ECE 605: Children and Families in a Diverse Society
Dr. Rhonda Welch-Scalco
April 8, 2013
Children with Linguistic Differences
In today’s classroom, it is common to have a student who speaks English as a second language. The teachers today should have knowledge of linguistic diversity and apply what they know to assist those children. According to our text, language is one of the aspects that define diversity and it is one of the fundamental tools of cultural acquisition and a part of a child’s cultural identity (Robles de Melendez & Beck, 2009). As educators, we must assure those children who speak English as a second language have the same education as English speaking children.
In a child’s learning environment, no matter what language that child speaks, they should be comfortable and familiar with the things that surround them. It is important to label a child’s environment with the different languages that the children speak in the classroom. If a child’s native language is Spanish, French or German, there should be a corresponding labels in that language on shelves, tables, toys and doors. Other materials that is used in a classroom that assist with linguistic diversity is age appropriate books, printed materials such as newspapers, flyers and signs in different languages and music from diverse cultures (Robles de Melendez, 2009).
When you have a classroom of different languages, it is necessary to understand what is going on in the children’s mind as you speak a language that they are not familiar or comfortable with. We need to understand, expect, and feel comfortable with the natural responses (e.g., laughter, first language use, silence and fatigue) that occur when our students participate in interactions in which they are not completely proficient in their language (Curran, 2003). Teachers should respect the fact that students that are English Language...