Teaching English the Puerto Rican way: Developing ESL materials that mirror the source culture for the Puerto Rican elementary English classroom
Cardona, Stephanie M.
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In Puerto Rican English classrooms students are mainly exposed to English texts which are heavily laced with strong “American” referents and cultural values. This makes it difficult for language learners to apply their cultural background knowledge and experiences when encountered with higher order thinking skills in English. In the early stages of second language acquisition, students need to be able to draw from their own experiences, making the language learning process less constraining. ESL textbooks and materials which are culturally relevant will provide language learners the opportunity to apply their background knowledge in all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). This thesis provides evidence in favor of the need for the development of culturally relevant material for the Puerto Rican English classroom. Furthermore, it presents an original sample textbook unit, which draws from multiple perspectives and materials on Puerto Rican histories and cultures, intended to serve as a resource for third grade English teachers.