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

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

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

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.

Excerpt

What does it take to be an effective educator today? It is becoming increasingly clear that the answer to this question lies not only in knowing subject matter content or learning specific strategies. Teachers today also need to know more about the students who currently occupy U. S. classrooms and, even more important, they need to challenge the conventional wisdom concerning the abilities and skills of these students. the goal of the textbooks in the Language, Culture, and Teaching series is to help teachers accomplish these things.

At the dawn of the 21 st century, the United States is more ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse than it has ever been. the 2000 Census, for instance, found that whereas Whites decreased from 80% to 75% of the total population in the 10-year period from 1990-2000, the African American population increased slightly (from 12.1% to 12.3%), as did the American Indian population (0.8 to 0.9 percent). Even more dramatic, the Asian population increased from 2.8 to 3.6 percent and the Latino population grew by more than one quarter, from 9% to 12.5% of the total (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 2002).

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