The United States is going through great demographic changes in the diversity of its population that does not only include ethnic and racial diversity but, also, linguistic diversity. People with limited English proficiency are entering schools in greater numbers. (Gollnick & Chinn, 2002). These demographic changes require that the schools prepare citizens who are knowledgeable of other cultures, who are more accepting of cultural differences, and who can communicate with people of different backgrounds (Cushner, McClelland, & Safford, 2003). In agreement with the above proposition, the foreign language national standards suggest the need to develop citizens with cultural understanding and awareness of other’s views of the world, their way of life and their contributions to human kind. Students study cultures in other courses; however, they directly gain greater understanding by learning another language (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1996).

Author's Biographies

Dr. Jose A. Villavicencio is an Assistant Professor of Education at Columbus State University in the Department of Teacher Education. His current research interests include second language instruction and diversity in education.

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