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Critical reader response - Book Report/Review Example

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Lessons On Local Culture: The Need Of ESL Classes The article “Pop culture and ESL students: intertextuality, identity, and participation in classroom discussion”, written by Patricia Duff, is an excellent article portraying the difficulties that ESL students from different countries face due to the lack of knowledge about the culture, social patterns, media and lifestyle of local people…
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Critical reader response
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Download file to see previous pages She found that the extended discussion of every subject always turned to the relevant programs, characters or artists from pop culture mediums. Patricia Duff has given an example of how the reading of an article called ‘cyber ethics’ by a teacher in the classroom led to references to pop culture programs like Ally McBeal, Simpsons etc. When the classroom discussion turned to the pop culture items from television or music, the ESL students were totally petrified due to lack of knowledge of the pop culture items and the ethnic aspects of local people. They were unable to participate in the discussion as they were scared of being ridiculed if they say something wrong about those topics. Hence, even after learning the English language, the ESL students remain isolated in the school due to the lack of understanding of the nuances of the local culture. The author has drawn the reader’s attention to the fact that along with the need of teaching English language to the students who have migrated from other countries to Canada, there is also a need to introduce them to the cultural aspects of the country. The article has practically expressed what ESL students feel in their heart. Critical Response There are two very interesting and essential points in Duff’s article really struck me a lot. The first point is the author’s statement that pop culture plays an essential role in shaping the social and cultural identities, knowledge, social participation pattern and beliefs of people in the West. This is true because, if one observes the behavior pattern of students, then one realizes that their behavior is influenced a lot by the pop culture icons they idolize. Hence, the article made me realize that the ESL students need to learn not only the technicalities of language but also the essence and the culture that has led to the creation of English language. Language is used not only to describe the things around, but is also filled with the information and ideas about the culture. The article stimulates the ESL teachers to rethink their teaching strategies as it has shown that language is handicap without the support of the relevant culture knowledge. The article motivates the language teachers to make conscious effort in getting the ESL students acquainted with pop culture items. The second good point in Duff’s article is the suggestion that in the beginning of the year, teachers should conduct a media literature survey for students to know what pop culture mediums the students follow. This is a good technique for teachers to understand the level of cultural knowledge of the ESL students in the class. However, in my opinion, just knowing their cultural knowledge is not enough because different students follow different pop culture mediums and their choices are different. Hence, instead of depending on their existing knowledge, the language teachers should give a home work of watching a particular show on the TV. This will help them to steer their discussions towards those pop culture mediums which are followed and enjoyed by everyone in the classroom. Doing this will help both, the ESL students and the local students, to participate in the classroom discussion equally. Duff has discussed some good points about the influence of pop culture in the classrooms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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