Meeting the Needs of Second Language Learners: An Educator's Guide

Synopsis

Today's public schools are increasingly characterized by cultural and linguistic diversity. Studies show that about 4.4 million students nationwide lack the English skills needed to succeed academically. To help second language learners keep up in the classroom, educators must understand the challenges that bilingual students and schools face. In this concise guide, former bilingual teacher Judith Lessow-Hurley dives right into the language debate swirling in school systems large and small. She examines the popular myths about educating students in a multilinquistic society and introduces the key issues:
• The demographics of second language learners
• The theory underlying language instruction
• Desirable qualifications for bilingual teachers
• Effective teaching methods and programs
• Language and politics
• Language and the lawBy confronting common beliefs about English-only and immersion programs, basic interpersonal communication skills, the influence of culture on language, and more, Lessow-Hurley reveals how schools can successfully educate students from diverse backgrounds--without unintended prejudice. Her passionate and intelligent response in the language debate views every school as the bridge between cultures, helping all students develop academically and equally.