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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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4. Nurturing Literacy in English: How Does This Magic Happen?

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CHAPTER FOUR

Nurturing Literacy in English

How Does This Magic Happen?

Most English-speaking Americans are literate; that is, they can read and write. And, though few people think much about it, Americans use literacy every day for a wide range of purposes. They read books for advice on how to manage their time and money. They read manuals to figure out how to install a computer program. They write e-mails asking their colleagues for information, complaining to their friends about their significant others, and reporting progress to their bosses. When we look carefully at what people do with literacy, however, we realize that it is much more than the ability to write b-r-e-a-d on a grocery list or to read o-p-e-n on the door of a repair shop.

Literacy is a tool for making things happen in the world. Indeed, it is a tool for changing the world itself. Recent events offer a useful illustration. A wave of major protests across the Arab world that began in late 2010, commonly known as the Arab Spring, forced new leadership in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen; civil unrest continues in several other countries in the region. These events depended heavily on social media, which has opened new possibilities for communication in repressive societies. In this case, it allowed citizens to share information with each other and the world, as well as to plan concerted political actions. Still: the existence of social media itself would...

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