feels that she is not accepted in this culture her behavior will be change. She may attend school late, not doing homework, not talking etc. At the same time the difference between the races also give effect to her present behavioral structure. “Race” is described a person’s color, decency, ancestry, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic or national origin. It is closely linked to visible or tangible cultural differences such as spoken language, skin color, hairstyle, body language or clothing. It can also comprise intangible differences such as behavior, eating habits, mannerisms and other characteristics that belong to, or are imputed to, a person of a certain race. These also disturb Maria’s behavior and the education.

As her teacher first of all I need to know more about Maria’s parents, her background, and her personal experiences then actually I can motivate her more. But in the meantime as a teacher I will do the following to better equip Maria for academic success and to provide a happier educational environment:

a)Including curriculum contents regarding the histories, contributions, points of views, experiences and their concerns which relevant to Maria.

b)Apply story telling methods to motivate her to speak up and participate with other students.

c)Let Maria have a demonstration how to use manipulatives, out of that understand the connection to a concept or a vocabulary term.

d)Display boards and labels of vocabulary that students are expected to learn (e.g., high-frequency words, content-area vocabulary, and instructional terms). Maria will understand more.

Group Learning - Maria can work with small groups to maximize learning. Working with peers provides academic supports and creates more opportunities to practice language skills. Mixing with other cultural students Maria will quickly learn how to corporate.

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