The importance of cultural diversity
Research has shown that children in pre-school are already aware of cultural differences.
When you send your child to foreign languages lesson you may have not only the language-learning aspect in mind but also the child’s cultural awareness.
The key to an open-mind is diversity from a very young age. Young kids are like sponges. They learn quickly and mimic the behavior which is presented to them by their parents, siblings, friends and teachers. Show them the world, show them kindness, show them that cultural diversity is a wonderful thing.
It is simple: Young children carry the messages (good and bad) they receive from parents and teachers into the world.
If your child hears negative comments from other children, it is important to talk about it. Encouraging your child to be compassionate, respectful and caring is vital.
Only by assessing the comments and negative messages, children can learn how to be respectful towards other cultures.
Are there other ways of embracing cultural diversity?
Send your child to foreign language lessons. By learning a foreign language your child automatically becomes more cultural aware.
How about reading children’s books about/with different cultures? Especially books with a lot of pictures promote multiculturalism as the images embed themselves in the memory of your children.
There are also German books for very young German learners! (Oh, and by the way, I’m working on one of those books at the moment 🙂 )
What else could you do?
Travel with your children!
Go to cultural celebrations!
Listen and dance to music from around the world!
Cook and eat different kinds of food. Explore cuisines from around the world with your kids.
A lot of my young students love to look at the maps in my classroom. I also have a flag poster and another poster with “Hello” in many different languages.
Sometimes we sing ‘Brother Jacob’ in German, French and Spanish. Every single time, the kids are curious about the different languages.
When the kids come back from a holiday abroad we talk about where they have been.
My students love to tell me stories about their travels.
I love my job, especially when I see that I not only teach the children a language but also encourage them to see the world with wide and open eyes.
In order to blossom, a curious mind needs cultural diversity.