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Multi-Ethnic Materials in Second Language Programs Classrooms

Martha K. Cobb
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 339-349
DOI: 10.2307/3586162
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586162
Page Count: 11
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Multi-Ethnic Materials in Second Language Programs Classrooms
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Abstract

It is important to remember that the language learner is a person who brings into the classroom a cultural background that he has possessed since birth and which is tightly interlaced with his native language habits. This cultural background can serve as a strong motivating factor in bridging the differences between the old and the new and at the same time will be psychologically more beneficial than attempting to erase or negate the cultural identity of the learner. As teachers in the second language learning classroom, we must concern ourselves with these questions: What is culture? What cultures do our students bring with them? How can we use the student's cultural background to assist him in learning a new complex of language skills that inevitably involves (and often threatens) his own personhood as defined by his culture? Suggestions for classroom activities fall in the following areas: 1) Initial classroom exposure through visual realia related to native cultures of the students; 2) Specific language learning activities relevant to cultural backgrounds; 3) Diversified reading material that represents the literature from the students' heritage as well as literature related to the target language and culture.

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