and Then: Reading and Writing
about the American Immigrant Experience. N.
skill area/level: Advanced
ESL Reading (Level 6)
Format: Now and Then is organized into
twelve chapters, each with a unifying theme on the immigrant experience in
America: leaving home, the
journey, first days, learning English, culture changes, photographs,
friends and family, places, at work, and issues in the news. Students begin to examine the
theme of the chapter by reading and analyzing a piece of professional
writing through a series of activities: establishing the context,
discussion, reading, response, analysis, further exploration of language
and literature, and vocabulary.
There is also a section which presents an authentic student essay
(edited for correctness) accompanied by a response and analysis section
encouraging personal response, analysis and strategies for peer
revision. Each chapter
finishes with suggestions for writing assignments.
and charts: A detailed
nine-page table of contents in the front, and a helpful index at the
Critique: Now and Then features
high-interest material for students who are themselves immigrants,
thematic organization for whole-language instruction, authentic student
essays which encourage personal response to the theme, a process approach
to writing with aids to generate ideas and revise essays, a logical
transition from personal to academic writing, the integration of reading
and writing, and the exploration of literature. In addition, the wide diversity of
the backgrounds of the authors helps students see that their experience is
not unique-people of all languages and cultures have similar experiences
upon arriving in a new country.
On the other hand, students can see that each immigrant group has a
different world view, and that we must all learn to live and work with
people who often donít see life the same way we do. And Neil Reich accomplishes this
balance without preaching tolerance. The texts speak for themselves, and
the discussion questions encourage authentic discussion, not biases
rhetoric. I hope to try some
of these lessons with my advanced reading class this fall.
Connections 2, An Integrated Approach to learning English
Skill areas/level: Middle and
High School ESL students.
This text is very well suited for the Adult intermediate learner in
text is set up in Five units which are broken down in smaller subject
areas. All Units can be used
for adult students without any modification to fit age and maturity
table of contents is very easy to read and the break down of topics is
text is very well suited for upper level two and three ESL students in
Middle and high School as well as the Adult learners. Its use will advance the level two
student into level three understanding and reading ability. It gives practice at reading and
understanding as well as listening and writing skills. This text will also assist
students in matching information learned in the native language with
general knowledge information used in this text to learn
also find this text to be excellent for use by students who are speakers
of other languages to use as a bases for learning leading to preparation
for entrance into higher levels of education. This text is an introduction to
writing in a higher form in which ever language the student chooses to
write in besides English.
Expressions of thoughts in writing from any language into that same
language or another, is the prized accomplishment of all language