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The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of academic culture and its implications for educating linguistically and culturally diverse student populations. Although the research presented in this paper has been done primarily with students in U.S. schools who are from different language backgrounds and/ or countries, the research findings and theoretical frameworks have application for students from the same country who speak different dialects, who are from different geographical regions, who are of different genders, who come from rural or urban areas, who are handicapped, or who come from different social classes (Banks, 1994).

I begin with a general discussion of culture, the differences between surface and deep culture, and the ways in which they influence how people think about and organize educational experiences for students. Next, I describe some current changes in the immigrant student population in the United States and implications of those changes for teacher preparation. I also discuss some common assumptions held by United States educators about program development, the role those assumptions play in educational practice, and their implications for educating linguistically and culturally diverse students. I then review Some key research on academic literacy and culture and discuss the implications of the research findings for program analysis and development. I have found that this research can enable preservice as well as inservice teachers to understand the complexity of academic culture and its relationship to student success in school; analyze the values, assumptions and beliefs underlying their own practices; identify cultural differences that may affect student success; and develop culturally sensitive educational programs for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations. I conclude with a brief summary and some suggestions for instructional practice that will enable linguistically and culturally diverse students to become successful participants in the academic culture of school.


Copyright 1995 National Hualien Teachers College

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Publication Title

International Journal of the Humanities

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Campbell, Anne. E. (1995). Academic culture and language: Implications for educating linguistically and culturally diverse students in the United States. International Journal of the Humanities, 4(2), 35-54.

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