What influence does culture have on a student’s school success

Go to the IRIS Center website and complete the module: Cultural and Linguistics Differences.http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/clde/

Click on the Challenge oval first and watch the two-minute video.

Proceed to the next oval Thoughts. Write your thoughts on the initial questions:

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What influence does culture have on a student’s school success?

How does linguistic diversity influence classroom performance?

What impact do culture and language have on a family’s involvement in school and on their child’s education?

Go to the Perspective and Resources oval and read each of the pages. Answer the three questions found on Page 4 – Communication under the title Activity.

During class, some students participate in the discussions while others sit silent. Could cultural values and beliefs about sharing personal opinions determine participation? Why or why not?

You’re engaged in conversation with a student who repeatedly interrupts you. Explain why this behavior could be culturally acceptable for some students. What could you do if this happened in your classroom?

While telling a story, a student jumps around from one idea and incident to the next, without consideration of conventional narrative sequence (i.e., beginning, middle, and end). Could this narrative style be based on culture? Why or why not?

Complete the assessment questions in the Assessment oval. Your answers should be supported with evidence from the research. Cite your sources using quotes and proper APA format.

Why is it important for teachers to reflect on cultural and linguistic diversity?

Explain the difference between BICS and CALP. Why is it necessary for teachers to understand the distinction between these two types of language proficiency?

In the Challenge, Mr. Bennett wrote notes home to Maria’s family. Why might this have proved problematic? What other options might you recommend to Mr. Bennett for communicating with Maria’s parents?

Stone, a teacher from a rural community where all the students share similar cultural backgrounds, relocate to a large city where the students come from a wide variety of cultural groups. He notices that many of his students are not performing well in class. Upon self-reflection, he realizes that because of cultural differences these students may not relate to his style of teaching or to the stories and examples he uses in class. What can Mr. Stone do to become more culturally responsive and meet the diverse needs of these students?

Sample Answer

Cultural Influence of Student School Success

  1. Culture has a more significant impact on student school success since the social norms in the school may or may not align with theirs. If a student feels different from others, for example, heavy accent and skin color, they may feel embarrassed and may not even ask questions. This leads to poor performance.
  2. Linguistic diversity may make students from low cultural backgrounds feel undervalued and, hence, isolate themselves. Valuing the language differences and cultural background boost students’ confidence. Therefore, they will succeed in their academics.
  3. Culture and language determine how the child sees success in school, how they communicate with other children, and how they understand course content. If a child feels unaccepted, they may feel embarrassed or act out, for example, remain silent or sit alone. Involving the parents and the community will increase student school success since they feel accepted despite their linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  4. Yes, cultural values and beliefs about sharing personal opinions determine participation. According to Donna Ford, a student from a Japanese background will not tell the teacher that they did not understand what they taught because their culture prefers teachers more than students. This means that students will perform poorly because they cannot ask questions even if they do not understand the course concept.
  5. Some oral traditions allow interruptions, while others consider that one person should speak at a time. When some students interrupt in class, the best approach is to urge them to listen first then talk later. This points them in the right direction that interrupting a person while speaking is inappropriate, and they will adjust accordingly.
  6. Yes, narrative styles vary based on culture. According to Alfredo Artiles, African American child may describe a story that contains many plots and may not follow the conventional storytelling format. This is because of cultural exposure and does not prove their incompetence.
  7. If a teacher is interested in learning students’ culture and linguistic diversity, a student will feel accepted and become effective in interaction and learning.

Assessment Questions

  1. BICS is a skill that determines whether a student can understand basic English like greetings, names, and the alphabet. CALP is a skill that determines advanced knowledge of the student, for example, the use of vocabulary and the ability to discuss content with others. A teacher should distinguish the two so that they can know how to instruct their students better.
  2. Mr. Bennett writing home to Maria’s family might have proved problematic because Maria’s family may have been “uncomfortable discussing questions or concerns with educators because of their limited language skills.” Moreover, the parents may have found it hard to understand the letter since the translation is in a formal language. I would recommend that Mr. Bennett hire a translator and visit Maria’s parents to communicate effectively.
  3. Mr. Stone should learn the needs of each student and incorporate diverse lesson plans and teachings. He may also tell students that it is not a crime if they ask questions or have something they want to say.


Cultural and Linguistics Differences. http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/clde/

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