It is the aim of this essay to assess the types of curricular and related activities that can be used to increase awareness of cross-cultural language differences among teachers and among children. In the American schooling system, the percentage of white teachers is by a large degree greater than that of teachers from ethnic minorities. In most cases, this leads to less interaction among teachers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, in urban schools, the interaction between these teachers becomes increasingly common, attributable to the multiculturalism of urban areas. Sometimes, the teachers may not know how to treat their colleagues who are from different cultural groups and who speak different languages. As a way of bridging the cultural differences, teachers should use some aspects of the curriculum to familiarize themselves with different cultures. For example, teachers can hold discussions amongst themselves and review how different their histories are, while also acknowledging the similarities in their cultures. Teachers with ability to speak multiple languages should also act as bridges and translate information for their colleagues. Teachers may also engage in other activities such as giving each other cultural souvenirs to facilitate cultural awareness and interaction. Once teachers are able to exist harmoniously with each other despite their cultural and language differences, it then becomes easier to teach learners who speak different languages and who have different cultural origins. The curriculum should be one of the tools used to promote cultural and lingual differences among learners. A good curriculum is one which emphasizes on the benefits of cultural diversity and teaches learners to embrace their cultural and language differences. For example, the curriculum should ensure that learners are taught different histories, languages and cultures. This type of education teaches learners to respect each other’s culture and shun racism and discrimination. According to Hill the classroom should be treated like a public place, where slurry comments should not be entertained lest such comments end up hurting an individual’s pride and identity (201). As Hill states, it is the responsibility of a censurer to ensure that speakers do not make racist or culturally offensive statements all in the name of “light talk” (203). In the school setting, this role of censorship should be taken up by the teacher. By treating all cultures with respect, the teacher acts as a role model for students to do the same. In designing the curriculum, experts should be very careful in choosing the most appropriate language of instruction, bearing in mind the diverse cultures represented by learners. The language of instruction according to Fought plays a key role in the educational development of a child (185). Although the instructional or standard language in most schools is English, the teacher should enhance learner understanding by asking students to give the equivalents in their native language or mother tongue, of words used in the instructional language. However, the use of coded language and slang should be discouraged from the school setting. The use of slang African-American slang sometimes brings about conflicts. The same goes for coded language where for example, American children know that whenever an English word contains the Spanish “
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