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Canadian Content in an ESL Curriculum


Caroline Cronshaw

on 16 February 2010

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Transcript of Canadian Content in an ESL Curriculum

Canadian Culture in the ESL Classroom A Thematic Unit Study The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks The CCLB is the national standard setting body for the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). The CCLB supports and promotes the use of these national standards in educational, training, community and workplace settings. The CLB and NCLC are recognized as the official Canadian standards for describing, measuring and recognizing the language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants in both English and French. They provide a common language for the entire immigrant-serving community. The CCLB is a national, not-for-profit organization established in 1998 to support the CLB and NCLC. It is governed by a nationally representative, multi-stakeholder board of directors including representation from government, ESL and FSL experts and language assessors. Canadian Content-Themed Unit Designed for adult immigrants and refugees to Canada
Focuses on Canadian culture, including locations, holidays, national symbols, pop culture, and food. HOWEVER... What counts as 'Canadian Culture'? What doesn't?
Does the CCLB's unit give the learner a realistic, well-rounded picture of Canada and its people, customs and society?
Does the CCLB include ALL aspects of Canadian society, including the LGBT community, mentally/physically-hanicapped individuals, and First Nations/Inuit?
Sample Lesson: Tim Hortons This lesson's goals: 1. locate specific information about events and descriptions of people, places & things.
2. Predict, guess new words in familiar context.
3. Use of language, new vocabulary, appropriate content and relevant content to the occasion, intent and social context.
4. Describe times and locations with precision
If we are to follow goal number 4, maybe a Tim Hortons invitation to coffee for the particular learners described above is not appropriate. Students cannot identify with going to Tim's. Goals #2 and 3 were not very effective. Some students did not enjoy the activity because they themselves do not drink coffee. The activity assumed that everyone likes and drinks coffee, and assumes that they will go frequently to coffee shops to indulge in a common Canadian recreational activity. Is learning the history of Tim Horton's more important than learning about basic Canadian history? Issues of Representation of Minorities The unit briefly mentions First Nations peoples, plus a small portion of the traditions of the Inuit people.
However, there is no emphasis given on any of their history.
Students in the class continue to refer to them as “native indians with red skin."
It is important to talk about the language of dignity and how language changes and evolves. What should be discussed and how? Possible topics of discussion: Sexual orientation
Sex/gender issues
Gay marriage
LBGT rights and history
Perceptions of gender normality Gender equality
Feminist viewpoints and history
Gender roles in Canadian society History of minorities in Canada
First Nations/Inuit culture & history (in depth)
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Language of Respect when referring/talking to others who are culturally or ethnically different than oneself Possible Solutions & Methods Sex & Gender Issues Cultural Issues LGBT Issues Gender roles in the family
Women in the workforce
Famous women in Canadian history
Language of respect What is multiculturalism?
What is 'Canadian Culture'?
Holidays and other cultural events
First Nations/ Inuit history and culture
Histories of various cultures in Canada
Language of Respect
Race vs. ethnicity LGBT rights and equality
Gay marriage & family life
Language of respect
Stay-at-home parents
Working mothers
Daycare and babysitting
Marriage/common-law/cohabitation Equality and respect in the workplace
Dealing with discrimination/sexism at work
Examples: L.M. Montgomery
Rosemary Brown
Emily Carr
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Struggles for equality
Mistreatment of minorities in the past & present
Historical achievements Melting pot vs. Mosaic
Immigrants & Canada
Relationships with other countries
Symbols (music, arts, pop culture, etc.) Recognizing that 'First Nations' is an umbrella term
Profiling several different peoples, i.e. Iroquois, Miqmaq and Cree. December is not just for Christmas!
Various celebrations
Birthdays, weddings, solstices, etc. class discussion
groups & pairs
incorporating students' culture into the discussion!
guest speakers
field trips
cultural tolerance and acceptance
use of non-Eurocentric materials and resources in class Possible Methods: Acceptance of LGBT community & culture
Concept of LGBT Culture
Explanation of Canada's relatively positive attitude towards LGBT
Current issues of discrimination History of stigma
Significant events and milestones (i.e. Quebec adding sexual orientation to its Equal Rights list) Explanation of various terms, both positive and derogatory
Correcting those who misuse lingo/use derogatory remarks films
newspaper articles
magazine articles
field trips
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