An Island of English: Teaching ESL in Chinatown

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9780325004815: An Island of English: Teaching ESL in Chinatown
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Newly arrived Chinese immigrant students face the hardest imaginable situation in the classroom: most often, this is the only place where they can listen to and practice English, having little if any opportunity to do so at home. The burden is then on the teacher to further these students' English education and at the same time create a classroom environment that appreciates and respects their culture and language.

Danling Fu has experienced these difficulties firsthand as a teacher, as a student, and as a parent. In An Island of English, she brings together her extensive research in New York's Chinatown, where she worked as a literacy consultant at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School, her personal story as an immigrant, and the stories of her son as an immigrant student. She extends her findings to other immigrant populations and applies her keen research talents to devise practical recommendations for educators and policymakers.

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About the Author:

"When I started my work in the New York City schools with ELLs," writes Danling Fu, "I identified with students struggling to write in English." A Chinese immigrant, Danling learned to write in English as a graduate student. Her experience continues to motivate her to teach other English learners and to discover effective teaching methods to support them. "Determining the best way to help ELLs develop their writing skills while they were learning English was a puzzle," she writes, but in her latest Heinemann book, Writing Between Languages, she shares insight from a decade's work in schools populated with ELLs, where she "gradually learned - through observing them in classrooms, examining their writing samples, and listening to teachers and students - how ELLs developed as writers in English." Danling is currently Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Florida, and she is the author of two other books with Heinemann: An Island of English and "My Trouble Is My English."

Review:

“Although focused on the Chinese experience, this is a book that shows how to help new language learners from any country through a frank and honest approach.”–Donald H. Graves, Author of The Energy to Teach and A Fresh Look at Writing

“Danling Fu shows us very specifically what is possible when we approach our teaching with empathy, patience, and faith.”–Maureen Barbieri, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

“This is an accessible and readable book for both practicing teachers and for teachers in training. . . . I recommend this book to all ESL educators.”–Pauline Gibbons, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

“. . . a fine portrait of what staff development can look like - the way to identify a problem, brainstorm, make changes, assess changes”–Thomas Newkirk, University of New Hampshire

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