Language and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms: A Practical Approach

Author: Elizabeth Coelho

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Multilingual Matters
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This book is a research-based practical guide for educators who work with students whose linguistic and cultural background is different from their own. Illustrated with many practical examples of classroom activities, projects, and teaching strategies, the book is also an introduction to immigrant education for school administrators and educational planners in communities or regions that are in the process of developing plans and programs for newcomer students. Although the focus is on first-generation immigrant children, many of the recommended approaches and instructional strategies described in this book can be used or adapted for use with second-generation children and historical linguistic and cultural minorities, such as children from Aboriginal communities in North America or children of Roma background in Europe.

This book is a gift for education. Written by an author committed to children's lives, teachers' missions, scholars' works and policy responsibilities, it is a compilation of the most advanced knowledge on language learning, migration and inclusion; a meticulous sequence of lucid orientations and reflections and an effortless, inspiring read. Let's spread the word!

This book is a practical and invigorating tool for teachers who are faced with the challenge of integrating immigrant students into their classroom. It also presents clearly the challenges that the school administration will face in order to properly support this group of students. The integrated summary of research on each chapter's topic as well as the interview techniques, assessment plans, and practical classroom activity suggestions are useful for all teachers working with L2Ls in any mainstream classroom. Many of the suggestions in the book are idealized; however, the author recognizes that the best is not always possible. It provides small steps that can be taken to encourage language diversity from the level of classroom interaction and content all the way through offering language classes to the community in the immigrant's languages and inclusive cultural involvement.

LINGUIST List 23.5176, Dec 11, 2012

Language and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms is peppered with insightful research-based boxed texts that set the record straight on the benefits of diversity and pictures showing linguistically diverse classrooms…For instructors and administrators with little experience working with the realities of multilingual classrooms, this text not only bridges the practice gap but also helps teachers and educators realign their philosophical orientation toward advocacy.

TESOL Journal 4.2, June 2013

The book is an excellent source of ideas for effectively supporting all language learners. This book is recommendable for teaching methods courses, for both general educators and specialized teachers. The positive, respectful attitude of the author towards the groups under discussion is palpable, and the ideas are strongly supported in her own ample experience of work in the field.

Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education" Vol. 1:2 (2013).

Elizabeth Coelho, a former coordinator for English as a Second Language in Toronto, has taught teacher education courses at the University of Toronto, and worked on policy and resource development at the Ontario Ministry of Education. Her book Teaching and Learning in Multicultural Schools: An Integrated Approach, also published by Multilingual Matters, is used on teacher education courses across Canada.


Section I: Getting Started

1. The New Arrival

2. First Contact and Beyond

Section II: Planning: A Whole-School Approach

3. Linguistic and Academic Support for Newcomers and L2Ls

4. Differentiated Instruction and Assessment for Newcomers and L2Ls

5. Planning Ahead Section III: In the Classroom

6. An Inclusive Learning Environment

7. Making Space for Community Languages

8. Oral Language in Every Classroom

9. Reading and Writing in Every Classroom

10. Vocabulary Instruction in Every Classroom

General, Research / Professional
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