Newly arrived Chinese immigrant students face the hardest imaginable situation in the classroom: most often, this is the only place where they can listen to and practice English, having little if any opportunity to do so at home. The burden is then on the teacher to further these students' English education and at the same time create a classroom environment that appreciates and respects their culture and language.

Danling Fu has experienced these difficulties firsthand as a teacher, as a student, and as a parent. In An Island of English, she brings together her extensive research in New York's Chinatown, where she worked as a literacy consultant at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School, her personal story as an immigrant, and the stories of her son as an immigrant student. She extends her findings to other immigrant populations and applies her keen research talents to devise practical recommendations for educators and policymakers.