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Overview

Primary language instruction is no longer the norm in many schools. Immersion is now the rule in many quarters, and English learners must become literate in English. However, an alarming number of English learners are failing academically, which has forced educators to review, rethink, and revise their instruction to meet the complex needs of this burgeoning population.

English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy takes a critical look at the literacy development of English learners through the eyes of original theorists and current practitioners. These authors examine the essential components of English language development and recommend specific practices for successful implementation.

The book's 16 chapters examine three important English language learner issues: English reading instruction in an immersion setting, English language development, and cultural issues as they pertain to English learners in and out of the classroom.

The collection proposes new ways of looking at practice in the context of what is presently done for English learners, emphasizes the need to reexamine current instructional practices, and suggests what can be done to change them The book also examines reading and English literacy instruction for English learners in a political and educational context in which simultaneous achievement of both English language acquisition and English language arts standards is required. Finally, the book suggests the importance of students' cultural roots and celebrates the variety of voices that English learners represent.

This volume is a valuable resource for teacher educators, school administrators, and all educators who are seeking to implement the very best instructional practices to promote the academic success of English learners.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131536814
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/17/2005
  • Series: IRA Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Gilbert G. Garcia is an educational representative and resides in Rowland Heights, California, USA.

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Read an Excerpt

This book grew out of the initial efforts of the International Reading Association's Multilingual Classroom Committee during the 2000-2001 committee year. The Association has taken a proactive role in addressing important literacy issues that confront English learners and their dedicated teachers. The creation of the Multilingual Classroom Committee, the publication of journal articles and books pertinent to English learners, and the publication of this volume are all testaments to IRA's resolve to provide significant resources that embrace theory, critical pedagogy, and praxis. This volume will inform those concerned with English learner literacy issues and help them meet the very complex literacy needs of this burgeoning population.

English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy examines three important English learner issues: (1) current policy and best practice for English reading instruction in an immersion setting, (2) rethinking and redesigning curriculum to improve teaching of English language development, and (3) cultural issues as they pertain to English learners in and out of the classroom. This compilation was originally conceived of as the third coming of a seminal work on English learners titled Schooling and Language Minority Students: A Theoretical Framework (California State Department of Education, 1981). This book was a progress report on bilingual education that served as the initial research-based theoretical framework designed to assist educators in defining, planning, and improving their bilingual programs. It focused on linguistic, academic, and sociocultural factors that affect schooling for English learners. Bilingual education was identified as the vehicle for improving the schooling of these students.

Most of the thinking in this original volume has withstood the test of time; indeed, the majority of today's teachers are more committed to the theories Jim Cummins and Stephen Krashen proposed in that volume than were most teachers at the time of its publication. These theories were relatively new at the time, and so were many of the teachers. Most of these same teachers have now successfully applied these theories for many years. Their professional growth has coincided with the growth of the English learner population and bilingual education.

The second edition of Schooling and Language Minority Students (1994) was a second progress report that identified instructional elements of successful bilingual education programs. This edition has remained in print and is still held in high regard by all who believe in employing the best teaching practices for students whose first language is not English.

The ideas put forth in those two editions laid a firm foundation for educational practice for English learners over the years. Primary language was the heart and soul of the five chapters in both editions. The books were published in an era when bilingual education was growing and attempting to flourish, but growing antibilingual sentiment grew to such proportions as to practically outlaw bilingual education and the use of primary language in some states. The foc4s has switched from a focus on using primary language to reach an English literacy goal for English learners, to an English language development focus to achieve the same goal. This switch accounts for the focus of this new volume; however, this book still advances the importance of the primary language in the literacy development of English learners.

This book takes a critical look at the status quo, through the eyes of a combination of original theorists and current practitioners. Some of the topics and instructional strategies that were discussed in the aforementioned editions also will be discussed here, because three of the original seven authors have contributed to this new volume; times have changed, however, and so has educational practice for a growing number of English learners. Primary language instruction is no longer the norm in many of our schools. Immersion is now the rule in many quarters, and English learners must become literate in English via methodologies and programs that ignore much of what we have learned in the last 30-plus years of practice. This book offers a fresh look at what we have learned. It proposes new ways of looking at practice in the context of what we are presently doing in our English literacy instruction for English learners. It suggests why we need to reexamine our current practices, and it also suggests what we can do to change them. It examines reading and English literacy instruction for English learners in a political and educational context in which simultaneous achievement of both English language acquisition and English language arts standards is required. This is the main difference in the focus of this volume when compared to the other two aforementioned books. This book takes a close look at essential components of English language development and recommends specific practices for successful implementation. Finally, it suggests the importance of our cultural roots and celebrates the polyphony of voices that our English learners represent.

Currently, both theory and practice have been usurped by policy. All of Ar legislative bodies seem to know what is best for English literacy development, including what is best for English learners. Policy has even come directly from voters themselves, in the form of initiatives that dictate educational practice. The voices of the practitioners, and even of the most revered sages of educational theory and practice, are largely ignored in most of these legislative mandates. Politics now shape the nature of the English literacy instruction that will prepare our current generation of English learners. Bilingual education is struggling to survive in this English-only environment. We cannot abandon what we believe. We must not allow this policy shift to force us into silence. English learners are often unattended, invisible, and hidden under an umbrella of misleading research that results in misguided policy. We must avert what may become metaphorically and literally the instructional dark ages for English learners. We must act on what we know, and generate the research that we need to prevent this from happening.

The majority of U.S. teachers who have spent their career implementing the bilingual education theories of the 1960s and 1970s are rapidly approaching retirement. They know what works, but policy often prevents them from doing what they know works. Additionally, we are now hiring a whole new generation of teachers without that same experience. The burgeoning numbers of English learners who also are failing academically in alarming numbers force us to review, rethink, and revise what we have been doing instructionally. English learners cannot be left behind. This book suggests that a renaissance of instructional practice based on sound theory and pedagogy is much needed. The authors offer valuable guidance to all educators who are seeking to implement the very best instructional practices to promote the academic success of English learners. Our hope is that the wisdom offered by the original contributors to those seminal works and by the new contributors to this volume will make our educational community more resolute in its efforts to succeed and help English learners succeed. To fail is unacceptable.

—GGG

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Table of Contents

I. TEACHING ENGLISH LEARNERS TO READ: CURRENT POLICY AND BEST INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE.

1. Reading and the Bilingual Student: Fact and Friction.

2. Teaching English Learners to Read: Learning or Acquisition?

3. Three Roles for Reading for Minority-Language Children.

4. Orthographic Development and Learning to Read in Different Languages.

5. Scaffolding Reading Experiences for Multilingual Classrooms.

6. Making Content Instruction Accessible for English Language Learners.

II. TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: RETHINKING AND REDESIGNING CURRICULUM.

7. Communicative Approaches to Second-Language Acquisition: The Bridge to Second-Language Literacy.

8. Meeting the Needs of English Learners in All-English Classrooms: Sharing the Responsibility.

9. Revisioning the Blueprint: Building for the Academic Success of English Learners.

10. Rethinking English Language Instruction: An Architectural Approach.

11. Multilevel Collaboration for English Learners: An Asian-American Perspective.

12. Standards-Based Instruction for English Language Learners.

III. OPTIMIZING CULTURE AS A BRIDGE TO LITERACY LEARNING.

13. Connecting Children, Culture, Curriculum, and Text.

14. Reading with a Hero: A Mediated and Literate Experience.

15. Access to Books and Beyond: Creating and Learning From a Book Lending Program for Latino Families in the Inner City.

16. Mediating Language and Literacy: Lessons From an After-School Setting.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Preface

This book grew out of the initial efforts of the International Reading Association's Multilingual Classroom Committee during the 2000-2001 committee year. The Association has taken a proactive role in addressing important literacy issues that confront English learners and their dedicated teachers. The creation of the Multilingual Classroom Committee, the publication of journal articles and books pertinent to English learners, and the publication of this volume are all testaments to IRA's resolve to provide significant resources that embrace theory, critical pedagogy, and praxis. This volume will inform those concerned with English learner literacy issues and help them meet the very complex literacy needs of this burgeoning population.

English Learners: Reaching the Highest Level of English Literacy examines three important English learner issues: (1) current policy and best practice for English reading instruction in an immersion setting, (2) rethinking and redesigning curriculum to improve teaching of English language development, and (3) cultural issues as they pertain to English learners in and out of the classroom. This compilation was originally conceived of as the third coming of a seminal work on English learners titled Schooling and Language Minority Students: A Theoretical Framework (California State Department of Education, 1981). This book was a progress report on bilingual education that served as the initial research-based theoretical framework designed to assist educators in defining, planning, and improving their bilingual programs. It focused on linguistic, academic, and sociocultural factors that affect schooling for English learners. Bilingual education was identified as the vehicle for improving the schooling of these students.

Most of the thinking in this original volume has withstood the test of time; indeed, the majority of today's teachers are more committed to the theories Jim Cummins and Stephen Krashen proposed in that volume than were most teachers at the time of its publication. These theories were relatively new at the time, and so were many of the teachers. Most of these same teachers have now successfully applied these theories for many years. Their professional growth has coincided with the growth of the English learner population and bilingual education.

The second edition of Schooling and Language Minority Students (1994) was a second progress report that identified instructional elements of successful bilingual education programs. This edition has remained in print and is still held in high regard by all who believe in employing the best teaching practices for students whose first language is not English.

The ideas put forth in those two editions laid a firm foundation for educational practice for English learners over the years. Primary language was the heart and soul of the five chapters in both editions. The books were published in an era when bilingual education was growing and attempting to flourish, but growing antibilingual sentiment grew to such proportions as to practically outlaw bilingual education and the use of primary language in some states. The foc4s has switched from a focus on using primary language to reach an English literacy goal for English learners, to an English language development focus to achieve the same goal. This switch accounts for the focus of this new volume; however, this book still advances the importance of the primary language in the literacy development of English learners.

This book takes a critical look at the status quo, through the eyes of a combination of original theorists and current practitioners. Some of the topics and instructional strategies that were discussed in the aforementioned editions also will be discussed here, because three of the original seven authors have contributed to this new volume; times have changed, however, and so has educational practice for a growing number of English learners. Primary language instruction is no longer the norm in many of our schools. Immersion is now the rule in many quarters, and English learners must become literate in English via methodologies and programs that ignore much of what we have learned in the last 30-plus years of practice. This book offers a fresh look at what we have learned. It proposes new ways of looking at practice in the context of what we are presently doing in our English literacy instruction for English learners. It suggests why we need to reexamine our current practices, and it also suggests what we can do to change them. It examines reading and English literacy instruction for English learners in a political and educational context in which simultaneous achievement of both English language acquisition and English language arts standards is required. This is the main difference in the focus of this volume when compared to the other two aforementioned books. This book takes a close look at essential components of English language development and recommends specific practices for successful implementation. Finally, it suggests the importance of our cultural roots and celebrates the polyphony of voices that our English learners represent.

Currently, both theory and practice have been usurped by policy. All of Ar legislative bodies seem to know what is best for English literacy development, including what is best for English learners. Policy has even come directly from voters themselves, in the form of initiatives that dictate educational practice. The voices of the practitioners, and even of the most revered sages of educational theory and practice, are largely ignored in most of these legislative mandates. Politics now shape the nature of the English literacy instruction that will prepare our current generation of English learners. Bilingual education is struggling to survive in this English-only environment. We cannot abandon what we believe. We must not allow this policy shift to force us into silence. English learners are often unattended, invisible, and hidden under an umbrella of misleading research that results in misguided policy. We must avert what may become metaphorically and literally the instructional dark ages for English learners. We must act on what we know, and generate the research that we need to prevent this from happening.

The majority of U.S. teachers who have spent their career implementing the bilingual education theories of the 1960s and 1970s are rapidly approaching retirement. They know what works, but policy often prevents them from doing what they know works. Additionally, we are now hiring a whole new generation of teachers without that same experience. The burgeoning numbers of English learners who also are failing academically in alarming numbers force us to review, rethink, and revise what we have been doing instructionally. English learners cannot be left behind. This book suggests that a renaissance of instructional practice based on sound theory and pedagogy is much needed. The authors offer valuable guidance to all educators who are seeking to implement the very best instructional practices to promote the academic success of English learners. Our hope is that the wisdom offered by the original contributors to those seminal works and by the new contributors to this volume will make our educational community more resolute in its efforts to succeed and help English learners succeed. To fail is unacceptable.

—GGG

Read More Show Less

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