Multicultural education refers to a teaching and learning method, which exposes students to various cultures, social groups, and traditions, with an aim of helping the students have a better understanding of different cultures. The first benefit is that is creates equal representation in the educational curriculum. Educators understand that learning is simple when students can link it to personal meaning. Through multicultural education, students can create a personal meaning to various concepts.
The US is the most preferable place for many people for building a better life. Some immigrants come along with their cultures. Many foreign-born parents are enrolling their children in schools, which results in a demographic bulge which is moving through the school system. This has resulted to an increase in the number of non-English speaking students in the US. The main problem resulting from the cultural diversity in American schools is inability of non-English speaking students to learn, and communication failure between teachers and students.
Studies have shown that about 157,500 Chinese people studied in the US colleges in 2011. Chinese students face difficulties fitting into the American society, leave alone fitting into the US education system. The adjustment from Chinese culture to American culture can often result in fatigue, which, in its turn, may lead to isolation.
China’s educational system, unlike the US one, emphasizes tests. On the other hand, the US educational system focuses on all aspects of an individual, including things like leadership, teamwork, creativity and hands-on experience, which Chinese students lack. The similarity is that both education systems teach English with a varying emphasis on its importance for future education. The Chinese education system requires everyone to be taught English in school, despite the non-English background of the country.
Non-English speaking students exhibit deficiencies when communicating in English. These students face problems when trying to access academic support and understand lecturers` accents and styles of teaching. Full-time employment is another challenge faced by non-English speaking students. The US graduate survey indicates that non-English speaking students are more than twice to seek full-time employment as English speaking students.
Efficient teaching concerning these two cultural groups can best take place in a setting that accepts, encourages and respects the expression of each culture. Educational institutions should have comprehensive, systematic, and continuing staff development programs. With regard to classroom management strategies, teachers should design a classroom in a special way, thus showing respect and appreciation of cultural diversity, including Chinese culture.