In their book, Educating English Language Learners in an Inclusive Environment, Youb Kim and Patricia Hinchey have given their teacher educator colleagues, and their teacher education candidates, a great gift—a book that is as respectful of English learners as it is insistent on deep teacher knowledge. They want to promote the development of current and future teachers who view the language and culture that English learners bring to the classroom as resources rather than instructional inconveniences. And they want those teachers to know as much as they can know about language and culture, both in general (how language and culture shape learning) and in particular (the specific affordances of the language and culture that the students in their classrooms bring with them). Why? Because that combination of respect and knowledge will lead to the development of the teaching skills they need to deliver instruction that helps students develop as effective learners in schools in which curriculum is delivered in English.
The book has all the requisite chapters and content—culture, language, literacy, assessment and pedagogy, and it is organized conveniently and convincingly. We learn first about why we should care about these issues, then about culture and language, and only then do we get to issues that embrace pedagogy explicitly. That’s important and a distinctive characteristic of Kim and Hinchey’s approach. Too many authors of textbooks for teachers move too soon to the practical aspects of teaching (the never-ending quest for relevance no doubt), leaving...
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