Culture Clash in the Multicultural Classroom: A Case Study From a Newcomer School

  •  Holly Hansen-Thomas    
  •  SriPadmini Chennapragada    


This ethnographic case study of a multicultural/multilingual classroom in a newcomer school describes an incident that occurred among new immigrant English Language Learners from widely diverse backgrounds in a secondary classroom in Texas. Increased numbers of immigrant students in U.S. schools have resulted in classrooms with tremendous diversity in terms of language, ethnicity, culture, religion, among other categories. The incident arose as the result of a clash of cultures and lack of knowledge on the part of students. As a result, an explicit focus on culturally responsive teaching is called for, as is training for teachers in multicultural classrooms regarding the specific demographic backgrounds of their students.

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