Teaching a classroom of students from diverse cultural, linguistic, social, and ethnic backgrounds remains one of the most challenging affairs to many educators. Teachers and trainers become happy and motivated when all students grasp and understand concepts taught. It becomes, even more, challenging when handling 6th through 12th-grade classrooms of struggling readers and writers of diverse backgrounds. The reason for the complexity relates to the fact that these categories of students are nearing maturity, have initial knowledge taught in their home countries, and slightly resistant to change. Managing and helping students with such difficulties demands that educators devise and employ unique strategies,
One of the strategies that can help improve literacy in a classroom of struggling readers is to understand, appreciate, and acknowledge the differences among the learners (McIntyre and Nancy 3). An educator can then give the students bilingual dictionaries that translate their individual traditional languages into the classroom language. Another strategy can involve the educator requesting the students to write explanations of how they solved mathematical problems. Such practices have the potential to make the students think deeply and express their ideas in writing. This technique has proved effective in improving the class performance of students.
Another useful strategy mentioned in blog is to organize students in discussion groups involving those understanding the accepted classroom language. Before establishing discussion groups, it is important to discourage the native students from discriminating the immigrants or the non-natives (Eustice). Discussion groups encourage communication and positive correction among the students. The social interactions among the students also work to increase the confidence of the non-natives. Increased confidence can encourage the non-natives to speak and write without fear of criticisms when they commit mistakes.
As discussed by Blake, it is also useful for educators to have printed text materials displayed on the walls of classrooms with students from diverse backgrounds. The texts become even more effective when o accompanied with images such as those of animals and identifiable objects. Students can relate the images to their native languages, understand, and grasp the corresponding naming in the classroom language.