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The changing demographics of today's urban schools coupled with the corresponding shortage of bilingual teachers to provide an education for language minority students means that monolingual English teachers will have to carry out content area instruction for students with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the foreseeable future. This paper explores the cultural and linguistic complexity of teaching these students, focusing on the areas of social studies and history. It also provides a rationale for using oral history in classrooms with language minority students, offering examples from an oral history project being carried out with an extended Puerto Rican family to demonstrate the potential for such an approach. The oral history approach allows students to practice their oral skills in both languages, improves writing skills since students need to transcribe the oral tapes and summarize what is important, and enhances their knowledge of historical concepts because they can relate these concepts to real information from their own families or community. (Contains 16 references.) (BT)

Descriptors: Cultural Context, Elementary Secondary Education, History Instruction, Language Minorities, Limited English Speaking, Oral History, Social Studies, Student Needs, Teacher Role, Urban Education

Autor: Olmedo, Irma M.


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