158. How can we teach an ESL student our culture and traditions.

Great Question!!! There are many ways to help students become aware of, understand, practice and adopt our cultural behaviors and traditions. Students learn new cultural behavior patterns and new traditions the same way they learned their first cultural behavior patterns and traditions.

It is NOT easy to become bi-cultural, but it is possible with the teacher's help. For example, some students need to become aware and understand our concept of "time." We need to be punctual in our daily assignments. A good place to begin is making the student aware that (s)he must keep a schedule. Thus, teachers must help students keep track of time and keep track of their daily class assignments.

This awareness may need to be extended to the student's family. Parents may need to be taught about keeping a schedule along with their children. It is going to take lots of practice, building motivation and rewarding punctuality.  But it will pay off over time as students develop the "habits" (cultural behaviors) we practice within our culture and traditions.

Cultural behaviors and traditions include ALL aspects of our daily life, including the kinds of food we eat, the way we dress, the tools we use for many activities, the way we think. Teachers must help students acquire all these new ways of doing things.

And, by the way, remember that even within the USA we have many different cultural behaviors and traditions. Thus, "our" culture and traditions may depend on where YOU were born and raised. In other parts of the USA, other cultures and traditions may prevail.

Thus, we need to think of our ESL students as students coming from "just any other state in the USA," students whose own culture and traditions are not "wrong" but just different from "ours," whatever "ours" may mean.


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net