Advocating for English Learners: Selected Essays

Author: James Crawford

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Multilingual Matters
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How to teach English language learners has been among the most contentious - indeed, most politicized - issues in American education over the past three decades. Meeting the pedagogical needs of these children, the fastest-growing population in U.S. schools, is a formidable challenge in itself. Educators' mission is further complicated by external factors including the English-only movement, anti-immigrant agitation, resistance to civil-rights laws, attacks on bilingual education, mandates for high-stakes testing and other misguided "reforms", uninformed media coverage, and legislators' one-size-fits-all responses to diverse students. In the 18 essays collected here, James Crawford analyzes the policies and politics behind these conflicts, critiques the strategies and tactics employed, and suggests ways to improve advocacy on behalf of English language learners.

James Crawford is president of the Institute for Language and Education Policy (, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. His recent books include English Learners in American Classrooms: 101 Questions, 101 Answers (coauthored with Stephen Krashen); At War with Diversity: US Language Policy in an Age of Anxiety; and Educating English Learners: Language Diversity in the Classroom (5th ed). Previously, he served as Washington editor of Education Week and executive director of the National Association for Bilingual Education.

1. Introduction

2. Making Sense of Census 2000

3. Monolingual and Proud of It

4. Heritage Languages in America: Tapping a "Hidden" Resource

5. Plus ca change...

6. Concern or Intolerance: What's Driving the Anti-Bilingual Campaign?

7. The Bilingual Education Story: Why Can't the News Media Get It Right?

8. Ten Common Fallacies about Bilingual Education

9. Agenda for Inaction

10. "Accountability" vs. Science in the Bilingual Education Debate

11. Hard Sell: Why Is Bilingual Education So Unpopular with the American Public?

12. Has Two-Way Been Oversold?

13. Surviving the English Only Assault

14. Official English Legislation: Bad for Civil Rights, Bad for America's Interests, and Even Bad for English

15. The Bilingual Education Act, 1968-2002: An Obituary

16. No Child Left Behind: Misguided Approach to School Accountability for English Language Learners

17. A Diminished Vision of Civil Rights

18. The Decline of Bilingual Education: How To Reverse a Troubling Trend?

19. Loose Ends in a Tattered Fabric: The Inconsistency of Language Rights in the USA

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate
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