Teach English in Shiyantou Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Culture can be defined as the way of life of a group of people. Classroom is a terminology used to describe a room in which a class of pupils or students is taught. It could be then deduced that, in the classroom there is high possibility of the presence of different kinds of cultures. Whichever way it may be, whether it is only the teacher that is of different origin or the students that are from different countries. There would always be the presence of people with different cultural background. Cultural sensitivity in classroom can simply be explained as the quality or state of being able to appreciate the feelings of one another in the class by way of respecting their approach to issues, the way they deal with other people in the same class with them, their lifestyle in general and more. Cultural sensitivity especially in the classroom can be best approach in a most effective way by acknowledging the categories of people that may be in the classroom as indicated above. Firstly, in a scenario which is usually the case, the teacher is always the one with a different culture. In essence, the teacher, in this case the qualified TEFL teacher is presumed to be the one with the different culture as he or she may be the one that has traveled to teach in another country. Although the teacher might have probably studied about the desired country’s culture, when he or she finally gets there. He or she has to acknowledge and respect the culture of the indigenes. For the teacher to acknowledge the natives culture is to accept the truth of the culture. For the teacher to respect their culture is to give due regards to their culture. Once the teacher accepts the culture, submitting to it and being part of it would not be an issue. In the classroom the teacher will then find it less stressful in handling and respecting the way of life of the students in the classrooms. The teacher then would have to learn the aspect of the student’s culture that places a responsibility on him or her. Then again, the teacher has to work on his or herself also by letting go of his own culture that may be deemed to be a disrespect or contradiction to the student’s culture simply because it is the students home. Other ways to handle this, is also for the teacher to speed up efforts in learning and getting accustomed to the student’s culture so as to be able to apply it whether in a language wise, learning how to prepare, eat or enjoy their food, wear their dress among others. Secondly, another instance is also on the part of the students or learners. Where they have to get used to the teacher’s culture not by learning from it but by respecting it and not find it strange so that most importantly it would not interfere with the learning process. Thirdly, there could also be situation where there may be a different learner or students. A student who is from a totally different cultural background, that also need equal attention for a successful class. In this case, the teacher and the other students need to accept the way of life of the different culture of the other students. The whole essence will not be to have the students learning different cultures but to get used to it so as not to find it strange and inconvenient. In conclusion, the foremost step towards effective and harmonious co-existence in a culturally sensitive classroom (in other words the main thing to do or way to go about acknowledging and respecting culture especially in the classroom) is not to find it strange but to have a great deal of tolerance, be quick to learn and also have a healthy respect for individual personalities regardless of the places of origin.