Voices Past and Present, is an anthology of selections from literature based on the premise that literature, with its universal appeal, is an effective way to both motivate and teach ESL students. Narrative, with its elements of action, conflict, suspense, romance, and humour, arouses and sustains student interest. The logical development of plot often enables ESL students to handle more difficult material, and their interest in theme or character provides even more reason to keep reading. At the same time, ESL students can develop language skills comfortably and pleasurably through involvement with literature, as the reading selections contained in this book expose them to models of good language, including correct grammatical structures, interesting word choice, figurative language, idioms, and organization of ideas. Literature also offers these students opportunities to explore many cultures and to examine their own beliefs and values, thus gaining a better understanding of themselves and the social and cultural environment in which they live.
Jessie Porter was Head of English as a Second Language at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto.
“What an inspiring book and how cleverly and sensitively put together. I hope it becomes required reading for any teacher who is working, or hopes to work, in Ontario’s schools.” – Jean Handscombe, Consultant, Research and Evaluation Services (formerly Coordinator of ESL), North York Board of Education
“New Canadian Voices is an anthology of personal writings (essays, journal entries, poems, and stories) by ESL students. It is one of the most innovative and useful high-school ESL texts I have ever read. There are numerous activities suggested by the editor, most of which are excellent in quality. This is a very important and timely text for young-adult ESL classrooms. The students using this book will have had many experiences similar to those of the writers. The therapeutic value of seeing that their problems and anxieties are similar to others’ is obvious. As well, the students begin to “risk more-an essential prerequisite for language learning.” New Canadian Voices would be also be a valuable addition to any public library with a multicultural clientele.” – Literature and Language