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A. To what extend do you think language teachers should strive to respond the sociolinguistics backgrounds of students to address the educational needs of the students?. What are the difficulties that the teachers may face in doing so?

Yes, I think language teachers should strive to respond the sociolinguistics backgrounds of students to address the educational needs of the students, firstly, to the one should always assume that there is a significant possibility that cultural differences are causing communication problems, and be willing to be patient and forgiving, rather than hostile and aggressive, if problems develop. One should respond slowly and carefully in crosscultural exchanges, not jumping to the conclusion that you know what is being thought and said. William Urys suggestion for heated conflicts is to stop, listen, and think, or as he puts it "go to the balcony" when the situation gets tense. By this he means withdraw from the situation, step back, and reflect on what is going on before you act. This helps in cross cultural communication as well. When things seem to be going badly, stop or slow down and think. What could be going on here? Is it possible I misinterpreted what they said, or they misinterpreted me? Often misinterpretation is the source of the problem. Active listening can sometimes be used to check this outby repeating what one thinks he or she heard, one can confirm that one understands the communication accurately. If words are used differently between languages or cultural groups, however, even active listening can overlook misunderstandings. Often intermediaries who are familiar with both cultures can be helpful in cross-cultural communication situations. They can translate both the substance and the manner of what is said. For instance, they can tone down strong statements that would be considered appropriate in one culture but not in another, before they are given to people from a culture that does not talk together in such a strong way.

They can also adjust the timing of what is said and done. Some cultures move quickly to the point; others talk about other things long enough to establish rapport or a relationship with the other person. If discussion on the primary topic begins too soon, the group that needs a "warm up" first will feel uncomfortable. A mediator or intermediary who understands this can explain the problem, and make appropriate procedural adjustments.
In the other hand, Classroom management refers to those activities of classroom teachers that create a positive classroom climate within which effective teaching and learning can occur (Martin & Sugarman, p.9, 1993). Research on student-directed management approach, which is rooted in the belief that students have the primary responsibility for controlling their behavior and are capable of controlling their behavior, identify teachers adopting the following classroom management concepts: student ownership, student choice, community, conflict resolution, natural consequences, and restitution (Levin, 2000). These concepts are operationalized in the routines of how students enter the classroom, what students are tasked to do upon entering a classroom (e.g., do now), how desks and tables are arranged (i.e., cooperative groups versus rows), and the ways in which learning is shared via communication between students. However, Culturally Responsive Classroom Management (CRCM) is an approach to running classrooms with all children, [not simply for racial/ethnic minority children] in a culturally responsive way. More than a set of strategies or practices, CRCM is a pedagogical approach that guides the management decisions that teachers make. It is a natural extension of culturally responsive teaching which uses students backgrounds, rendering of social experiences, prior knowledge, and learning styles in daily lessons.

Teachers, as culturally responsive classroom managers, recognize their biases and values and reflect on how these influence their expectations for behavior and their interactions with students as well as what learning looks like.

Knowledge of Students Cultural Backgrounds

In addition, in order to develop skills for cross cultural interaction, teachers need to become knowledgeable of students cultural backgrounds (Sheets and Gay, 1996). Gaining general knowledge about a cultural or ethnic group can give teachers a sense of views about behavior, rules of decorum and etiquette, communication and learning styles; however, you need to be careful not to form stereotypes. This knowledge can act as a firewall against inappropriate referral to special education. Some things teachers might consider: 1. Form study groups to read culturally responsive literature that reflects the identities of the students in their classrooms. 2. Work with their students to develop family history projects in which students explore their cultural backgrounds and share them with the class. 3. Conduct home visits and consult with parents and community members to gain insight. Some areas teachers can explore include: family background and structure, education, interpersonal relationship styles, discipline, time and space, religion, food, health and hygiene, history, traditions and holidays (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, Curran, 2004). The next step along this path is to reflect on the ways that classroom management practices promote or obstruct equal access to learning. These practices include creating a physical setting that supports academic and social goals, establishing and maintaining expectations for behavior, and working with families (Weinstein, Curran, TomlinsonClarke, 2003). Culturally responsive classroom managers filter their decision making about the environment through the lens of cultural diversity.

They think about ways the environment can be used to communicate respect for diversity, to reaffirm connectedness and community, and to avoid marginalizing and disparaging students. Some tools and strategies for organizing the physical environment may include: World maps that highlight students countries of origin. Signs or banners can welcome students in the different languages they speak. Posters can depict people of various cultural groups (although care must be taken to avoid stereotypical representations). Childrens individual photographs can be mounted on poster board and then used to create a jigsaw puzzle, reinforcing the idea that everyone comes together to form a whole. Display books that promote themes of diversity, tolerance and community. Desks arranged in clusters allow students to work together on activities, share materials, have small-group discussions, and help each other with assignments. Set up a kindness box where students can drop brief notes about acts of kindness they do or witness and periodically read one It is important to establish clear expectations for behavior that students understand (Weiner, 2003). To avoid the possibility of confusion or misunderstanding (that can lead to disciplinary interventions) teachers need to: Be explicit about their expectations. Engage students in discussions about the class norms. Model the behavior they expect Provide opportunities for students to practice. Be aware of inconsistency in application of consequences.

Communicating and collaborating with families is an important, but challenging part of classroom management. When teachers and families come from different cultural backgrounds the challenges are even greater (Weinstein, 2003). Things for teachers to keep in mind: Some families dont see direct involvement in schooling as part of their responsibility, although they are committed to their childrens education. However the difficulties that the teacher may face are, multicultural classrooms contain language challenges for all teachers. In English language classroom, word problems are a particular context where these challenges become more visible. To successfully meet these challenges, the mathematics teacher needs a strategy for uncovering them and then a strategy or collection of strategies to deal with them. Luckily these exist in a process called Newman's Error Analysis (NEA). Anne Newman an Australian educator in the 1970s defined five specific reading skills as being crucial to performance on word problems: reading, comprehension, transformation, process skills, and encoding. In her initial study, Newman (1977, 1983) found that almost half the errors made, involved language issues.

B. Do you think it is possible to build a dialogical community of learners in the multicultural and, multilingual Malaysian language classrooms where (students) become teachers and teachers (become) learners ( Osterling & Fox, 2004;492)? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this approach? I think it is possible to build a dialogical community of learners in the multicultural and multilingual Malaysian language classrooms where (students) become teachers and teachers become learners, because the benefits and drawbacks of this approach are, firstly the sociocultural theory proposes the idea that activities regardless, of whether they are in the workplace or in classrooms, do not always unfold smoothly (Lantolf, 2000). Based on this understanding, each situation is seen significant for providing an explanation to another situation. Therefore, it is important to locate the understanding of classroom situations on a framework that will shape our understanding of that particular context. A sociocultural perspective on language, culture and learning, for instance, perceives a classroom as sociocultural communities that give rise to issues concerning the languages and cultures of a classroom (Hall, 2002). Both teachers and learners, as the community of the classroom of this nature, create their understanding and expectation through daily norms and routines that they themselves engage in. Within this, they share certain types of understanding that will legitimate themselves as members of this classroom community. Both teacher and learners will assume certain roles that help them to function and position themselves in this community of practice (Wenger, 1998). These understandings will help learners to develop themselves as language learners and users within that classroom context.

On the other hand, the teacher gains insights of learners, as members of a particular group, and at the same time is made aware of individual learners with different abilities, as well as social and cultural backgrounds. In spite of it, in dialogic education, students, teachers, and content are related intersubjectively.
Different disciplines have contributed to the understanding of such relations. One source for understanding the intersubjective nature of instruction is the philosophical hermeneutics of HansGeorg Gadamer (1982: 1960; Smith, 1993). Gadamer proposed a dialogical mode of knowing through shared conversation regarding the interpretation of texts. Furthermore, an educational community is intersubjective in nature when all parties relate to one another as having a sense of agency and a unique perspective. In such a community there is not a knowing subject (e.g., the teacher) and a known object (e.g., the student or the content of instruction). Rather, all three elementsthe teacher, the student, and the contentrelate in an intersubjective, interpretive community. In this community, roles such as teacher and student are still significant. However, the nature of the dialogic conversation changes power relations in contrast to conventional pedagogy. Particularly, the nature of the conversation is such that the students become agents in the hermeneutic community. Students roles change from being passive learners to becoming co-creators. In expressing his or her perspective, a student co-creates along with other students and the teacher a shared world in which difference is expressed and respected. Power is shared mutually in this co-created community Of course the primary mission of education is to deliver content knowledge in specific disciplines, programs, and courses. However, in addition to the what of communication (information), practices in the how of educational process as well as shared inquiry regarding the why of practice augment content. Relations of the teacher with content and the teacher with student form an integral part of the instructional process. Also crucial is the relation between student and student. Indeed, these relations affect students relation with the content and the content itself. Overall, these relations are formulated, maintained, and altered through conversation. Figure 1 shows these three intersubjective elements.

Figure 1: The Intersubjective Relationships where Teachers, Students, and Content all Have Perspectives in a Hermeneutic Community

The relationship between the teacher and student affects the relationship either has with the content of instruction. For example, a student who dislikes a teacher may be encouraged also to dislike the content. A teacher who dislikes a student may present the content in a different manner with different details and consequently affect the relationships among all parties in the conversation. The benefits and drawbacks of this approach are; that teachers need to think about what are the

students feeling. As teachers, one good way to do this is to look back in our school years and remembered what we went through when we were students. We will realize that most of the kids have problems with their teachers. I do not believe that there are students who have not encounter a problem with the teacher. Therefore, I do not think there is a perfect relationship between teachers and students because the relationship of teachers and students is perfect. Therefore, teachers priority should only be the benefit of the students feelings.

Often, there is a debate about if a teacher should be a role model for students. Teachers are respect by society because they are view as knowledgeable about different subjects of school. I believe that even if teachers do not like to be point out as being role models I certainly think they are. Teachers have the qualities to be or become role models for students. Why? Because most teachers respect, love, care, instruct, and guide their students to become a successful person. Students view teacher as being wise therefore they look up for them. Students know that if they need something they just need to ask them. Kids learn from every lesson the teacher gives.

Therefore, I believe that a teacher have an enormous responsibility on his/her actions. Even if teachers are considered to be role models I believe they still make mistakes. It is normal to make mistakes because is our nature of being humans. At the same time, students should not look to their teacher to copy them but rather to compare and to see the mistakes to not do them in our lives. Students should concentrate in doing their work and being proud of the way they are. All teachers have the key to provide a good environment for the students. The benefits of having a pleasant environment are for the teacher and students. But before that happens a teacher needs to be well prepared in order that the students receive the best treat. It is essential and crucial for teachers to be prepared because the first years of school are very important for the students. The future education success of the students depends on their first years. Its never late to star a bound of a relationship between teacher and students. Consequently, the contact of the students with the teacher is an everyday act. Even though, there will be some days in which students will have impropriate but other days where there will not be a problem at all.


As humans, sometimes teachers do things that are not correct however we always have another chance to do it better. In conclusion, I strongly believe that teachers need to show respect, caring, become role models, make a pleasant environment, treat students right, instructs them but not be totalitarian, and guides them through the road of success. The only who gets the benefits are the students and sometimes it could be a negative or positive.



Vella, J. (2002). Learning to listen, Learning to teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Arnett, R. (1992). Dialogic education: Conversations about ideas and between persons. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press

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