4. How do you teach Cross-Cultural Understanding? How about Positive Self-Image and Self-Esteem?

The development of "Cultural Understanding" is a key goal of school programs today. Students need to know why their perceptions of "reality" are "colored" by the lenses of their own culture, and how that same "reality" is perceived differently by others from other cultures. Perceptions trigger behaviors, actions, reactions, and feelings. Behaviors, actions, reactions and feelings are, thus, different for different peoples from different cultures. Students need to understand their own culture and the cultures of others.

Positive Self-Image and Self-Esteem: Research continues to show that successful learners, life-long learners, motivated learners are students who perceive themselves in a very positive light and who value themselves highly. Positive self-image and positive self-esteem help enhance student academic achievement. Thus, the development of a positive self-image and of positive self-esteem are very important goals of all educational programs. Teachers have a very significant role to play in the development of their students’ positive self-image and self-esteem. Teachers help students by teaching them the positive language of self-image and self esteem. The English language has approximately 3,000 positive adjectives that students need to master, words like “….healthy, hopeful, optimistic, fun-loving, vigorous, energetic, satisfied, relaxed, low level of anxiety, friendly, caring, loving, concerned about others, trusting, thoughtful, tender, accepted, regarded, admired, recognized as an individual, courteous, responsible, self-controlled, self-directed, cooperative, participative, influential, persuasive, responsible for self, aware, informed, alert, sensitive, open-minded, wise, purposeful, rational, empathetic, understanding, achieving, accomplishing, competent, artistic, clever, proficient, resourceful, masterful, able, capable, …” Teachers need to define these words for their students through desirable and positive actions that students can perform in the classroom, school, their communities, at home, as citizens. For example, a second grade teacher helped her students learn the meaning of “capable” by identifying the following actions: “ collects/passes out papers and materials; checks off homework, does room monitor jobs, works independently, tutors/helps peers, follows rules.” A high school teacher defined “supportive” as a student who “…Follows class rules and instructions; has positive words for all students in cooperative groups throughout the task; and reminds other students of specific assignments so overall project is successful.” Together teachers and students can define the positive words of self-image and self esteem, and include in the definition many desirable and positive actions. With a total vocabulary of 3,000 positive words, and with millions and millions of desirable and positive actions to define these words, the development of positive self-image and self esteem is a learning task that must begin in Pre-Kinder and expand with each successive grade throughout the entire school and real life of all individuals.

For practical purposes you may check the Bilingual / Cross-Cultural Checklist For Multicultural Classrooms based on research and legal compliance. It is the result of a collaborative effort of the students in CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK's PLC 651 class at San Diego State University in the spring of 1994.




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