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Fran Parkin and Felicity Sidnell

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Publishers, 1992. 94pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 0-921217-79-X. CIP

Reviewed by Janice Foster .

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

As the number of English as a Second Language students increases in our schools, so does the professional challenge of successful main-streaming. The authors, themselves actively involved in ESL pro­grams, provide teachers, consultants and administrators with a book that addresses the needs of both the ESL student and those of the whole school population — staff and students.

The tone of ESL is Everybody's Business is a positive feature of this book. Continuous reference is made to the needs and the strengths of the ESL students, and the authors reiterate the value and contribution of the ESL students to both the program and the learning process of the other students.

This text is comprehensive in its scope of current educational topics. Whole language, co-operative learning and main-streaming are addressed. Subjects such as management concerns, evaluation and strategies for program and curriculum planning and adaptation are covered. Throughout the book the four elements of language develop­ment, speaking, listening, reading and writing, are referred to frequently. Other student-related issues discussed include self-concept and confidence building, reception, assessment and various methods of language acquisition.

The book is well organized and includes sample information sheets as well as a bibliography. Samples of students' work are included but are not specifically discussed, so their value is limited. Specific strategies for modifying a science lesson are given. Unfortunately, further concrete examples for tackling content teaching are not provided. Inclusion of other practical classroom/ program ideas and further examples of curriculum modification would make this a more useful handbook for all professionals dealing with ESL students.

ESL is Everybody's Business encourages and guides teachers and administrators to explore new avenues to meet the diverse needs of our ESL students. It should be noted that although the book focuses on middle and high school years, it does provide valuable information for educators dealing with elementary ESL students as well.

Janice Foster teaches elementary English as a Second Language with the Fort Garry School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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