ESL 01 Developing Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity


  • Sponsored by Midwestern IU IV

  • Act 48 Credits: 3 graduate-level credits (PA Dept. of Education Approved)

  • Act 48 CPE Hours: 90

  • Course Instructor: Susan Evans

  • Course Duration: 8 Weeks

  • Course Type: Facilitated

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Course Description: As the diverse population of the United States increasingly grows, it is important in our communities and public schools to develop cultural competence to overcome language and cultural barriers. This course is based upon knowledge of behaviors, beliefs and attitudes of a multicultural approach to learning. It also includes cultural awareness activities for promoting school staff understanding about other cultures and in comparison to American culture and strategies for working with English Language Learners. Participants will examine socio-linguistic aspects of U.S. and world cultures, sources of cross-cultural conflict, and approaches to cross-cultural conflict resolution as they relate to K-12 settings, their communities and the communities in which they teach.

Course Objectives: participants will demonstrate the ability to…

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the processes of negotiating one’s cultural identity.

  2. Differentiate among the varied processes of cultural transitions, including acculturation, assimilation, biculturation and resistance.

  3. Identify negative effects of prejudice, stereotyping and ethnocentrism on language learners’ successful learning in schools and promote pro-social classroom learning environment.

  4. Recognize cultural bias in curriculum and materials and use a range of resources to deliver instruction.

  5. Demonstrate effective intercultural communication skills to appreciate diverse cultures.

  6. Develop effective techniques for communication between home and school by recognizing and supporting the preferred mode of communication of the parent/guardian (written, oral, L1, L2, etc.) and utilizing interpretation and translation resources appropriately.

  7. Demonstrate understanding of the interdependence of language and culture to facilitate students’ transition between the home culture/language and U.S. school culture/language.

  8. Integrate diverse ways of learning and multiple cultural perspectives, including building on ELLs’ strengths, into the planning/adapting of curriculum and instructional methods.

  9. Use research in the field of ESL to articulate a personal educational philosophy for instructing ELL’s.

  10. Create a personal professional development plan based on interests and reflection, taking advantage of opportunities to support those goals in professional associations and other academic organizations.