Working with learners from around the world can lead to wonderful new learning and sharing. It can also lead to discomfort and misunderstanding, and even conflict. Since I am a strong believer in ‘knowledge is power’, finding out more about the cultural and educational backgrounds of learners in my classrooms is high on my priority list. However, given that the demands of supporting English as an Additional Language Learners [EALs] – or ELLs as they are now called in BC – is already a very very busy task, there never seems enough time to find out more.
Luckily, I have been able to convert some of my thirst for information into a project for groups of teachers who are studying to learn more themselves as well as teacher candidate classes at the University of British Columbia. There are brief overviews being created from areas as diverse as Ethiopia and Colombia. At intervals these culture and education overviews will be posted for your information. Please offer feedback, ask questions and otherwise engage. We would all love to hear from you.
There are more to come but at this point, we have posted the following. Simply click on the name to view the study.
One additional study that considers a unique perspective is foussed on Jehovahs Witnesses. It is located here.