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"Why Don't They Learn English" Separating Fact From Fallacy In the U.S. Language Debate

Lucy Tse Celia Genishi Dorothy S. Strickland Donna E. Alvermann

120 pages
Teachers College Press
This compelling book examines the often cited but poorly supported claims that immigrants fail to learn English, and the mistaken belief that immigrant communities cling to their heritage languages. The author reveals that, on the contrary, English is being learned at a rapid pace while heritage languages are disappearing quickly from family use. She shows us how current assumptions have a pervasive influence on language policy in the United States. Ultimately, the author argues for an educational approach that effectively embraces immigrant communities as they tackle the obstacles to language learning in the United States. This unique volume offers a short, readable introduction to these issues suitable for nonspecialists as well as educators, researchers, and other professionals.
Author Bio
Lucy Tse is an associate professor of education at California State University, Los Angeles. She is co-editor of the book Heritage Language Development and has published widely in the areas of second language acquisition, heritage language learning, and bilingualism and biliteracy.