The Relationship Between English And Hmong

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and belongs to the Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien) language family. Hmong students encounter several linguistic struggles when attempting to learn English (Lee and Trapp 2010). English and Hmong differ because Hmong is a tonal language, so variations in a speaker’s tone convey different meanings and messages. Hmong has no verb tenses and does not conjugate verbs which can be a difficult transition for students who are learning English. In the English language, we rely on verb tenses to understand at what point something was done. Understanding these dissimilarities is the first step toward providing the linguistic support these students require. Firstly, increasing one’s cultural competence is instrumental to becoming a more empathic and understanding person and teacher. Cultural competence involves understanding another person’s culture without judgement and realizing that even if their ideas or beliefs are different, that does not mean they are wrong. If one learns about their students’ cultures and backgrounds, they will be able to speak and interact with these students in an appropriate way. If the students are refugees and come from a traumatic past, teachers should approach any personal questions they have sensitively. Sometimes people have prejudices or believe stereotypes and they may not even realize it. The Hmong people were widely dispersed and no two Hmong people will be the same. It is crucial that teachers do not assume that each person has the same values and
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