Respond to the discussion #1 below using the three approaches:
1. Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information or research.
2. Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
3. Validate an idea with your own experience and additional resources.
There is much more diversity seen in education today. This creates a challenge for educators in the classroom (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). The typical demographic of the white female nursing student is quickly changing and as educators we need to accommodate this diversity in our classrooms (Adeniran & Smith-Glasgow, 2010). Today the non-traditional nursing student is known to be diverse. These diverse students are considered to be non-traditional students. These students consist of those under the age of 25, male, member of an ethnic or minority group, and those that speak English as a second language (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). In this discussion I will focus on the English as second language (ESL) student, and strategies to promote a positive learning environment.
I have spent a few years now in the field of nursing education. I encounter many students that have accents and English as their second language. I have noticed that many of these students struggle academically. At first I could not understand why they struggle when most of them speak very good English. It was a young lady who brought to my attention that she did not understand the meaning of many English words especially medical terms. Many ESL students have difficulties with medical language, nursing language, and American language (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). At that point I realized that I held a bias against these students. I felt they just did not have what it takes to succeed in this field. I was wrong and felt horrible for thinking this. This was an eye opening experience and a lesson learned. What she taught me was that these students are like everyone else, but they may require some additional help along the way.
I am always willing to help any student who is struggling to succeed. This situation was one that helped me to better understand just how to help these ESL students. In order to promote a positive learning environment for these students I had to first be aware of my own values, beliefs, and biases. This awareness is necessary in creating an inclusive learning environment (Adeniran & Smith-Glasgow, 2010).
A second strategy is to listen and learn. It is important to listen to what our students are saying and accommodate different learning styles by using a variety of teaching strategies (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). Once I listened I was better able to understand the student’s learning needs.
Lastly, know what resources are available at your campus to accommodate ESL students (Bednarz, Schim, & Doorenbos, 2010). I refer my students to our learning assistance center. This is a free service for them and has proven to be very beneficial.