Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual School: Choices, Risks, and Dilemmas

Synopsis

Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual School: Choices, Risks, and Dilemmas is for teachers and teacher educators working in communities that educate children who do not speak English as a first language. At the center of the book are findings from a four-year critical ethnographic case study of a Canadian high school with a large number of emigrant students from Hong Kong and rich descriptions of the multitude of ways teachers and students thought about, responded to, and negotiated the issues and dilemmas that arose. The solutions and insights they derived from their experiences of working across linguistic, cultural, and racial differences will be extremely valuable to educators in other locales that have become home to large numbers of immigrant families. The book is designed to help readers think about how the issues and dilemmas in the case study manifest themselves in their own communities and how to apply the insights they gain to their own teaching and learning contexts: * Each chapter includes four components: an excerpt from the ethnographic study; an analytic commentary on the ethnographic text drawn from a variety of theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines (including interactionist sociolinguistics, language minority education, English as a Second Language education, critical literacy, anti-racist education, and critical teacher education); a pedagogical discussion; and suggestions for further reflection and discussion. * The book features the use of ethnographic play writing to engage readers with the issues that arise in multicultural/multilingual schools. The author's play Hong Kong, Canada is included in its entirety and is used to stimulate further discussion of the issues raised in each of the chapters. * Although it is organized around two different kinds of schooling dilemmas--dilemmas of speech and silence, and dilemmas of discrimination--everyday dilemmas of curriculum and assessment are also discussed throughout the book. * A methodological discussion of the choices the author made while designing, conducting, and writing up the critical ethnographic case study makes the book useful in qualitative research methodology courses. * A set of strategies and activities is provided for helping students develop English oral presentation skills.