UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of a model for a multicultural preschool centre in British Columbia Fraser, Susan


This study is designed to provide a theoretical base for the development of a curriculum for a model multicultural preschool in Vancouver, British Columbia. The literature in cultural research and learning English as a second language is reviewed. Multicultural programs in the U.S.A. and Canada are investigated to gain information about curriculum specifically designed for children from different cultural backgrounds. The two formal research studies that were conducted in the first two years of the three year project are described. In the first year the relationship between social competency and the ability to speak English was investigated. Although there was no correlation between these two factors, the social strategies ESL children use to interact with each other in a multilingual/multicultural group are identified. The testing procedure used with ESL children to measure social competency and second language development is outlined. In the second year two preschool groups with high and low ability levels of English were presented with five typical preschool curriculum activities. Their responses to each of the five activites was compared. As a result of the comparison it became that certain curriculum activities need modification for multicultural preschool groups. The role of the teacher is carefully observed throughout the two years of the study. Strategies for teaching English as a second language and fostering cultural adjustment in ESL children are identified. In conclusion recommendations are discussed for program planning, fostering the retention of first language and culture, developing cultural awareness and teaching English as a second language.

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