ERIC Number: ED467861
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Losing Our Language: How Multiculturalism Undermines Our Children's Ability To Read, Write & Reason.
This book argues that it is the incorporation of a multicultural agenda into basal readers, the primary tool for teaching reading in elementary schools, that has stunted American children's ability to read. The book shows how basal readers have been systematically "dumbed down" in an effort to raise minority students'"self esteem." It contends that while elementary readers of the past featured excerpts from classic stories such as "Arabian Nights" and "Robinson Crusoe," with a complex vocabulary and sentence structure able to challenge the imagination and build reading skills, today's basal readers present students with politically and ethnically correct stories whose language is virtually foreign and unable to engage students. According to the book, drawing words from Swahili, Spanglish, and other "trendy" dialects to teach students with a shrinking English vocabulary is a symptom of this intellectual and cultural disorder. The book showcases interviews with teachers, gives an in-depth analysis of reading texts over the past 30 years, and talks about how pressure groups have affected educational publishers. It points out that literacy--cultural and verbal--gives all students, but particularly those from poor or minority backgrounds, personal independence and achievement and the ability to participate fully in civic life. Each of the 11 chapters includes notes. (NKA)
Descriptors: Basal Reading, Elementary Education, Multicultural Education, Multicultural Literature, Political Correctness, Reading Achievement, Reading Material Selection, Reading Skills, Student Needs, Test Score Decline, Textbook Content
Encounter Books, 665 Third St, Ste 330, San Francisco, CA 94107-1951 ($16.95). Tel: 800-786-3839; Web Site: http://www.encounterbooks.com.
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A