This book shares with prospective and in-service teachers information about learning and teaching reading, writing, and thinking in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms and communities. The underlying and recurrent thread throughout the book is the necessity for teachers to examine every instructional practice from the perspective of the culturally and linguistically diverse learner. This is a difficult task because prospective teachers and in-service teachers must "let go" of many concepts and practices they themselves experienced as students. Thus, the goal of this book is to inform and challenge English-speaking teachers who will be teaching English literacy to linguistically and culturally diverse students.
However, the focus on English literacy development does not imply advocacy for "English only" or even English as a second language (ESL) as the primary mode of literacy instruction. I have written elsewhere about the importance and benefits of first or native literacy development. In this book, I and the contributing authors assume a position that learners need to develop literacy in their native language and that the concepts and skills learned in developing the native language create a foundation of strength from which students can develop English literacy.