Teaching Children Who Come from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds

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New Zealand is a diverse and multicultural society, some ethnic groups established themselves in Aotearoa many decades ago such as the Chinese, Croatian and Indian communities and other groups have arrived more recently such as Koreans and South African(student guide). As an early childhood teachers that it is important to appreciate, understand and respect different cultural and religious ideas. The whole environment of early childhood setting needs to reflect a multicultural and multilingual approach. In Te Whariki state: " The families of all children should feel that belong and are able to participate in the early childhood education program and in decision making(Ministry of Education,1996)". There are some strategies I have to discuss to support children and families who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Firstly, teachers should have the awareness of where are the children and their families come from, their religion and their culture. Children do not choose their religion, they are born into it, as children grow up, they need to feel that they belong to the group. The early childhood setting is often the first group outside the family and its friendship network that the child joins. It is important when welcoming families to a setting that they feel a sense of belonging.

Secondly, teachers can using every day activities to explore different cultures. It is particularly important to introduce children to different cultures through the activities of daily life, such as cooking. Teachers can encouraging children to use what they know, that children gain by using their own cultural experience and knowledge in an open way. Invite parents and whanau to come, cooking their cultural food with th...

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...hey have had to other languages. If there are non-English speaking parents and children enroll in the centre, teachers should encourage children and parents/whanau to speak their first language with bilingual teachers, and they can ask other parents who speak the same language to help translate information with these parents and children.

As the early childhood teachers, they should have a responsibility to ensure that they provide are culturally responsive to all the children and their families who are enroll to the centre. It is very important to building and maintaining relationships with children and families, so that teachers have a good understanding of their value and beliefs. This knowledge is very helpful for the teachers to respect for children learning from their home, and using the resources for planning and teaching the divers culture of the world.
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