Teach English in Liji Zhen - Xuzhou Shi

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Teaching is not easy but worth of trying for me because people can’t stop learning throughout their lives where there must be many teaching phases we go through with different teachers. As what I learned from this course, the group of young learners is defined in terms of age ranges, what I would like to share in this essay is about how to promote cross-cultural awareness in the class with 9 to 13 year-old students. Whether a teacher is faced with a small group of young eager learners or an older individual who is too tired to focus on language acquisition, each situation poses a different set of potential issues and requires creative solutions. Teaching young learners of different backgrounds with less life experience requires even more problem-solving when misunderstandings or opinions expression inevitably arise. Trying to understand someone from a different culture or background requires an openness to ask questions, taking time to appreciate other perspectives, and absorbing this new-found knowledge to realize that human differences compel us to learn more about similarities and differences within our communities. The first building block of promoting cultural awareness in the classroom is the act of asking questions with culture norms and taboos bearing in mind. Students from other cultures may display fear or anxiety in showing a gap of knowledge and not wanting to admit any ignorance. It is the job of teachers as leaders in the classroom to support the learning process and the significance of asking questions or fostering curiosity must be upheld in every class. Assure that students are not to be ridiculed or put down if they ask a question. There are no questions that should be skipped or brushed aside - each question, regardless of how strange or awkward it may seem, should be weighed equally in the teacher’s mind and given a proper response. If something requires additional research or thought, let the student know and show them the teacher can also continuously learn too. Another supporting aspect of cross-cultural awareness is acknowledging and appreciating other perspectives. Each individual has their own opinion and background of knowledge, so everyone will have different thoughts and actions. There may be some disagreement on how one thing came into existence or why something else is the way it is, but the teacher must always remind everyone that each person needs to respect everyone else and appreciate how a multitude of thought and knowledge can create bigger and better perspectives on life. To bring it altogether, knowing that differences make us who we are can also give people a reason to keep learning. Learning, understanding, and appreciating different cultures is equal to the exploration of different communities. Continuous learning is the antidote to ignorance, hatred, and prejudice. If you learn more about someone or the place where they are from, you’re less inclined to make incorrect assumptions or think that harmful stereotypes are true. Sharing different perspectives in the classroom can give students an opportunity to step out of their respective bubbles and give them a foundation to grow empathy and understanding. That empathy and understanding will be the key to solidifying cross-cultural links. Ultimately, one of the significant goals in teaching is to leave students with more knowledge than what they started with. Whether this knowledge is found through books, discussions, or simply asking questions, it must always be facilitated and vigilantly kept active through cross-cultural foundations and open spaces of communication with different people from various backgrounds. Cross-cultural awareness through questions, acknowledgement, and appreciation of our similarities and differences will build brighter students and better citizens of the world.