Two Penn State Brandywine faculty members shared their expertise on language and culture in a new book published by the University of Michigan Press. Myra M. Goldschmidt, associate professor of English, and Debbie Lamb Ousey, instructor of English as a Second Language (ESL), are the authors of Teaching Developmental Immigrant Students in Undergraduate Programs: A Practical Guide.
The book, a hands-on resource for teachers, focuses on a variety of approaches that can be used in working with immigrant students, and addresses both the academic challenges underprepared students encounter and their need to be connected to a campus community.
Students entering college are not always prepared for the demands of a higher education curriculum and campus culture. Immigrant students, according to Goldschmidt and Ousey, can be even less prepared, since few of their academic literacy skills are well developed for higher education. Until now, very little material has been available to support teachers who deal with this challenge in their classrooms. Most textbooks on immigrant students focus only on writing or only on reading or are edited collections of essays or case studies. None focus on the comprehensive needs of these students.
Readers of the book who work with this population of learners will be inspired by the ideas contained within the book and be motivated to incorporate, modify and expand upon them in their classrooms. For example, the book discusses approaches and strategies for teaching study skills, academic integrity, grammar and content-based courses.
"We have derived so much pleasure in watching our students grow, both bilingually and bi-culturally, that we wanted to share our lessons, both literally and figuratively, with those faculty who are, or who will be, fortunate enough to teach them," Goldschmidt and Ousey said. "In fact, our students' unedited voices are heard throughout the book to remind us never to lose sight of why we are teaching them."