Teach English in Shibao Zhen - Baotou Shi

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Growing up in a multi-ethnic and multicultural country, I have been educated to respect cultural diversity. Later on, as I have become an educator myself, I put much emphasis on respecting my students from other cultures. I believe that cultural sensitivity is crucial in the classroom, and I would like to state the reasons as followed. To begin with, stereotypes and different cultural views often lead to conflicts between students, and sometimes the results could be severe. Over the years, I have heard several cases about students from common cultural backgrounds flocking together, and a few of them even tried to bully their peers from minorities. This phenomenon was not exclusive for young learners, such as kids in kindergarten, it was also displayed in adults in the form of arrogance and isolation. If we, as teachers, could raise the students’ cultural awareness and sensitivity by conveying the message that all cultures are equal, we would be able to stop such problems from arising in and out of the classroom. Next, since learning a language is largely related to cross-cultural communication, cultural sensitivity should be emphasized. As we all know, one of the basic reasons why our students choose to learn English is because they have the intention to communicate with people from other countries, whereas other cultures. However, even though some of them have a good command of language skills, they still have problems when communicating with foreigners. For instance, while the V sign is associated with pride and happiness in many cultures, in the United Kingdom it has an offensive meaning. Another example is this that while eating without a sound is considered polite in many countries around the world, Japanese people prefer to show their gratitude towards the meal by making loud chewing noises. If our students do not possess any common knowledge of the cultural context, they would probably face dilemmas in their communication. Therefore, as language instructors, we should not only focus on the students’ academic performance but also provide them with the essential cultural knowledge for intercultural communication. Last but not least, as educators, we must equip our students with the right values and viewpoints. I believe that we should all teach our students to respect, not only to other cultures and ethnicities but also to the world in general. As globalization advances, people around the world would be more and more connected compared to before. Besides face-to-face communication, a single click on an Internet page might open a door for conversation. In such circumstances, the significance of cultural sensitivity is shown. Besides, therefore, we should put in our efforts, and prepare our students for the future. I have always believed in the saying that education shapes our future. Besides maintaining high proficiency in the subject that I need to teach, I have also put in many efforts in raising my cultural sensitivity, as well as my students’. With the progress of globalization, I hope that we would pay more attention to cultural sensitivity, and build a harmonious society together.