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Floor plan

Picture 1 Floor plan of a culture friendly classroom

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Above is the example of a classroom with 30 pupils of different race and culture. Firstly, to get an ideal physical classroom arrangement, teachers desk cannot turn his/her back towards the pupils. Teachers desk should be placed in front of the class. The teacher also should face the pupils. This is because pupils need guidance from the teacher in every classroom activities. Therefore, I strongly believe that a teacher should sit in front and facing the pupils. The seating place of the teacher is also suitable for a demonstrative learning. This is because in a demonstrative learning, the pupils need to focus on the teacher as a facilitator. Apart from that, the teachers table is placed in front so as not to interfere with the pupils movement while doing the learning activities. The second suggestion is the position of the table layout of pupils in the class. There are various forms of seating arrangement that can be formed by teachers. Among them are the in line arrangement, circular or semi-circular, cluster groups, and a horseshoe shape (horse shoe). However, the ideal position of pupils is in the form of environment groups. This is in line with the Integrated Curriculum for Primary Schools (KBSR) that emphasizes student desk arrangement in groups. The contribution of each member of the group is a major aim of group learning as stated by Jim Murphy in his book Teaching Practise Conversations. He stated that one of the ways to keep the focus on students is to divide the students into pairs and small groups. In the context of language teaching, students who learn in a group will form a favourable atmosphere. Pupils will be encouraged to bring the idea or opinion among them. They can also develop their own talent or ability. Teaching in groups will make
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pupils become more active and motivated to learn. During group works, pupils also may gain confidence and develop their social skills In addition, this seating arrangement can save lots of classroom space. Hence, teacher can use the saved up space to create a special corner such as reading corner and fun corner. Window position is also important to create a class which is always in the fresh and comfortable environment. A teacher must take into account the classroom climate to create an effective classroom. Lighting aspects must be taken into consideration while determining the sitting arrangement of the classroom. Classroom situation must be suitable which is not too bright or not too dark. Curtains can be fitted at the windows to ensure the lighting factor is balanced. Dark classroom will affect pupils view. Pupils are also likely to sleep in a dark classroom, meanwhile a too bright classroom will disturb pupils views. They are various reasons why teacher forms small groups in class. Among them is to implement recovery activities for languages learning or other subjects. Pupils who are shy, timid, and nervous will be given extra attention and moral support by the teacher. In addition, a conducive classroom should have an empty space in front or at the back of the class. It is to make it easy for the teacher to carry out a demonstrative teaching. Besides, it can also enable pupils to walk around and actively participate in the teaching and learning activity. Pupils will become interested in the teaching method that requires them to move around a lot. Children love to play and move, therefore, a teacher need to understand them by implementing various teaching techniques such as role playing and socio-drama. Hence, the concept of
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learning through play should be applied by teachers especially language teachers. So, learning spaces such as reading corner or fun corner must be created to ensure the success of the learning process. Notice board is one of the most important basic facilities in a classroom. It functions as information provider for pupils. Notice boards shows information, classroom rules and regulations, and duty roster. Rules and regulations are important so that pupils can abide to it when they are in the classroom. Meanwhile, duty roster can ensure pupils to be responsible to clean their class. The classroom rules and regulations can save teachers time. A clean and conducive classroom can improve teaching and learning process. Besides, notice boards also give positive impacts towards pupils. Pupils are trained to be alert with the information given by the teacher. Thus, teacher must include notice boards at the front and at the back of the class so that it can become a source of information for pupils. Above all, the most important thing is the seating arrangement itself. In order to maintain cultural unity and the socio-cultural diversity, a teacher should plan a seating arrangement very carefully. A culture friendly classroom can enhance pupils confidence. It will make the pupils to be secure to be together in one class. As shown in the plan, the position of each pupil is set according to the group. Each group has mixed-race pupils. In a group, the pupils are not set to sit together with their own race, they are mixed up instead. This is to prevent the development of racial hatred in the atmosphere. The best method is to mix up all the pupils in the group so that the spirit of unity can be built. This grouping method makes pupils feel belonged in the classroom. Hence, they will not feel different from others.

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Apart from that, teacher also needs to create a conducive learning environment through the formation of regulations appropriate for the pupils in the classroom. Teacher also can promote respect for different cultures, avoid prejudice and be tolerant towards others, have sense of belonging, practice of mutual value, respect and cooperation to build unity among pupils. Teachers also need to ensure that the class rules and set values practiced at all times so that the sense of belonging among the students can be developed. As a conclusion, a culture friendly classroom should be created by teacher to promote unity among pupils of different races. The example of a good culture friendly classroom should include the seating arrangement, sufficient facilities and special corners for pupils to do their work or mingle around. To promote cultural unity, the seating arrangement must be mixed up between races so that pupils can blend together with their peers without any prejudice.

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