“How teachers view the home language of students and their families plays a significant role in teachers’ expectations and respect for students’ cultures. Speaking a different dialect or language…should not prejudice teachers’ attitudes towards children. But it too often does” (Perry & Delpit, 1998, p. xiv). Respecting and honoring a child’s home language is an essential t objective for any teacher. The success in integrating each child’s home language into the classroom, though often not done, has critical implications to a child’s sense of self and literacy development. The importance of this cannot be underestimated. With that said, what is often misunderstood is that in addition to home language each individual child (and adult) has developed his or her own individualized style of communication. Much like other “ways of being” in the world, communication styles and preferences relate to one’s own multiple cultural identities and thus are very complex and individual. To become an anti-bias educator, it is imperative that you analyze your own communication styles and preference in order to effectively support children and families who communicate in similar and dissimilar ways from you.
By Day 2
Post in response to the following prompts:
- How did your family communicate? Was respectful silence appreciated? Were nonverbal cues important? Was there an expectation to speak up and to the point? Was communication generally direct or indirect?
- What type of guidance did your family use, i.e., in what ways were family values and rules taught?
- How do these responses and behaviors differ from other families you know (especially families who seem very different from your own)? What are your thoughts about those differences?
- What occurs when you interact with someone with a different way of communicating? Do you ever feel any strong emotions?