Newcomers and the Environment - English as a Second Language EE Textbook

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Resource Types: 

An ESL environmental education textbook is now available for free to use in your classes or tutoring sessions.

What's unique about this textbook?

Several things are unique. In this book we have profiled the lives of immigrants who work in the field of environmental education and protection. We answer a number of questions about each person. Why did they come to the United States? How did they chose their profession? What information do they want to pass on to other newcomers? These immigrants have come to America and successfully made a new life for themselves, as our students hope to do. They serve as an inspiration, both personally and professionally, to all who use this textbook. Second, from promoting recycling to using hazardous household chemicals safely, from reducing indoor air pollution to responsible hunting and fishing, from using outdoor recreational areas in Minnesota to protecting those areas for future generations, it will help students to understand how to live an environmentally friendly life in Minnesota. How to protect their families and the earth from environmental pollution is covered. The environmental education in this book is not available from other ESL materials. Finally, a multi-lingual glossary is included in the textbook which will help students learn the new environmental vocabulary. All students will benefit from the English definitions, and glossary words are also translated into Bosnian, Hmong, Russian, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese.

How will these textbooks benefit my students?

Students respond positively to materials that are tailored for their use. As newcomers to this country, most want to do the right thing, whether it's recycling properly, following hunting and fishing regulations, or keeping their home healthy. However, it's difficult for them to understand materials that are designed for the general public. Because of their limited English skills, students are not able to pick up the phone and easily get their questions answered. This book provides information that they want and need, and also provides links to agencies and other immigrants that students can contact to get additional information.

Will these books appeal to both students and instructors?

Absolutely! Instructors will find these textbooks easy to use, and the material written at a level appropriate for teaching ESL. They contain classroom tested ESL exercises which encourage students to use English and learn the rules of language. Reviewing the content of each lesson
will give students practical information about how to live in the US and be a friend of the environment. Instructors will find the stories interesting and inspiring. Students appreciate real representatives of their community used as role models. The stories about real people keep them interested in the environmental issues discussed, and the exercises help them improve
their English skills.

Should they be used in a classroom setting or can tutors use them?

Whether you are working with a class, or tutoring one-to-one, these textbooks will work well for you. In fact, anyone teaching ESL or environmental education can use these materials. The goal is to get this important environmental information to newcomers in a format that they
can understand.

Which ESL students can use "Newcomers and the Environment"?

The Intermediate Level book is written for students scoring 200 to 210 on the CASAS, or reading at the 2nd or 3rd grade level. The Advanced Level book is written for students scoring 211 and above on the CASAS, or reading at the 4th grade level or higher. Both textbooks were written for adult ESL programs, but are also suitable for younger students.

What topics are covered?

Following is the "Table of Contents":

Chapter 1 - Kou Xiong, Composting and reducing waste
Chapter 2 - Stefanie Pruegel, Recycling
Chapter 3 - Girma Yismaw, Preventing water pollution
Chapter 4 - Laura Au-Yeung, Improving indoor air quality
Chapter 5 - Zahra Niccu Tafarrodi, Preventing health problems from secondhand smoke
Chapter 6 - Nigatu Tadesse, Farming and the safe use of chemicals
Chapter 7 - Vuthy Pril, Fishing and hunting regulations
Chapter 8 - Phoukham (Pooh) Vongkhamdy, Conserving natural resources
Chapter 9 - Khoi Nguyen, Using state parks
Chapter 10 - Minnesota Fishing

Why are the textbooks free?

The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (MOEA) is committed to funding projects that provide environmental information to groups that are difficult to reach. Immigrants and refugees qualify as a population that cannot easily access this important information. Therefore, through it's education grant program the MOEA has supported the creation and publication of an ESL textbook which conveys this information. The grant also supports the cost of shipping the textbooks to sites that can use the books, for as long as grant funds are available. In return, they want to know that these books will be used with ESL students in K-12 or adult programs, or with others who will benefit from this material.

How many textbooks can I order?

Order enough so that every student in your class, and all students being worked with one-on-one, will have their own book. You are encouraged to order enough to use for the remainder of this school year, and all of next school year. The books can be used with everyone who will benefit from learning English and environmental education.

How soon will I receive the books?

You can expect to receive delivery approximately two weeks from the time the order is received.

Who is the author?

Charles LaRue has been working as an ESL instructor for over 20 years. More than 10,000 copies of his previous ESL textbook, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," were used by ESL programs around the state of Minnesota. He wrote and classroom tested "Newcomers and the Environment."

Multi-Cultural Educational Services
Topic Areas: 
Foreign Language
Target Audience: 
Grades Pre K-6
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
40 pages
Date Produced/Published: 
currently free
Library loan: 
Is training required?: 
Material format or language other than English: 
Bosnian, Hmong, Russ
Contact(s) or order information.: 

Go to the Multi-Cultural Educational Services main page,
and click on "Newcomers and the Environment". You will have the choice of ordering online or printing out a pdf version of the order form to send in .

Charles or Pamela LaRue, Multi-Cultural Educational Services, 832 104th Lane NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433

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