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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Culture Clash and Teaching models Among Muslim ESL Learners

Culture Clash and Teaching models Among Muslim ESL Learners

There are fundamental differences in the way immigrants from Iraq learn from how other people such as Australians learn. For instance in Iraq, as mentioned above, it is expected that teachers are the ones to give ideas and information. In other words, student- teacher interactions are less frequent and restricted. These interactions always based on respect and so, it is rarely that students would challenge the point of view of their teachers.

Indeed, while this may be viewed as characterizing a limited, narrow-minded people, whose inert intellects lay fallow in incurious resignation. (Porter, 1994, p.155; cited in Le Ha, 2004, p.51), it is more of attitude of respect for teachers dictated by the local culture. On the surface, it may seem that Iraqi students would simply take in whatever is fed to them but there is more to it than simply accepting and eventually echoing the information received.

In my view, it is never possible to echo what is just received because in the end, students will always process information and take the meaning from the whole, and not in fragments. Any attempt to use significantly different models of teaching, such as Communicative Language Teaching, may lead to a clash of learning culture, a concept that may be detrimental to the learners. Guild (2001) says that “this cultural clash often causes students to struggle in school, and yet their individual strengths, if valued, respected, and promoted, would bring them success and increase their self- confidence.”

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