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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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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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