Teachers are known for teaching the learners with various methods, strategies and other instructional approaches to meet their individual needs. Learners to they are becoming more diverse and it is clearly evident in many classrooms today. Only educating the learners is no longer enough nowadays, because of educational setting as well as the learners are being revolutionized.
As an agent for change, teachers are obliged to be multiculturally aware of the differences of each learners and encourage positive attitude and understanding as well as to respect, embrace and become sensitive to the differences of individuals. The process of this research is to gather different information that are useful to that teacher handling diverse learners in a multicultural classroom that will enhance their understanding and level of multicultural competence. This diversity has different continuous increase challenges and changes that are clearly seen and present that affects teachers as well as the learners.
For learners from different ethnic groups their crucial challenges are to understand and respect the identity and beliefs of others. For foreign learners, adaptation to a new environment brings a lot of intellectual and sociocultural challenges. For teachers teaching in a multicultural setting having considerable knowledge without bias of each and every learner’s cultural affiliations, religions, identities, customs, beliefs and thoughts is challenging.
These teachers need to have sufficient mastery of different cultural setting and ability to facilitate Intercultural communicative competence among the learners. Teachers are also expected to improve strategies and provide reinforcement activities such as giving a chance to both local and foreign learners to represent their own cultures, beliefs and thoughts in a way that involves the learners in lessons without any feeling of belongingness. For teachers to be able to create welfare in the classroom these kinds of activities are a must; they need to have a curriculum, which grant them to turn strategies and approaches into action.Intercultural communication competence (ICC); embrace people who belong to different cultural background, identities, and beliefs. According to the findings of Gollnick and Chinn (2002), today’s teachers are required to teach learners different language, culture, capabilities and attributes.
So teachers have vital role in initiating security in classroom/school environment by teaching or facilitating ICC.Recent research appears that teaching language does not involve linguistics competence only. This teaching also includes intercultural communicative competence because teaching a language is teaching the culture of that language, itself. According to Politzer (in Brooks, 2001), learners would attribute incorrect meanings to language not unless learning that language with its cultural references. Teaching linguistic competence allow learners to use a language in four core skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening properly. However, teaching ICC within linguistic competence allows learners to communicate and interact with the people who come from different ethnic groups, religions, cultures, or identities.
Therefore, it should be taken into consideration on how the teacher facilitate and teach ICC in a multicultural environment and what are the challenges faced by the teachers in terms of teaching ICC.According to Vollmer (2000), social and academic atmosphere in the classrooms setting are greatly influenced by teachers’ thoughts and beliefs. However, Howard (1999) stated that “We can`t teach what we don`t know.
” It is important considerate that the teachers should have sufficient knowledge about the different religions, identities, beliefs, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds of their learners and also know different ICC strategies that can be used to facilitate teaching and learning processes in a multicultural classroom. This knowledge and skill will help decrease misinterpretation among learners about their cultural differences. Thus, in providing the learners a peaceful atmosphere and learning environment the teachers must have enough knowledge in applying different ICC strategies in classroom environment.According to Washington.edu “Multicultural education promotes connection between home and community, encourages inclusion of multiple respective and builds a knowledge base about ethic groups develops students cross- cultural skills and encourages positive attitudes about living and functioning in multicultural, global society.” The main purpose of multicultural education is to modify different teaching and learning approaches to meet the needs of the diverse learners and create equal opportunities to develop their skills.
Teacher and multicultural education not only indicates the diversity of society; it promotes awareness about unfairness, favoritism and stereotyping that cause dissimilarity