Teachers College Press 

Latino Children Learning English
Steps in the Journey

Guadalupe Valdes, Sarah Capitelli, and Laura Alvarez
Multicultural Education Series
Pub Date: November 2010, 264 pages

Paperback: $35.95, ISBN: 0807751448
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“Valdés, Capitelli, and Alvarez weave the small steps of young Latino children learning English with huge theoretical contributions that will forever change how we view the process of second language acquisition and learning.”
Ofelia García, Graduate Center, The City University of New York

This timely and incisive book examines the ways in which English language proficiencies develop in newly arrived immigrant students. Beginning by describing the challenges faced by children who currently attend segregated schools in many parts of the country, the authors offer a detailed account of the developing English language proficiencies of K–3 children from one after-school intervention program. Using the experiences of these children as a lens, the authors debunk commonly held views of young children as rapid and effortless learners of new languages.

Essential reading for classroom teachers, students, researchers, and policymakers, this authoritative book:

  • Offers principles for designing an integrated practice for educating English language learners.
  • Describes interactions between volunteer “English Buddies” and ELL children to highlight ways in which children begin to comprehend and produce English.
  • Includes examples of materials and activities that can be used with young ELL children to engage them in new-language interactions.
  • Analyzes the effectiveness of current practices designed to accelerate the second language acquisition process.

Guadalupe Valdés is the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her books include Learning and Not Learning English: Latino Students in American Schools and Con Respeto: Bridging the Distances Between Culturally Diverse Families and Schools. Sarah Capitelli is an assistant professor of education at the University of San Francisco. Laura Alvarez taught elementary school in a Spanish bilingual program in Oakland, California and is a doctoral candidate in educational linguistics at Stanford University.

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