Proposal: Culturally responsive education program in California K-12 education program

1. Background of the study

California is one of the most populous states in America with a diverse ancestral and racial makeup. The state is composed of Asians, whites, African American multiracial, pacific islanders, Hispanic Latino a well as Native Americans. Considering the above culturally diversity, it has come to the attention of the committee that k-12 program is one of the most important programs in the school backed by years of research. It is the most important education program in the life of any school going child as it is designed to prepare students early enough in life as they prepare to take up responsible position in the community (Palmer, 2010, pp. 94–114). Based on the above argument, the committee has deemed it fit to suggest an amendment to the current k-12 education program to make it effective, individualized and affordable to all in such as a way that all the cultures are considered as part of the student learning experience

2. Context and relevance

Statement of the problem/issue

California is not only composed of Native American, but also immigrant families with their children, while these children attend both public and private schools, California is amongst the schools known for its inclusion program. However, despite the advanced program, the state is plagued by one major problem, the issue of immigrant families from diverse background. Most of the California parents are immigrant who have problems example, the problems of language brokering in which children from the immigrant families are tasked with translating communication for parents., it is important to note that ethnic, cultural as well as identify factors play a major role in language acquisition in the community (Valencia, &, Black, 2002, pp. 81–103). Considering the important role played by children in the family in terms of language brokerage, the K-12 programs should be modified to allow the children to learn their cultural heritage. This may mean learning new language (native language) in addition to English language. In this context, the student will learn the importance of cultural heritage value orientation, as well as ethnic identity. Ogbu, (1987, pp. 312-334), in his analysis of the variability in minority school performance stated that immigrant students are introduced into an education system where they have to undergo acculturation. In the California school, the frequent language brokers tend to score higher than the infrequent and non-language brokers do. Considering this skewness in the performance of the students based on their language brokering history, it become clear that the important of learning an ethnic language and developing and ethnic identity. It is also important to note that language brokerage experience can contribute effectively in the life of young adults who come from immigrant families (Banks, & Behar-Horenstein, 2011, pp. 198-223).

Overview of root causes of the problem/issue

K-12 education program are developed on existing tried and tested academic models and more students are enrolling in California school especially from the immigrant families. Additionally, just like the other non-conventional program like the dance program, the k-12 program should be modified to allow for additional learning program such as language brokerage because language brokerage has positive impact on the education achievement, teacher satisfaction as well as development of the school culture (Horvat, Weininger, &, Lareau, 2003, pp. 319-351). However, due to the fact that k-12 academic program does not include language brokerage, it has become difficult for most families especially the immigrant families to make better decision because they do not know what is expected of them. In most case, immigrant parents cannot read the school report or any useful information from the school or from the government because their children do not have any ethnic identity. Adults who are unable to speak or read the American majority language (English) head Additionaly, considering the current household demographics in which over 20% of the California families, children are tasked with mediating transaction, translating speech, reading as well as writing for their families. In this case, K-12 children are responsible for the social, administrative, as well as economic lives of their families.

3. Critique of current approach

Why and how current approach is not working

The current approach to language brokering of the imi9grant children is not effective because it does not acknowledge the mediating skills of the immigrant children. In most case, the immigrant children are not how to incorporate their language brokerage and mediating skill into their academic performance. Considering the fact, that language bracketing can enhance immigrant children’s socio-cultural, cognitive as well as metalinguistic abilities. Language brokering skills are useless if the children cannot use them to enhance their academic achievement. In many California schools, teachers use artifact kits, which are not relevant to the language brokering skills. On the other hand, other teachers do not have specific modules, teaching programs or schemes of work developed specifically for language bickering skills enhancement (Gutstein, 2007, pp. 420-448; Goodwin, 2010, pp. 3102-3138).

One of the key reason for the underdevelopment of the language brokering program in California schools is that most parent are not aware of any valid research on language brokering and not many teacher have researched on the importance of language brokering. This has lead to the growing level of ignorance among teachers (Au, 1980, pp. 91-115), If all California schools could have a well researched modules, and programs. Teachers should be able to explore the practice of language brokering, and analyze how the students feel about language brokering. Finally, the teachers should work with the parent in developing the language brokering skills because different family dynamics may either affects the student’s academic performance despite the known benefit of language brokering in academic achievement. Without teacher, students, parent collaboration in helping the children develop their mediating skills; most children tasked with language brokering are under pressure to become model children. Solberg, et al, (1993, pp. 80-95) asrgues that in many cases, parents have high expectation from their children forcing them to put pressure on their children without understanding their children’s ability to acquire language. Most children are expected to act as translates to their parent as soon as they come to the US and in most case; they provide wrong information to their parent based on their context. In the end, the parent has to deal with the children who slowly star to become resistant and are caught between learning new languages, and maintaining their knowledge of the native language (Lipman, 1995, pp. 202-208).

The promises of implementing your proposed educational practices

This proposal posits that school can work with their parents to develop programs that can help expand immigrant children’s trans-language repertoires. Immigrant children should be provided with homework that involves communicating English language homework to their parents and sibling who do not speak English. The school should also have in place educational support for the immigrant children as the undergo Americanization. According to Conchas, (2001, pp. 475-504), knowledge acquisition and display is very context dependent and in most case, immigrant students tend to have problem having to mediate between their non English-speaking parents and the English-speaking counterparts.

4. The proposal

Practical steps or measures that need to be implemented

This paper proposes that schools need to capitalize on the language brokering skills of the immigrant children’s a way of promoting language and cognition development amongst the linguistic minority. One of the key benefits of language brokering is increased firsts and second language acquisition. Many of the American immigrant children find it difficult to learn English so that they can read, write and speak English because they are put under pressure to learn English faster. One of the drawbacks of accelerated acculturation is that it kills one language while develop another. In the process, the children are not able to play their roles as effective language brokers because they are frustrated in their efforts (Canon, 1993, pp. 4-14).

Step1: inclusion in language development

The proposal is that parent should be taught on how to model children, as they become the family’s backbone in America. For example, schools need to develop program geared at training children on how to use their acquired English language to help their families and improve their knowledge acquisition. As parents are forcing children to conform to the adult established schedules and expectations. According to Delpit, (2006, pp. 220-231), ethnic language can be used to provide a scaffold for academic achievement, and language proficiency, which are all important when it come to academic success. This paper proposes a complimentary language use model in which the immigrant American uses their native languages to improve their academic language.

Step 2: develop a language-brokering model

There are no established models in California, California may have met the state contents standards and demonstrated progress in all the test scores. In fact, California may have some of the most simplified text materials. However, this in turn affects their children’s language acquisition (Dorner, Orellana, &, Li-Grining, 2007, pp. 451 – 478).

Step 3: instructional support

While English is the main instructional language in school, immigrant students find it hard to fit in California schools because they are not given preferential treatment during classroom instruction. In this proposal, immigrant children should be given instructional support to learn English through literacy. An enabling environment should be established in which all kids are supported to learn academic English. Immigrant children cannot learn the academic English without the support of teachers and the teacher need to work with their parent to help the student acquire academic English and use it in school and at home. This way, children will learn English and use the English they learn to communicate within their parent even in a social context where English is not the dominant language. Teacher should be able to teach the student’s academic language during content instruction. For example, during math lessons, students should be asked out of context questions. Teaching English in the course of science and literature or social studies can be more effective. The lessons should be modeled in such a way that the students learn to interact using their native languages in groups. There should also be opportunities for the children to learn logical reasoning. For example, using conditional sentences can be more effective (Doucet, 2011, pp. 2705–2738).

Step 4: fill the achievement gap

Manage the achievement gap between the second and the fourth grade for all the student especially the immigrant children (ESL) students, This way, the ESL student get the chance to improve their academic achievement in an environment I that appreciate their cultural background

Step 5: student centered learning

Encourage use of textbooks, lectures and demonstration. Demonstration must include the use of the rich oral tradition, as this is the most effective way of acquiring literacy. The state should emphasize the importance of student centered learning model in which students are considered in integral part of what they learn, the course content as well as their unique cultures. Involving the students in their learning increases their interest in school as well as in language acquisition. Most of the best performing LB are known to participate more in and out of classroom as compared to those who do not participate in class or social activities (Foley, 2004, pp. 385-397).

Step 6: deploying culturally responsive teaching program

Teachers, students and their parents can benefit more from a culturally effective teaching poor gram. Deploying a culturally responsive teaching program in school can be useful in LB because it is validating, comprehensive, multidimensional, empowering, transformative, and emancipator. California should have in place a system by which all school can provide quality, culturally responsive education for students because of the culturally diverse student’s populations. The implication of this is that the teacher education pedagogy must be revisited to ensure that it provides teachers with information on how to teach in a culturally responsive manner (García, 2012, pp. 79-99).

Potential challenges


One of the key challenges to having in place a culturally responsible academic system is the parents. Most of the immigrant parents are concerned about their children’s education performance that they would not agree to the children being taught about their culture. The general level of stereotyping in American especially amongst the immigrant parent makes it hard for the children to agree to learn their native languages (Ngo, &, Lee, 2007, pp. 415-453).

Budgetary allocation

Additionally, implementing a culturally responsive education system can be both time consuming and costly for the school. This means that all school must acquire educational kits, books, and introduce cultural programs into the already packed school programs. Such a modification in the school program must be budgeted for adequately in order to ensure smooth rollout and operationalization. Budgetary allocation at a time like this can be quite challenge to the schools and too the California school

Teacher Resistance

Owing to the fact that the culturally responsive education program in California k-12 education program would interfere with the established education program, many teacher are likely to resist the deployment of such programs in school. It is therefore important to carry out mass education and change management to help the teacher understand the benefit of culturally responsive programs in school to the student’s academic achievement, to their parents, teachers, as well as the society (Pizer, Walters, & Meier, 2012, pp. 75-92).


Culturally responsive education programs in California k-12 education program may not be a new concept. However, considering the fact that it has not been adequately researched, many schools are still reluctant to integrate culturally responsive program. The importance of LB in immigrant American families is important and so is language brokering to the students cognitive and language development. With a copy of this paper, the committee hereby proposes a culturally responsive education program with the improving language brokering and improving language acquisition amongst the culturally diverse California students.


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