EU La Inmaculada. University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 105-109
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In few years Spain has changed its social structure in many important ways. Immigration is a fact. Schools suddenly have run into new realities and challenges unknown till the late nineties. Although diversity is something very important for the development of a tolerant, open and rich society, we can affirm that Spanish schools were no ready for these situations and had to improvise to get used to the new students needs. Resources are not enough, not even nowadays. But we have learnt from other experiences (as USA immigrants teaching) and from the own ones.

Two groups of immigrant students are mainly important because of the important number of students and the difficulties that teachers, tutors, specialists and even classroom mates can find: Arab and Spanish American children. Arabs belong to a very different culture, including language. Still, they are often bilingual (Arab-French, Arab-English, with many notions of Spanish vocabulary, even grammar). As far as Spanish American children are concerned, we must consider they are supposed to find no important difficulties in learning: they speak Spanish, and usually it is their first language. Still, we cannot forget the grammatical and lexical differences between European and American Spanish. On the other hand, cultural similarities are not as important as a teacher can think in a first sight.

Both of these groups often find adaptation problems that requires the intervention of specialists like psychologist and others, to help the families and the own minors in a difficult process no chosen by the children. They cannot normally find reasons to understand the global changes they are suffering and frequently feel depressed or anxious and try to go through all these situations by isolation or violent behaviors.

Intercultural education can be a solution to improve the integration problem at school. Still, teachers formation, work with families and communities must be considered as a priority.
Latin American, Arab, immigrants, school, difficulties and resources.