English-only Instruction and Immigrant Students in Secondary Schools: A Critical Examination

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L. Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Education - 306 pages
This book is for teachers, teacher educators, school and district administrators, policy makers, and researchers who want to know about literacy, cultural diversity, and students who speak little or no English. It offers a rich picture of the incredible diversity of students who enter secondary school as immigrants—their abilities, their needs, and their aspirations.
The studies reported are part of a large longitudinal study of about 25,000 immigrant students in a district in which the policy is English-only instruction. These studies:
*provide multiple views of the students’ lives and their success in schools where the language of instruction differs from the languages they speak with their friends and families;
*explore the students’ views of teaching and learning;
*describe the potential differences between the students views and those of their teachers;
*look at issues related to students’ views of their identities as they work, study, and socialize in a new environment; and
*examine different reading models designed to facilitate the learning of English as a second language (ESL).
Educators and researchers will find the descriptions of students’ simultaneous learning of English and of academic content relevant to their view of whether instruction should be English only or bilingual. For teachers who view multicultural education as an important endeavor, this book may on occasion surprise them and at other times confirm their views. The author does not attempt to develop a particular political viewpoint about which approach works best with immigrant students. Rather, the objective of the studies was to develop a full, rich description of the lives of immigrant high school students enrolled in classes where the medium of instruction is English. The reader is left to evaluate the results.

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About the author (2007)

Lee Gunderson is a Professor and former Head of the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in second language reading, language acquisition, literacy acquisition, and teacher education. He has served as a pre-school teacher, a primary-level elementary teacher, a reading specialist, a principal and vice-principal in a bilingual school, and a teacher of the learning disabled. He received the David Russell Award for Research, the Killam Teaching Prize at the University of British Columbia, and has been awarded the Kingston Prize for contributions to the National Reading Conference. He has served as Chair of the Publications Committee of the International Reading Association and is founding Chair of the Pippin Teacher's Professional Library. He is a Past President of the National Reading Conference.

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