Bilingual Research Journal

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 1523-5882
The effects of bilingual education on reading and math achievement were examined by comparing test scores across different elementary-school programs. Results revealed that bilingual Two-Way Immersion programs benefited both minority-language and majority-language students. Minority-language students in Two-Way Immersion outperformed their peers in Transitional Programs of Instruction, while majority-language students in Two-Way Immersion outperformed their peers in Mainstream monolingual classrooms. Bilingual Two-Way Immersion programs may enhance reading and math skills in both minority-language and majority-language elementary-school children.
Mean percent correct and standard error results for bilingual children educated in 90:10 and 50:50 dual-language learning contexts on the five categories of English tasks: Language Competence / Expressive Proficiency, Reading Decoding, Phonological Awareness, Irregular Words, and Passage Comprehension. 
Participant Groups and Language Background Information
Mean percent correct and standard error results for children from English-only homes educated in 50:50 dual-language, 90:10 dual- language, and monolingual single-language learning context on the five categories of English tasks: Language Competence / Expressive Proficiency, Reading Decoding, Phonological Awareness, Irregular Words, and Passage Comprehension. 
Mean percent correct and standard error results for bilingual children educated in 90:10 and 50:50 dual-language learning contexts on the five categories of Spanish tasks: Language Competence / Expressive Proficiency, Reading Decoding, Phonological Awareness, Irregular Words, and Passage Comprehension. 
Is it best to learn reading in two languages simultaneously or sequentially? We observed 2(nd) and 3(rd) grade children in two-way dual-language learning contexts: (i) 50:50 or Simultaneous dual-language (two languages within same developmental period) and (ii) 90:10 or Sequential dual-language (one language, followed gradually by the other). They were compared to matched monolingual English-only children in single-language English schools. Bilinguals (home language was Spanish only, English-only, or Spanish and English in dual-language schools), were tested in both languages, and monolingual children were tested in English using standardized reading and language tasks. Bilinguals in 50:50 programs performed better than bilinguals in 90:10 programs on English Irregular Words and Passage Comprehension tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for underlying grammatical class and linguistic structure analyses. By contrast, bilinguals in 90:10 programs performed better than bilinguals in the 50:50 programs on English Phonological Awareness and Reading Decoding tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for surface phonological regularity analysis. Notably, children from English-only homes in dual-language learning contexts performed equally well, or better than, children from monolingual English-only homes in single-language learning contexts. Overall, the findings provide tantalizing evidence that dual-language learning during the same developmental period may provide bilingual reading advantages.
The study focuses on storytelling among Mexican families, documenting the frequency of storytelling in the homes of working and middle class Mexican families, the range of topics of the stories, characteristics and genres of stories, and intergenerational continuity of storytelling practices. Also examined are potential associations between storytelling practices and children's performance on language and early reading tasks. This qualitative study draws from interview data with 30 families, supplemented with survey and outcome data from the larger mixed method project of which it forms a part. Storytelling continues to be a widespread but not frequent activity, including genres of family anecdotes, horror stories, folktales, and historical recounts. Storytelling as a cultural resource is discussed.
While considerable research has focused on second language development and academic success, the debate continues on how the development of the first language benefits the acquisition of the second. The intent of the present study was to examine the strength of the relation among proficiency in English and Spanish and academic success. Relations among oral language, literacy, and academic achievement were examined. A significant connection was found between proficiency in English and standardized achievement scores, as well as grade point averages. Similarly, the results reveal significant correlations between reading and writing in Spanish and achievement scores, as well as grade point average. The strongest relations were found between Written Language and academic success. Early research among large groups of bilingual immigrant children in the first half of the twentieth century concluded that being bilingual contributed to "mental confusion" (Darcy, 1953). Researcher...
This article provides a research synthesis of studies that have examined language-minority students' academic achievement over a period of four or more years, for a comparison with the longitudinal findings on student academic achievement reported in the Ramrez study. One program variable is the focus of this synthesis -- the use of a minority language for instructional purposes. Some of the limitations to long-term research are discussed, followed by a summary of results from a variety of language-minority studies conducted in the United States on two-way bilingual education, late-exit bilingual education, early-exit bilingual education, and programs with no first language support. Implications for program effectiveness decisions for languageminority students are provided.
The role of students' previous educational learning experiences on current academic performance and second language proficiency was studied with intermediate school limited English proficient (LEP) students who were receiving their second year or more of specially-designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE). The findings suggest the following: (a) the students recognize the importance of learning English as a second language; (b) the students perceive their parents as recognizing the value of learning English as a second language; (c) the students use of English out of the classroom is determined by the English language proficiency of their parents, siblings, and friends; (d) the students perceive their parents as not having specific plans for them after high school graduation; (e) the students' siblings are the main persons to help them with homework assignments and quiz and examination preparation; (f) the majority of the students do not participate in extracurric...
The field of bilingual education lacks reliable methods for accurately describing the instructional process in transitional bilingual classrooms. In this article, a four-dimensional pedagogical model of transitional bilingual education was operationalized and an observation tool created. Pilot-testing of the observation tool occurred in four Grade 5 transitional bilingual classrooms, for the initial purpose of judging interrater reliability and stability of observation-based results over time. Finally, several hypotheses were posed about instruction within the four classrooms, and observation results were used to confirm or challenge these hypotheses. Results demonstrated high interrater reliability, but found that adequate stability over time would require more extensive observations. Most of the hypotheses posed about instruction in the target classrooms were disconfirmed by observation data. Recent meta-analyses of bilingual education have found a major methodological problem with m...
The purpose of the present study was to examine alternative instructional strategies for improving the education of English language learners (ELLs). More specifically, the present study provides descriptive and comparative information on the use of different instructional approaches that were implemented by 17 bilingual teachers and their 325 Hispanic ELLs from five elementary schools located in a medium-sized metropolitan school district in the south central region of the United States. The three instructional approaches examined in the study were (a) ESL in the Content Areas (Chamot & O'Malley, 1986), (b) Effective Use of Time (EUOT) (Stallings, 1980, 1986), and (c) a combination approach including both ESL in the Content Areas and EUOT. The fourth group included in the study did not receive any training and functioned as the control group. The analysis of covariance results revealed that the EUOT group had significantly higher posttest scores on reading and language a...
Two shaky theories dominate the debate over bilingual education. The facilitation hypothesis predicts a long-term advantage for bilingual education over all-English instruction. The time-on-task hypothesis predicts that all-English instruction is superior to bilingual education in teaching English. The data contradict both theories. Bilingual education programs are superior to all-English instruction in the early stages of learning English.
In 1996, Christine Rossell and Keith Baker conducted a review of the literature on the effectiveness of bilingual education and concluded that the majority of 75 methodologically acceptable studies showed that bilingual education was not beneficial. This study re-examines their literature review to verify the Rossell and Baker list of methodologically acceptable studies. After identifying only 11 studies that actually meet the standards for being methodologically acceptable, this study aggregates the results of those studies by a technique known as meta-analysis. The conclusion of the meta-analysis is that the use of at least some native language in the instruction of limited English proficient children has moderate beneficial effects on those children relative to their being taught only in English. During the debate over Proposition 227 in California that sought to eliminate the use of native language in the instruction of children with limited English proficiency (LEP), competing cla...
The findings of the Ramrez Report indicate that Latino students who received sustained L1 instruction throughout elementary school have better academic prospects than those who received most or all of their instruction through English. This pattern of findings refutes the theoretical assumptions underlying opposition to bilingual education while supporting the theory underlying developmental and two-way bilingual programs.
Scientific and technological literacy are important learning outcomes the nation has committed to develop in order to maintain a globally competitive economy. Students who bring to school diverse languages and cultures provide a rich resource of experiences on which to develop a scientifically literate work force. Unfortunately, in spite of the national commitment to "science for all," the process of promoting scientific literacy has not yet been fully operationalized across school settings. This article compares and contrasts opportunities for science learning at two schools with diverse student populations, one suburban and one urban. Three sources of information are considered: (a) students' prior knowledge and backgrounds, (b) perceptions of teachers and administrators, and (c) the schools' instructional environment. Vast differences are found in the science learning opportunities at these two sites. As the nation strives to promote equitable learning opportunities, the...
A pedagogical model for transitional English bilingual classrooms is developed to meet the goals of teacher training and guidance, program evaluation, and empirical validation of bilingual theories. The pedagogical model consists of four dimensions: (a) Activity Structures, (b) Language of Instruction, (c) Language Content, and (d) Communication Mode. The model defines and integrates those theoretical principles which show most promise for pedagogical usefulness, (i.e. notions which can be translated into manipulable elements of the classroom environment). Model elements also can be adjusted or manipulated by teachers to enhance student learning. Teachers can monitor themselves through model-based observation and use the results prescriptively in planning. Importantly, the model can be translated into reliably observable and codable elements. This permits its potential use in program evaluation (formative evaluation of the learning process) and in theory validation. Intr...
The purpose of this study was to determine the context in which Dominican students attain native language literacy, in order to improve on English as a Second Language instruction. An ethnographic study was conducted in a redaccin class at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, using interviews, taped transcripts, and videotapes. The researcher sought to identify specific classroom behaviors used by both the professor and the students as they learned to improve their reading and writing skills in their native language. The results of the study showed that students practice analysis and categorization of text, summary and text-related writing in a teacher-directed class setting. In English as a Second Language classes in the United States, therefore, they would need preparation in expository writing and reader response activities. Pedagogical implications for teacher-training curricula are included. English as a Second Language students who...
This study attempts to describe the issues which affect availability of free-reading materials in Spanish in elementary and middle school libraries. Attention was given to documenting the processes and chains of events which result in the actual library collections in selected elementary and middle schools in the Greater Los Angeles area. Nine school libraries were visited to examine current collections and patterns of use as well as implementation of district policies. Secondarily, public libraries closest to each school site were examined in order to determine their role in providing language minority children with freereading materials. Conclusions were drawn as to the effectiveness of the school library in providing language minority children with access to reading materials in their primary language, and whether the needs of language minority children can be met through use of existing reading resources in the schools and in the community at large. Implications for p...
The Ramrez, Pasta, Yuen, Ramey & Billings 1991 study analyzing the achievement of 1,054 language-minority children in structured immersion, early-exit and late-exit bilingual programs has several serious flaws which lead me to conclude that we cannot place any confidence in the finding of no consistent difference in the achievement of children regardless of how much Spanish or English is used in instruction.
Historically, the education of the deaf has not been viewed as successful. Deaf students graduating from high school read at the third or fourth grade level. The oral method, which had been the traditional method of instruction in deaf education, gave way to the Total Communication approach during the 1970s. This approach utilized a simultaneous oral and manual component. However, neither method has produced the desired results and deaf children still lag behind the academic performance of their hearing peers. A bilingual/bicultural approach, within a Vygotskian framework, has been suggested to improve the educational performance of deaf students. This study investigated the educational policy of the deaf and how it was interpreted at a site within the Desert View County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. The site was a regular education campus, Joshua Elementary School, which was part of the Blossom Hill School District. Results of the study indicated that there was a bre...
The present study was designed to examine the degree to which persuasive responses are present in Hispanic second language writers and to categorize these responses by level of language proficiency and gender. Thirty seven elementary school students were asked to write an essay in response to a standard prompt designed to elicit persuasive writing. Using an adaptation of Weiss & Sachs' (1991) classification system of persuasive responses, originally developed for oral tasks, students written discourse was examined. The findings seem to indicate that students exit ESL classes without having achieved a higher level of expertise in the use of persuasive discourse. In addition, essays written by Hispanic females show a greater degree of elaboration and a clearer attempt to express the writers point of view than those written by male Hispanic students, regardless of proficiency level. Teachers must incorporate writing beyond the linguistic level of a text to include students' ...
A year-long case study investigated the comparative effects of Whole Language-based instruction upon the writing development of eight Spanish-speaking kindergarten children and of eight Englishspeaking kindergarten children. Writing development was divided into three subsets of assessment: self-concept of students as writers, compositional literacy, and grapho-phonemic literacy. The study provided descriptive information to answer the following questions: (1) Will the use of Whole Language-based instruction have the same effects upon the writing development of Spanish-speaking kindergarten children as it will for English-speaking kindergarten children? (2) If the writing development of the Spanish group does differ from the writing development of the English group, to what extent does it differ? (3) In what areas of the writing development are the differences evident? Findings indicated that the writing skills of Spanish-speaking children in a Whole Language based progra...
The mathematics problem solving approaches of a group of elementary and secondary ESL students were investigated through a performance assessment accompanied by think-aloud procedures. Students were enrolled in ESL mathematics classes in a Title VII project implementing the Cognitive Academic Learning Approach (CALLA). In this approach, curriculum content is used to develop academic language and learning strategies are taught explicitly to increase students metacognitive awareness and to facilitate their learning of both content and language. Participating teachers were identified either as high implementation teachers (extensive involvement in staff development and other project activities) or low implementation teachers (limited involvement in project activities). The study was designed to identify learning and problem solving strategies of students at high, average and low mathematics achievement levels, and to compare strategic approaches of students in high implementation and low implementation classrooms. The results indicated that significantly more students in high implementation classrooms were able to solve the problem correctly than were students in low implementation classrooms. As expected, students rated high in math performance also performed significantly better on finding the correct problem solution. Of greater interest was the finding that there were no differences in the actual number 1 2 Bilingual Research Journal, 16:3&4, Summer/Fall 1992 of problem solving steps used by students in the two implementation levels, but that significant differences for high implementation classrooms were found for correct sequence of problem solving steps, which has been featured in instruction in the high implementation classrooms. This seemed to indicate that ex...
This review examines the reported findings and corresponding implications of the national investigation entitled Longitudinal Study of Immersion Strategy, Early-Exit, and Late-Exit Transitional Bilingual Education Programs for Language-minority Children commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education in 1983 and completed in 1991. The review is intended to assist policy makers and practitioners in identifying the key outcomes of the study and to understand these outcomes within the context of other related research on languageminority education.
Bilingual teachers can gain a wealth of information from their students who are writing in Spanish. The information gained from analysis of students' writing can be used effectively to inform instruction focused on helping students to improve their writing in Spanish. Writing process teachers who have students working in Spanish are realizing the importance of helping students in the United States improve the content and mechanics of their writing in Spanish as well as in English. Teachers can identify the strengths and needs of a student writer through analysis of their writing for content and mechanics. The writing of one native Spanish speaking third grader is analyzed here and instructional strategies are given for helping the writer to improve content and mechanics.
This review of the Ramrez study provides an analysis of the political, educational, and technical factors that strongly influenced the study's research design. The study's data collection and analyses represent a procedural compromise among competing interests of the stakeholders, the requirements of defensible research practice, and the limitations imposed by finite resources and existing U.S. languageminority programs. Analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the study's research methodology are provided, along with their implications for decision-making in language-minority education. The last section provides a summary of defensible conclusions of the Ramrez study that have not yet been emphasized, in order to clarify incorrect interpretations of the data and to maximize the useful information to be gleaned from this important research effort.
This paper presents an analysis of the literacy practices in a primary-grade English immersion class in California during the first year of implementation of Proposition 227, the initiative that mandated English immersion education for a majority of the state’s linguistically diverse students. The data issue from a yearlong qualitative study of Room 110, a class consisting of 20 native Spanish-speaking children. The author utilizes the notion of hybrid literacy practices to conceptualize the blending of Spanish and English and home and school registers that permeated the class’s reading and writing activities. Findings illustrate the dynamic contexts of development created by these practices and ways that the linguistic hegemony operating within the school eclipsed the practices. A discussion of the findings emphasizes the ambivalence of hybridity as a conceptual tool and as a guide for instructional practice. The paper concludes with three interrelated principles gleaned from the analysis of Room 110’s literacy practices that elaborate dimensions of effective literacy learning environments for Latina/o children.
English immersion metaphors.
Minority metaphors. 2 1. IMMIGRANTS AS A PATHOLOGY "It's particularly acute in Arizona, where Douglas has basically become the open wound in a bleeding border.. . ." (The Arizona Republic, 2000, October 11, p. A14). 2. IMMIGRANTS AS ISOLATION "The problem that recent immigrants from any country face is that they surround themselves with people [family, friends] who speak their own language. .. ." (The Arizona Republic, 2000, July 10, p. B6). 3. MINORITY LANGUAGES AS AN ARTIFACT ".. . argued that the role of public education is to teach children to read, write and speak in English, not to preserve native languages" (The Arizona Republic, 2000, October 13, p. B1).
Education metaphors.
This project draws on Lakoff and Johnson's (1980) work with metaphor analysis to uncover the rhetorical strategies applied by supporters of the English for the Children organization during the 2000 Arizona Proposition 203 campaign. The data were collected from three sources: (a) "The Arizona Republic"; (b) the "East Valley Tribune"; and (c) the 2000 "Arizona Voter Information Pamphlet." Grounded in Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough & Wodak 1997; Johnstone 2002; Schiffrin 2002), Santa Ana's (2002) metaphor analysis framework was applied to expose the metaphors used to denigrate bilingual education and those who support it, as well as the underlying ideology behind biased legislation like Proposition 203. Metaphors were analyzed in terms of the cognitive entailments produced by their source and target domains. In general, the overall debate between bilingual education and Proposition 203 was characterized as a WAR. The results show that extra emphasis was placed on portraying bilingual education as a FAILURE and situating minority-language students as VICTIMS. Conversely, English was enshrined in the media as the key to the "American Dream." This work exemplifies the analytical power of critical discourse analysis by illustrating how language is utilized as a tool for political ends. (Contains 7 figures.)
After the passage of Proposition 227 in California, the State Department of Education issued specific regulations for informing the parents of English language learners (ELLs) about program options so that they could decide, as the new law permits, whether to accept English language immersion or request a parent exception waiver. This study was conducted among parents in three geographically-distinct school districts which did their utmost to inform them. The study compared the responses of parents who requested waivers and bilingual education with those of parents who did not request waivers. Parents were asked for their level of agreement with factual statements on language acquisition/development and each program option (English language immersion, mainstream, and bilingual education). They also responded to open-ended questions, which were later categorized for analysis. The results clearly show that the best informed parents in an atmosphere of complete disclosure were those who chose a waiver and bilingual education.
Numerous simultaneous educational reforms and limited data prevent drawing conclusions about the independent effects of California's Proposition 227, a 2-year-old English Only initiative. Achievement scores show little benefit for English learners. Observational data indicate that implementation of high stakes testing has encouraged teaching that rewards rote learning and undermines long-term success of limited English learners. (TD)
This article explores the impact of Proposition 227 on students and teachers based on interviews with parents, teachers, and administrators of a school in the Bay Area. We discuss four themes that emerge from the data: parent involvement, academic impact on students, the instructional challenges posed by Proposition 227, and the emotional impact on teachers and students. Connecting these themes is an overemphasis on language of instruction, which we found to overshadow other issues critical to the education of language minority students.
In this article, I address the ?balkanization argument? made by conservatives for English-Only legislation and against bilingualism. The argument here is that the United States faces the sort of linguistic divisions found in other countries. Most frequently invoked are the cases of Canada and Belgium. The claim that the United States should take warning from these countries and avoid the promotion of bilingualism has been made by a number of people, including Linda Chavez, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Newt Gingrich. I argue that this claim is alarmist, at best. Data from Canada and Belgium indicate that the linguistic situations in these two countries are far too different to make reasonable comparisons to the United States. I make my case by using data of language shift, language demographics, and language prestige. These data indicate just how far the United States is from being on the same road toward linguistic division. This is not to say, however, that linguistic division cannot occur, and I point out the lessons we should draw from the cases of Canada, Belgium, and other multilingual nations.
This study examined the issue of transfer for low-intermediate ESL students enrolled in an academic English development course at the community college level, Late immigrant students (adult immigrants) had higher LI academic language proficiency and generally made better progress in L2 academic language development as a result of instruction than did the early immigrant group (those who immigrated at a younger age). The findings support Cummins' Model of Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) and the Interdependence Hypothesis between L1 and L2, complement previous studies on literacy development in first and second languages, and provide both quantitative and qualitative evidence on positive transfer of prior linguistic and cognitive skills from L1 to L2.
Program evaluation can be used to shift the debate on effective schools for bilingual students from an ideological impasse to a data- driven and research-based discussion. Using the example of the Barbieri Two-Way Bilingual Education Program in Framingham, Massachusetts, this article links theoretical understandings about bilingualism and second language acquisition to program design and implementation, and subsequently to academic outcomes. Disaggregated academic achievement data in English and Spanish show that the Barbieri program meets its academic and linguistic goals for both target groups by fifth grade. Reflections on these academic achievement patterns, in turn, have prompted changes in the program to further increase its effectiveness.
Numerous studies have been conducted on acculturation. These studies include defining, conceptualizing, operationalizing and measuring acculturation. The emphasis of this body of research, however, has been on the acculturation of adults. The process of acculturation occurs among children and adolescents also. In academic settings, students are expected to acculturate to the school and are expected to perform academically like other students. When students are confronted with literacy demands coupled with the multi-faceted, multi-layered process of acculturation, development of literacy skills will be influenced. It is important to determine whether cultural factors influence reading assessment and skills before evaluating other literacy dimensions. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acculturation on reading achievement. Twenty-three 7th through 9th grade Latino students in a small rural midwestern town participated in the project. The Acculturation Quick Screen (Collier, 1988) and Franco’s (1983) Children’s Acculturation Scale were used to assess acculturation to the school environment (the former) and their own culture (the latter). Reading scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) were used as their reading achievement measure. Results of two correlations revealed no significant findings, suggesting that a limited relationship exists between acculturation and reading achievement. Qualitative findings indicated that students could maintain their first culture without significantly affecting reading achievement.
This study attempted to answer the question: What is the significance of language and cultural orientation on academic achievement? This study examined the relationship between the students’ level of interest in maintaining their heritage language and culture and their achievement in school. The subjects for this study were 105 U.S.-born, Chinese-American and Korean-American students attending public high schools in Southern California. The study found that those who valued the acculturation process, adapting to the mainstream culture while preserving their language and culture, had superior academic achievement levels to those who were most interested in the assimilation process and who adopted the values and lifestyles of the dominant culture. In light of the implementation of the “English Only” policy in California’s public schools, this study has important implications in public education—that curriculum and instruction should focus on helping language and cultural minority students to develop and maintain their heritage while exposing them to new ideas.
Differentiating intrinsic processing disorders from extrinsic factors, such as cultural differences and language acquisition proficiency, is a complex issue. Students with limited English proficiency (LEP) may be mistakenly identified as learning disabled due to inherent similarities between intrinsic processing deficits and the process of second language acquisition. The need for evaluation instruments to separate these discrete factors is critical. The Learning Disabilities Diagnostic Inventory (LDDI) is a recently published observational tool designed to help teachers detect possible intrinsic processing disorders. This study compared LDDI results of non-disabled students with LEP and those who were English-speaking to determine the frequency of intrinsic processing likelihood. Results of the study indicated that non-disabled students with LEP were over-identified as having intrinsic processing deficits through this process. Upon examination of individual LDDI protocols, the over-identification issue focused on the need to train educators concerning second language acquisition characteristics rather than simply discarding the LDDI as a possible tool.
This study examined the perceptions and beliefs about language acquisition of seven Spanish-speaking Mexican American mothers who had young children (age 24–37 months) with language disabilities. These children were served in an Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program in central Texas. How mothers' perceptions and beliefs influenced their decision as to whether ECI services were provided in Spanish or English was examined, as was their understanding of how to support their children's language development. Data were gathered using a home language questionnaire, a structured interview, and observations of mother-child interactions. Data were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Themes that emerged from the interviews and mother-child interactions are examined and implications for early childhood intervention are discussed.
This paper traces the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) from its inception in 1968 through its most recent reauthorization in 1994 as the primary federal legislative effort to provide equal educational opportunity to language minority students. Federal legislative initiatives which provide the foundation for the BEA are discussed. The polemic between two philosophical positions, assimilation and multiculturalism, is introduced along with the need for further colloquy. The evolution of the BEA from its inception in 1968 through its reauthorization in 1994 is analyzed. Finally, the authors comment on the current proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the future of Title VII.
It has been estimated that by the year 2000, only 5% of teachers will be minorities, although minorities will make up about one third of the total school enrollment in the United States (Educational Commission of the States, 1990). Through “The Inter-Campus Enhancement of Language Minority Recruitment and Bilingual Education Project,” directed by Dr. Carlos Ovando of Indiana University, and working in collaboration with The University of Texas-Pan American’s College of Education, select students from Indiana University spend 6 to 15 weeks teaching children and adolescents in the Rio Grande Valley schools in South Texas—over 90% who are Hispanics of Mexican American descent. This ethnographic article describes the challenges of cultural adaptation of six student interns who chose to live and teach in a small university town along the U.S./Mexico border, and it generates many questions regarding the awesome task of increasing the number of educators prepared to serve Spanish language populations of bilingual classroom settings in the United States.
Analyzes three public controversies related to California's Proposition 227: English as endangered language versus students' right to appropriate education, bilingual education versus structured English immersion, and local control and professional volition versus state-mandated English-only education. Outlines an advocacy framework applicable to student diversity and bilingual education and encompassing issues identification, defensibility, and teacher leadership. (Contains 35 references.) (SV)
Examines the effects of training Spanish-speaking parents in read-aloud techniques on the Spanish vocabulary development of their children aged five and six. Although not statistically significant, the results seem to favor the group that received training for five weeks versus a control group. The training increased parental involvement and had positive effects on the home literacy environment. (TD)
Current studies in heritage language learning have explored the linguistic and social-cultural issues of identity. Most scholars, however, overlook an important heritage language group in America: the Deaf community. This work seeks to redress this oversight by examining the ways Deaf people protected theirheritage language?American Sign Language?and their cultural identity during the early twentieth century. This period was especially hostile to the Deaf community, exemplified by increasing application of oralism in schools for the Deaf. Oralism, which teaches lip reading and speech instead of Sign Language, promised to integrate Deaf people into mainstream society. Deaf resistance to oralism took on many forms, including the support of Deaf teachers in schools, as well as Deaf churches, clubs, and Deaf newspapers. Individuals and organizations also exploited new technology in an effort to codify and legitimate their language, producing numerous Sign Language films and dictionaries. While solidifying the broad Deaf community, efforts to appear ?normal? to mainstream society ultimately marginalized sub-groups within the community, including women and racial minorities.
A survey of 21 Hispanic, 22 Native American, and 10 Vietnamese American college students found that adoption or maintenance of ancestral language was related to attitudes toward ancestral language, beliefs about parental attitudes, and integrative motivation (toward family and ancestral ethnic group). There were significant differences by gender and ethnic group. Includes survey questions. (SV)
Discusses the role that schools, communities, and parents can play in transmitting American Indian culture and language to Indian children, focusing on the experiences of the Hualapai Indians and Peach Springs School District in Arizona. (three references) (MDM)
Should a diploma from a U.S. university imply that the recipient received instruction only in English? If there is bilingual and multilingual education in the K–12 system, why not in higher education? While custom dictates higher education in only English, it has significant, if rarely discussed drawbacks. This article critically examines the popular practice of requiring higher education students in the United States to first demonstrate English proficiency before pursuing a degree and proposes abandoning this practice in favor of a model in which university professors employ sheltered techniques, translated portions of their lecture notes, and bilingual teaching assistants to impart their instruction. In addition, concurrent English for academic purposes (EAP) instruction, closely coordinated with the academic classes, is proposed. Such a model serves language minority and international students more equitably and efficiently and provides numerous benefits for U.S. universities as well.
One hundred and six Vietnamese parents were given a questionnaire to assess their attitudes toward bilingual education and its underlying principles. The majority of parents preferred that their children be enrolled in a classroom where Vietnamese was part of the curriculum regardless of English proficiency. Parents believed that bilingual education allows children to keep up in subject matter while acquiring English, that developing literacy in Vietnamese would facilitate their English acquisition, that learning subject matter first in the primary language would make the subject matter more understandable in English, that bilingualism had practical, career, and cognitive related advantages, and that it was necessary to maintain language and culture.
While both positive and negative implications of bilingual educational programs on school children have been widely observed, the aspect of elicited response in a student’s weakest language has virtually been ignored. Even with evidence that shows how vital it is to maintain a child’s natural language and culture through dual language programs, bilingual teachers still fail to question the necessity of or focus on the practical elements of eliciting response from students, i.e., using different strategies such as code switching or peer scaffolding to get students to use their native language, in this case Spanish. Through the use of the Language Experience Approach, this study examines the role of elicited response with a small sample of English and Spanish speaking participants in an early childhood classroom. In addition, this article provides an overview of differing philosophies and reasons behind questioning the importance of elicited response and the role a teacher plays in this process. Several issues are explored throughout this discussion, such as the conditions, variables, and social influences that affect second language acquisition, and the implications of different levels of language exposure in peer groups. While it is impossible to derive an absolute and definitive solution from the results, they do set a precedent for further, much needed research in the area of elicited response.
In this article I present a critical ethnographic study of three Mexican-American bilingual interns reflecting on the ability of an alternative licensure program to address barriers that have traditionally prevented individuals from underrepresented groups in the United States from entering teaching. Most financial and work schedule barriers are addressed through a federal grant supporting the program and the availability of evening and weekend coursework. However, in this program they face new barriers including reduction in salary during the internship, a stressful workload, passing required teacher exams, inability to use their bilingual education knowledge and skills, and mentors with no experience in bilingual education and/or experience at the interns' grade level. In this article, the author offers a vision for transforming alternative licensure programs aimed at diversifying the teaching force.
In response to their children being turned away from the bilingual school, a group of Latino parents organized to pressure the Lompoc (California) Unified School District to guarantee educational equity. A systemic analysis of components leading to parental activism focuses on leadership, knowledge as power, cultural conflicts, anti-immigrant sentiments, planned strategies, and lack of trust. (Contains 24 references.) (TD)
Language Minority (LM) parents who communicate on a daily basis with their children have a crucial influence on the development of their children’s bilingualism. It is better for them to take initial actions to enable their children to develop both their first language (L1) and second language (L2), and to get together with the two respective cultures, rather than wait passively for schools and communities to reach out to them. The present case study illustrated this topic by presenting the author’s personal observations of her 12-year-old daughter in Hawaii over a five-month period. It addressed the issue from two perspectives: (1) LM parents’ attitudes toward L1/L2 and the cultures (valuing the heritage and respecting the new), and (2) Parent-child interactions (family talk aiming at keeping up L1 and bridging the generation gap; academic study confirming the interdependent hypothesis of L1 and L2; two-language nurturing home environment including parents’ own involvement in learning by means of L1 and L2, and concurrent use of the two languages at home.) The study showed that LM parents’ positive attitudes toward both languages and cultures and supportive interactions with their children at home are very important to the children’s bilingual education and identity establishment in the new environment.
A study was conducted using a single case, multiple baseline (across subjects) design to study an intensive reading intervention among low-achieving at-risk students in first and second grade Spanish/English bilingual classrooms. The intervention, involving three research-supported techniques, was conducted for 45 minutes per day, three days per week, over 12 weeks, with 74 students from four classrooms (analyses included 53 students with complete data). Dependent measures were oral reading fluency scores and comprehension scores from post-reading questions, collected every two weeks from equivalent probes. It was concluded that implementing intensive reading fluency interventions in bilingual classrooms is feasible and valuable if conducted with fidelity, and if students are highly engaged.
The complexities involved in equitably educating language minority students raise ethical issues and involve the moral dimensions of teaching in a diverse democracy. Acknowledging the moral dimensions of bilingual education may encourage policy makers and practitioners to consider their ethical motivation and commitment to equitably educating all public education students. We use sociopolitical and legal perspectives to analyze the historical development of bilingual education policy in the United States and explore two arguments supporting the moral dimensions of bilingual education: (1) a morality based on economic and social interdependency and (2) a spiritual morality. We examine the potential and limitations of an economic and social morality and develop the construct of a spiritual morality as a means of harnessing the combined powers of intellect, emotions, politics, and spirituality in the fight to provide equitable education for language minority students.
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