Today, unlike any other time in our country’s history, you can walk through most neighborhoods and notice a myriad of diverse cultures. In my community alone, I have made friends with people who come from South Africa, Norway, and Greece. As our communities become more and more culturally diverse, so have our schools. Naturally this has created some challenges for both teachers and students. Teachers need special planning and training to educate a culturally diverse student population. Likewise, students need to be aware of such efforts that the teachers will put forth for them. I will evaluate some of these challenges that teachers will face teaching a culturally diverse student population and some of the solutions that are being provided today to address these challenges.
One of the most salient challenges between the culturally diverse student and teacher is the language barrier. The language barrier can range from a student speaking English fluently to a student with very limited to no English knowledge. On any level, the English Language Learner (ELL) faces difficulties in the classroom. A solution to the language barrier is to plan ahead by having conferences with the ELL student’s parents and making accommodations for the student. Accommodations for an ELL student could be peer assistance in their heritage language, the use of a bilingual dictionary, and extra time to complete assignments. Another solution to teaching the ELL student is to be certified in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Teachers are required to be certified in this program in order for them to continue teaching. ESOL educates teachers on the different methods of teaching, testing, evaluations, and communications to help those students with issues such as the language barriers.
As the Teacher takes the required courses to become ESOL certified, the