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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