SUYUN JANG (SUWAN HIGH SCHOOL)

STUDENT'S CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC KNOWLEDGE, AND SKILLS THAT BRING INTO THE CLASSROOM : CROSS-CULTURAL ISSUES

This case study project gave me a chance to do research on a student in the observation site of Belmont High School in the Los Angeles District. During the eleven weeks of observation, I interviewed my case study student(his pseudonym is Tim), his two brothers and his teacher, to analyze him. Also, I recorded entire class lessons to analyze his words and participation more closely. Specifically, this paper is to analyze my case study student's funds of knowledge that he brings into the classroom, and the effects that he has on the host teacher's teaching and peers' learning. Tim's contribution to class will be investigated in terms of three parts, cultural knowledge, linguistic knowledge and skills or performance. For the case study, I chose "funds of knowledge" as a main focus during the observation of my student. The main reason why I chose this concept as the focus of my study is that Tim has culturally and linguistically different knowledge from students in the United States. Under the main theme "funds of knowledge," I would like to include three sub-themes to specifically analyze how Tim’s cognitive and behavioral intelligences contribute to forming the effective classroom. Firstly, I investigated how his cultural background as a Latino person could be a resource to bring diversified cultures to class. Secondly, I analyzed the benefits of linguistic knowledge of his mother tongue, Spanish, that could be helpful for the host teacher in teaching English to Spanish classmates. Lastly, I included his diverse practical and academic skills which could boost the progress of the class.

I am a graduate student of the University of Southern California in the United States of America. This fall is my last semester to graduate. I took a leave of absence from a high School teacher in South Korea for a while to pursue a master degree.