Cultural Adjustment of Our Students
The process of cultural adjustment involves many changes in the lives of our students. The initial shock of being in a strange place without family and friends and losing the ability to communicate is a difficult challenge for students. Some students are able to adjust with ease and learn English quickly. Other students may adjust more gradually and in stages to their new school culture.Be aware of physical and emotional signs that may be symptoms of culture shock. A positive, nurturing relationship with you and other students will help newcomers cope with the challenges of cultural adjustment.
Student may exhibit the following behaviors as they adjust to their new culture.
- Students may avoid direct eye contact with teachers as it is a rude behavior in their culture.
- Students may smile at inappropriate times as a smile is a gesture of respect shown to elders.
- Students may use confusing nonverbal behavior and gestures, such as a head nod to signify “ I know that you are talking to me” not “I understand or agree with you”.
- Students may not participate voluntarily in class discussions as they come from school systems where student participation is initiated by the teacher.
- Students may be reluctant to ask for extra help or explanation.
- Student behavior may appear aggressive as a result of the inability to communicate verbally in English.
- Students may display unusual eating behaviors due to differences in food and eating habits across cultures.
- Students' dress may appear strange in a new cultural context.
- Students may be reluctant or even refuse to participate in physical activities that appear unrelated to academic learning from their cultural perspective.
- Students unfamiliar with the new system of education may cause confusion in daily learning activities.
- Students may have different concepts of time which may cause punctuality problems.
- Students may be absent due to family matters.