Kapravelou Alexia: Multicultural education in schools: principles and general implications in language teaching

In this review proposal I shall present the main social principles and general language teaching implications of multicultural school education. Language socialization is a dynamic process of interaction during life, as people participate in modern societies, define and redefine themselves according to their new roles and either agree or resist to roles formed by others. Education and learning is set in real human expectations, hopes, and outlooks, and in the expression of emotions through individual and collective ways of studying. According to critical pedagogy of Paulo Freire, every student carries his/her living language and culture in class. During teaching, pupils are encouraged to use their first language, so that they will not be alienated from their own cultural contexts. The educator searches, discusses and learns together with the students. Aiming at cultivating social relations in class, teachers may organize activities, such as team-work projects interchanging knowledge and experiences, and they may offer chances for round-table dialogue between school and students’ families.
These initiatives help develop stability and safety, necessary variables for success in second/foreign language teaching. Deepening language study, teachers and students may explore the social and political meaning of literacy, which derives from the social division of labour and the inequalities, such as gender, racial, ethnic, etc., so that a useful discussion about language classism, racism and sexism could start. Teachers encourage immigrant children’s participation, if they communicate more openly, set questions to pupils about themselves and their life, understand them, do not embarrass them, do not themselves or they do not allow others ignore their students.