Cultural Awareness to Enhance Communication Between School Teachers and Families

By: Andres Felipe Restrepo  

A positive relationship between school teachers and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) parents affects students’ school performance and academic achievement. Unfortunately, language differences make the connection with families difficult, and being unaware of the culturally-based elements that take place in intercultural interactions makes the communication confusing. Encouraging school teachers to embrace the challenge of understanding CLD families can enhance communication and improve the relationships. This study describes a professional development workshop that engages school teachers in discussions and practical support of intercultural communication elements. Participants are invited to evaluate their own social values and characteristics and work in teams to implement best practices to enhance the interactions with families. The practices and principles in this session catch the attention of its participants by engaging real life experiences and fun activities. In addition to this, the principles in this research can be applied to any encounter a teacher or any other professional may have with a CLD person in different intercultural situations.

Cultural awareness,
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Virtual Lightning Talk

Andres Felipe Restrepo

ESL teacher, ESL-South Smithfield Elementary, Johnston Public Schools

My name is Andres Restrepo. I am from Armenia, Colombia. I am 32 years old and I have a blessed marriage. I am an English teacher and I have a Master's in TESOL. I have been living in the US since 2015; I work in an Elementary school in North Carolina. Currently, I am a candidate for a doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction in Valdosta State University in Georgia, USA. I am passionate about expanding my understanding of Cultures and realting it into our working practices. I believe in connecting people by being aware of our similarities and being amazed at our diferences.