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Educating English Language Learners in an Inclusive Environment

Youb Kim and Patricia H. Hinchey

As the number of English language learners across the United States – and indeed, the world – increases exponentially, it is critical that pre-service teachers be prepared. Many currently available instructional materials are written primarily for practicing teachers, not for pre-service teachers of the millennial generation who are likely to encounter cultural and linguistic diversity in their classrooms, but who are unlikely to have had experience interacting with diverse groups of children. This engaging and accessible text is specifically designed to help tomorrow’s teachers anticipate the diversity of contemporary classrooms and to understand and meet the needs of English language learners. Key topics are aligned with typical state standards for teacher preparation and include: culture, language, literacy development, effective instruction and assessment, programs, policies, politics, and teacher professionalism. In addition to distillations of essential information in these areas, the book provides an extensive directory of relevant resources that points the way to further study. Teacher educators, school district administrators, home school education programs, and pre-service teachers will all find Educating English Language Learners in an Inclusive Environment an invaluable addition to their professional libraries.
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1. Imperatives: Why Should You Care?




Why Should You Care?

At a time when this book barely existed in our minds—when not a word of it was actually on paper—we were already wrestling with the Chapter One problem that any author of any book faces: How do I make readers care about this topic? We knew that the people most likely to read this book would be teacher education students, and that they would likely be enrolled in a course focused on teaching English Language Learners (ELLs). And, we knew they would probably be in the course not because they particularly wanted to be, but because it was required—perhaps because of state guidelines. In that context, the course might seem one of many to get out of the way, like a math or music elective. And, since few of us like being forced to do anything, we knew our readers might approach this first page with little enthusiasm.

Perhaps we’re wrong, and you (yes, you who are reading right now) may wonder why we presume to be able to read your mind. Perhaps you feel differently: perhaps you look forward to working in a multicultural classroom and are eager to learn about how to work productively with children whose first language isn’t English. We hope so, and we would be glad to be wrong. But: we’ve been teaching a state-mandated course to some pretty typical college students—and they’ve not been shy...

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