The methodologies and strategies developed for the non-Hispanic adult education teacher are intended to help him/her to deal more effectively with the misconceptions and stereotypes he/she has acquired in a predominantly white world of educators. For the purpose of this handbook, we will define a "stereotype" as a set of generalizations about a group or category of people that is usually unfavorable, exaggerated and oversimplified.
When we think about a particular ethnic group, a stereotyped image flashes before our eyes. We equate Germans with drinking beer, eating bratwurst, working hard and listening to Wagnerian music. We know the French as passionate lovers, drinking lots of wine, and the English as stiff-necked and buttoned up tea-sipping ladies and gentlemen. We see the Irish as hot tempered, and all Sicilians belong to the Mafia. Labeling ethnic groups makes it easy to discern and neatly categorize each culture according to our preconceived perceptions.
In the United States, each person is a member of an ethnic group. Some have recently immigrated and others have been here for generations. In this handbook we will address the ethnic group made up of recently immigrated Hispanic Americans who have not yet mastered the English language.
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