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Teaching Amongst Negative Stereotypes

Imagine for a moment that, in your community, there is a negative reaction toward English language learners and the prevailing comments you hear echo the notion, "They've been here their whole lives. Why haven't they learned English yet?" What is your response to these community stakeholders? What might you need to change about yourself in dealing with confrontational issues as a teacher?

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Please try to imagine yourself in their position for a moment. They primarily learned their first language from those they were around, their parents, and the other non or limited English proficient speakers in their communities. So, for the first five to six years of their lives (if they had even been here all their lives), their mother language wasn't American English. And when they did start going to school here in the States, they spent their first few years likely around people like them, other English as a Second Language (ESL) kids from their community. ...