Master of Arts (M.A.)
I am a preschool teacher that works with culturally and linguistically diverse three and four year old students. My classroom is the bridge between home and elementary school. At home they are raised within their home culture and in elementary school they will be taught in an English-only school model. I asked myself how could I incorporate a teaching approach that maintains the students' cultural identity while preparing them to transition into an English only schooling environment. My review of the literature affirmed the importance of incorporating the children's culture into the curriculum and teaching pedagogy; to respect, appreciate, value and celebrate in their home culture while introducing them to their new culture. I incorporated these elements of a teaching approach that supported acculturation into my teaching practice. The children demonstrated enthusiasm and positive self-esteem through the activities that connected them to their home culture as well as activities that introduced them to their new culture. They also displayed a motivation and preference to speak English during certain parts of the daily routine and Spanish during other parts. The struggle in carrying out my goal was consistently present throughout the findings of this study. I gained a deeper understanding of culture and how culture is different for each family. I realized that within my teaching practice that supported acculturation, I could support the children's cultural roots and give them advantages necessary to be successful in my classroom, but they will acculturate or assimilate in response to the many varying influences in their lives.
Rossi, Karen, "Second language learners : incorporating culture and heritage in effective early childhood education practices" (2009). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 522.