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Cultural Differences in the ESOL Classroom
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Mar., 1973), pp. 51-60
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3585509
Page Count: 10
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For ESOL teachers, understanding cultural differences is just as important as knowing appropriate techniques or acquiring adequate teaching materials. Not only is understanding required, but a commitment to promote positive activities in and out of the classroom to ease cultural conflict is an absolute must. Teachers have many avenues open for studying about cultural differences. Some are simple, such as basic readings, asking information about specific cultures from informants, and checking preconceived ideas about given cultures with natives. Other techniques, such as, keen observation, require more profound and systematic study. In the actual ESOL classroom, situations may be created where both Anglo-American and the native cultural patterns may be practiced in open relaxed atmospheres. In these kinds of responsive environments, both sets of values are understood and accepted more readily than in the traditional rigid classroom of yesteryear. To be able to maintain this type of classroom, teachers must know cultural differences quite well. An ESOL teacher's main responsibility is making friends for this country by teaching English and the way of life the language represents in humanistic ways.
TESOL Quarterly © 1973 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)