There is no doubt that young people learning English as a second (or third) language constitute a growing proportion of the K-12 student population in the United States. If they are to have access to a quality education-fulfilling the laudable promise of public education in the U.S.- teachers must be prepared to teach English language learners (ELLs) just as they are prepared to teach other students. The authors in this book have argued for the transformation of teacher education and professional development to ensure that all teachers develop expertise for teaching ELLs. Using multiple lenses, they have examined different facets of the changes needed, highlighting the complexity of the undertaking and, at the same time, offering inspiration to others engaged in the process. They have examined the demographic and policy contexts for preparing teachers of ELLs; articulated principles and conceptual frameworks that can inform the content and processes of teacher preparation; explored teachers’ perceptions of what is involved in teaching ELLs; and presented examples of innovative approaches for developing the needed expertise. Some salient themes cut across multiple chapters. Each of these themes suggests actions that could or should be taken by teacher educators. One theme is that demographic changes, federal and state education policies, and prevailing political views in recent years have led to an unmistakable trend toward greater inclusion of ELLs in mainstream classrooms. As discussed in most of the chapters in the book, inclusion is, in fact, the powerful engine driving the urgency for all teachers to develop the orientations, knowledge, and skills of linguistically responsive teachers. As with so many other educational trends that take on a life of their own, the wisdom of this one-that is, the wholesale inclusion of ELLs in mainstream classes-is questionable. Thoughtful and reasoned analysis is needed to develop meaningful criteria for determining which ELL students will benefit from inclusion and which should not yet be placed in mainstream classes. Educators in K-12 schools and higher education institutions should engage in such analysis. In the meantime, increasing numbers of classroom teachers will be expected to educate ELLs, and teacher educators must take responsibility for preparing them to do so.
|Title of host publication||Teacher Preparation for Linguistically Diverse Classrooms|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Resource for Teacher Educators|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2010|