California is home to the largest population of limited English-speaking students in the nation. To succeed in the United States, these children must learn English.This state could screw up a you-know-what.
How best to accomplish that aim? In 1998, after decades of failing such students, Californians voted to replace so-called bilingual education, which in practice taught children primarily in their native language, with English immersion programs.
By all measures, the shift was a success. Not only did kids learn English more quickly, but their reading scores improved, as well, doubling in the first four years after bilingual-ed was banned.
So why are California legislators now trying to reverse course and lift the ban? The move seems primarily aimed at appeasing a powerful bilingual-ed lobby — at the expense not only of the children they claim to want to help, but also of immigration reform...
The proponents of reinstating bilingual education in California seem far more interested in expanding the use of Spanish in American life than they do in helping children learn English.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Bilingual Education In California
When I first became a teacher and learned about bilingual education here in California, I was mortified. Looks like the pendulum is shifting back to those days: