Mercurial Essays

Free Essays & Assignment Examples

Bilingual Education Vs. English Only

The Debate Between Bilingual Education and English Immersion Programs
Bilingual Education is defined as any school program that uses two languages. In a more theoretical sense it is any educational program whose ultimate goal is for the participants to be fully versed in all facets of both languages (i.e., able to listen, speak , read, and write in both languages).

The definition of a coordinated, developmental bilingual approach has emphasized the goal of being equally fluid in both languages. Realistically, this has not been the goal for most K-12 bilingual schools in the United States. More commonly in the United States we are using the words ?bilingual program? to describe a program that will provide literacy and content in the primary language, while building English fluency, to the point where all instruction will occur in English. These programs are label transitional bilingual programs as their ultimate goal is to transition all students into an English only learning arena. One of the down sides of these programs is that they are not maintenance (development)bilingual programs which are designed to preserve and develop student’s primary language while they acquire English as a second language.
Bilingual Program Models
All bilingual program models use the students’ home language, in addition to English, for instruction.

These programs are most easily implemented in districts with a large number of students from the same
language background. Students in bilingual programs are grouped according to their first language, and
teachers must be proficient in both English and the students’ home language.

Early-exit bilingual programs are designed to help children acquire the English skills required to
succeed in an English-only mainstream classroom. These programs provide some initial instruction in
the students’ first language, primarily for the introduction of reading, but also for clarification. Instruction
in the first language is phased out rapidly, with most students mainstreamed by the end of first or
second grade. The choice of an early-exit model may reflect community or parental preference, or it
may be the only bilingual program option available in districts with a limited number of bilingual
teachers.

Late-exit programs differ from early-exit programs primarily in the amount and duration that English
is used for instruction as well as the length of time students are to participate in each program
(Ramirez, Yuen, & Ramey, 1991). Students remain in late-exit programs throughout elementary school
and continue to receive 40% or more of their instruction in their first language, even when they have
been reclassified as fluent-English-proficient.

Two-way bilingual programs, also called developmental bilingual programs, group language minority
students from a single language background in the same classroom with language majority
(English-speaking) students. Ideally, there is a nearly 50/50 balance between language minority and
language majority students. Instruction is provided in both English and the minority language. In some
programs, the languages are used on alternating days. Others may alternate morning and afternoon, or
they may divide the use of the two languages by academic subject. Native English speakers and
speakers of another language have the opportunity to acquire proficiency in a second language while
continuing to develop their native language skills. Students serve as native-speaker role models for their
peers. Two-way bilingual classes may be taught by a single teacher who is proficient in both languages
or by two teachers, one of whom is bilingual.

ESL Program Models
ESL programs (rather than bilingual programs) are likely to be used in districts where the languageminority population is very diverse and represents many different languages. ESL programs can accommodate students from different language backgrounds in the same class, and teachers do not
need to be proficient in the home language(s) of their students.

ESL pull-out is generally used in elementary school settings. Students spend part of the school day in
a mainstream classroom, but are pulled out for a portion of each day to receive instruction in English as
a second language. Although schools with a large number of ESL students may have a full-time ESL
teacher, some districts employ an ESL teacher who travels to several schools to work with small
groups of students scattered throughout the district.

ESL class period is generally used in middle school settings. Students receive ESL instruction during a
regular class period and usually receive course credit. They may be grouped for instruction according
to their level of English proficiency.

The ESL resource center is a variation of the pull-out design, bringing students together from several
classrooms or schools. The resource center concentrates ESL materials and staff in one location and is
usually staffed by at least one full-time ESL teacher.

Models with No instruction in the native language–
such programs provide neither instruction in the native language nor direct instruction in ESL. However, instruction is adapted to meet the needs of students who are not proficient in English.

Sheltered English or content-based programs group language minority students from different language backgrounds together in classes where teachers use English as the medium for providing content area instruction, adapting their language to the proficiency level of the students. They may also use gestures and visual aids to help students understand. Although the acquisition of English is one of the goals of sheltered English and content-based programs, instruction focuses on content rather than
language.

Structured immersion programs use only English, but there is no explicit ESL instruction. As in
sheltered English and content-based programs, English is taught through the content areas. Structured immersion teachers have strong receptive skills in their students’ first language and have a bilingual education or ESL teaching credential. The teacher’s use of the children’s first language is limited primarily to clarification of English instruction. Most students are mainstreamed after 2 or 3 years.

Case Study: California Proposition 227 What do redesignation rates show about the success of Prop 227.
Redesignation occurs when a child knows enough English to participate in the mainstream. All studies, whether done by advocates or opponents of bilingual education, show that this takes about five years. When redesignation rates rose in Los Angeles Unified School District recently, proponents of Proposition 227 claimed success. Redesignation rates in Los Angeles did in fact improve: A tenth of a percent in 1999, and about two percent since 1998. Proposition 227 has been in effect only two years, not enough time to show an effect. Redesignation rates in Los Angeles Unified have been increasing for the last ten years, from about four percent in 1990 to ten percent in 2000. In the early 1990’s, Los Angeles Unified greatly improved its bilingual education program. It appears that bilingual education deserves the credit for the improvement, not Proposition 227.

If we accept that recent gains in redesignation rates are a valid indicator of Proposition 227, data from other districts shows that 227 is a failure: Some English-only districts had redesignation rates below the state average, including Oceanside (6.6%, compared to the state average of 7.6%), while some that kept bilingual education had higher redesignation rates.
Proposition 227 indicated one year was enough time to acquire a sufficient level of English to do well in the mainstream. Ramirez (1992) reported that after one year in an all-English immersion program, only 3.9% of LEP children were redesignated and only 1.3% were mainstreamed. Even after three years, these percentages were still only 38% and 19%.

– Mitchell, Destino, and Karan (1997) evaluated the progress of limited English proficient children in the Santa Ana district in an immersion program that was similar to what Proposition 227 requires. When they entered school, the children had low intermediate proficiency in English (2.18 on a 1-5 scale, where 4 = sufficient proficiency to survive in the mainstream). After one year, they showed some growth in English but were nowhere near what was required to do academic work in the mainstream: They moved from 2.18 to 2.84 in English, on a five point scale. Even after a second year of immersion, their mean English rating was only 3.24.

– Krashen and McQuillan (1999) reanalyzed data from Clark (1999), and concluded that one year/180 days was not sufficient even to bring most students to the level where they could do well in special sheltered subject matter instruction, and fell very very far short of bringing students to the level where they would profit from being in the mainstream.

– Goldberg (1997) described an all-English program for LEP children in Pennsylvania who received a language rich curriculum in English in kindergarten, with 75 minutes daily of ESL. For those who started at beginner level, it took three to three and a half years until they reached the level in which they are able to understand main ideas appropriate to grade level even with additional ESL support. After one year, most were still at the beginner level in oral proficiency. This study was presented as evidence against bilingual education.

Arguments Against Bilingual Education The Little Hoover Commission published a very hostile and critical review of bilingual education in 1993. They noted that some experts believe that English can be academically comprehensible for children in as little as two years, while others believe that six or more years of assistance is necessary. Their minimum estimate is two years, twice the amount that Prop 227 allows.

The one-year time period is wildly optimistic. It is contrary to the results of every study done in the field in which programs very similar or identical to sheltered English immersion were used.

Additionally the primary language is seen as crutch, to be discarded when the students are proficient enough in English. Although not geared for the creation and maintainence of bilinguality, these programs still are far more acadmically sound than the current return to immersion.
English immersion (EI) refers to programs in which students are taught a second language through content area instruction in that language. These programs generally emphasize contextual clues and adjust grammar and vocabulary to student’s proficiency level.

Bilingual Education:
Bilingual Education is defined as any school program that uses two languages. In a more theoretical sense it isany educational program whose ultimate goal is for the participants to be fully verse in all facets of both languages, ie able to listen, speak , read, and write in both languages. The definition of a coordinate bilingual is someone who is equally fluid in bothlanguages. Realistically this has not been the goal for most K-12 bilingual schools in theUnited States. More commonly in the United States we are using the works bilingualprogram to describe a program that will provide literacy and content in the primarylanguage, while building English fluency, to the point where all instruction will
occur in English. This programs are label transitional bilingual programs as their
ultimate goal is to transition all students into an English only learning arena. One of the
down sides of these programs is that the product of a coordinate bilingual is not
possible because of the continuing dimunition of instruction in the primary language.

Additionally the primary language is seen as crutch, to be discarded when the students
are proficient enough in English. Although not geared for the creation and maintainence
of bilinguality, these programs still are far more acadmically sound
G. Arguments for Bilingual Programs
H. Arguments Against Bilingual Programs
VI. Summary and
Case Study: California Proposition 227 What do redesignation rates show about the success of Prop 227.
Redesignation occurs when a child knows enough English to participate in the mainstream. All studies, whether done by advocates or opponents of bilingual education, show that this takes about five years. When redesignation rates rose in Los Angeles Unified School District recently, proponents of Proposition 227 claimed success.
Redesignation rates in Los Angeles did in fact improve: A tenth of a percent in 1999, and about two percent since 1998. Proposition 227 has been in effect only two years, not enough time to show an effect. Redesignation rates in Los Angeles Unified have been increasing for the last ten years, from about four percent in 1990 to ten percent in 2000. In the early 1990’s, Los Angeles Unified greatly improved its bilingual education program. It appears that bilingual education deserves the credit for the improvement, not Proposition 227.

If we accept that recent gains in redesignation rates are a valid indicator of Proposition 227, data from other districts shows that 227 is a failure: Some English-only districts had redesignation rates below the state average, including Oceanside (6.6%, compared to the state average of 7.6%), while some that kept bilingual education had higher redesignation rates.
California Prosition 227 one year would be a sufficient period of time for EI instruction to acquire a level of English to do well in the mainstream.
– Ramirez (1992) reported that after one year in an all-English immersion program, only 3.9% of LEP children were redesignated and only 1.3% were mainstreamed. Even after three years, these percentages were still only 38% and 19%.

– Mitchell, Destino, and Karan (1997) evaluated the progress of limited English proficient children in the Santa Ana district in an immersion program that was similar to what Proposition 227 requires. When they entered school, the children had low intermediate proficiency in English (2.18 on a 1-5 scale, where 4 = sufficient proficiency to survive in the mainstream). After one year, they showed some growth in English but were nowhere near what was required to do academic work in the mainstream: They moved from 2.18 to 2.84 in English, on a five point scale. Even after a second year of immersion, their mean English rating was only 3.24.

– Krashen and McQuillan (1999) reanalyzed data from Clark (1999), and concluded that one year/180 days was not sufficient even to bring most students to the level where they could do well in special sheltered subject matter instruction, and fell very very far short of bringing students to the level where they would profit from being in the mainstream.

– Goldberg (1997) described an all-English program for LEP children in Pennsylvania who received a language rich curriculum in English in kindergarten, with 75 minutes daily of ESL. For those who started at beginner level, it took three to three and a half years until they reached the level in which they are able to understand main ideas appropriate to grade level even with additional ESL support. After one year, most were still at the beginner level in oral proficiency. This study was presented as evidence against bilingual education.

Arguments Against Bilingual Education
The Little Hoover Commission published a very hostile and critical review of bilingual education in 1993. They noted that some experts believe that English can be academically comprehensible for children in as little as two years, while others believe that six or more years of assistance is necessary. Their minimum estimate is two years, twice the amount that Prop 227 allows.

The one-year time period is wildly optimistic. It is contrary to the results of every study done in the field in which programs very similar or identical to sheltered English immersion were used.

III. Working with Parents and Other Caretakers
Free Voluntary Reading Caretaker refers to those responsible for child rearing in the home. In addition to the importance of the parental role in a child’s language learning
process, various other persons including older siblings, relatives, and non-family
members acting as the primary caretakers may have a tremendous impact on the child’s
language development. Their initial role will be in influencing the development of the
child’s first language. An additional role may be their influence on the child’s attitudes
and/or exposure to a second language. A parent or primary caretaker, without second
language skills can still influence the second language learning processes. If the
caretaker has a strong attitudinal position on the role of the first language versus the
second language this can have long term effects on the child’s development of a first
and second language. There have been instances where well-intentioned non-native
English speaking parents or parents with a very limited command of English have been
advised to work with their children exclusively in English. This practice is detrimental
to the child’s development in both languages. The failure of the parent to engage the
child in the native language will result in the extinguishment or limitation in the
development of the heritage language. Without eventual linguistic intervention the child
will never reach an adult level of fluency in the heritage language. Some of the
consequences of this practice are an inability to converse with relatives that are
monolingual heritage language speakers and a negative effect on the speaker’s identity.

The non utilization of the heritage language with children has had detrimental effects on
intergenerational communication in many immigrant families. Additionally many
children of visible ethnolinguistic minority groups often struggle as young adults in the
area of identitly formation if they have become monolingual English speakers. Often
others of their heritage group will accuse of the students of faking their lack of heritage
language skills to fit in with the dominant group or make the students explain what
makes them of members of their ethnic group if they can not converse in the heritage.

If the parent or caretaker has a flegling knowledge of English s/he may actually be a
negative role model in the English acquisition process. The adult heritage language
speakers should be encouraged to both speak to and read to their children extensively
in the home language. The utilization of heritage language books will allow the family
to select materials that reinforce their cultural beliefs and traditions. Often the reading
of these books and stories maintains the folklore of the families. Additionally the
children may gain insights into the lifestyles of their older family members in addition to
learning about the geography and history of their heritage county.

There is ample evidence to prove that the use of the primary language in the home is not a handicap to a child’s acquisition of a second language. Rather most modern research shows exactly the opposite, the strong the student’s foundation in the primary language the higher the child’s proficiencies will be in the second language. This is a result of transfer of language skills from the primary language to the second given sufficient exposure, direction, and a safe learning environment. B. School system and individual teachers should be harnessing the power of the primary language to building on the child’s skill in the second language. The child’s primary language experiences should be used as bridges to enhancing the child’s vocabulary and skills in the second language.

Technology and Second Language Learning
Over the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in various media and computer applications designed to specifically address the needs of second language learners. University language departments are implementing new technologies into the curriculum on a regular basis, as information technology and the digital domain offer new possibilities for rich content, expanded assessment capabilities and immediate feedback. Several school districts across the nation are creating special magnet
high schools where technology, international studies, and second languages are emphasized. Technology is becoming a bigger part of both in-class and home study as the traditional use of audio and films is supplemented by computer-assisted instruction and interactive media technologies.

The use of information technology to further enhance the environment for second language learners involves a technology plan that addresses key issues. One of the first steps in technology-assisted instruction is to decide which technological medium is the most appropriate one for the language skill(s) to be developed during a particular period of time. Some technologies lend
themselves better to the acquisition of certain language skills than others.

a. Computers and computer networks
Computer-assisted instructional (CAI) programs are ideal for fostering reading and writing skills in the target language. CAI can be used by groups or individual students within a classroom or media center, or over local or long-distance computer networks. Email provides a real form of communication between students. Whether the message arrives from a classmate on campus, or originates on the other side of the globe, the use of such a real form of communication motivates students to read that message, and in turn, to respond in writing. With a basic word processing program, students can write short articles and compile and edit a newspaper based on their classroom exchanges. The use of such text-based applications is just the one of the many possibilities for extending language learners potential to explore different learning styles and multiple intelligences. It is important to note that language learning (using deliberate strategies to increase second language competency) involves steps taken by language learners. This is distinct from ?learning styles?, which refer more broadly to a learner’s innate, habitual, and preferred way(s) of absorbing, processing and retaining information or skills.
b. Interactive audio
With the addition of audio capabilities to personal computers via audio boards (or CD-ROM) with microphones for
input and headphones for output, the audio-assisted computer is a virtual mini-media unit. With the hookup of a special
tape recorder to the computer, interactive audio provides multiple possibilities to teach and test active listening skills.

In computer-assisted audio, the printed screen comes alive with sound for the acquisition of listening and speaking skills
as well as reading and writing skills.

c. Video
In the case of video, the visual component, which is especially useful for cultural and paralinguistic information, is added to the oral/aural components of other technologies. Regular linear video is most useful in developing listening skills and creating cultural awareness. Video with target language subtitles can also serve in developing reading skills. Video enables students to observe the dress, food, climate, and gestures of the target culture.

d. Interactive video
When the power of a computer is added to video that is pressed onto a disc for instant access of sound, vision, and text, the resulting interactive videodisc system can provide practice in all of the language skills. Students’ skills in listening and reading as well as in writing and speaking can be greatly enhanced when these latter options are available on an interactive compact disc (CD) program. Given that language is an expression of culture, cultural aspects of the video segments can be highlighted using the CD program to provide a better context for communication.

Types of Technology-Assisted Activities
Once the specific technology and skill(s) to be developed have been matched as outlined above, the specific
courseware and type of activity that are most appropriate must be selected or prepared. Traditional exercises provide various activities for the development of these skills, but technology-assisted activities can also be introduced into standard teaching techniques to enhance language learning. These activities would be made more readily available through the use of information technologies which increase productivity with respect to exposing the student to the following second language formation activities:
a. Speaking
Dialogues can be effectively used in developing speaking skills. Use of an interactive audio program allows students to create dialogues and to practice them with other students. Other task-based speaking activities can also be used effectively with interactive audio programs.

b. Listening
Videotapes or interactive Compact Disks (CDs) can provide excellent listening comprehension activities, given a good listening guide prepared for the students. Depending on the language level, students listen for just the main idea or gist of a segment, or they listen for specific facts in the video program.

c. Reading
Reading skills can be substantially developed using computer-assisted instructional programs. Word-level
reading skills (word recognition) are enhanced by activities such as cloze activities (every nth word of a text deleted), anagrams, jumbled words, and so on, which are found in many CAI software programs. To practice reading at the sentence level, computer programs provide practice in ordering words within a sentence, text reconstruction, or ordering
sentences within a paragraph. Other CAI programs provide extensive (article or story length) reading comprehension passages with accompanying word helps and comprehension questions at the end of the selection.

d. Writing
Technology-assisted activities such as fill-in-the blank, multiple-choice, and true/false questions help students to write at the word level. Other types of software, such as databases and spreadsheets, provide students with practice in retrieving information and problem-solving skills. Word processors (in the target language) are ideal for compositions or free writing practice at the discourse level. Some word processors are bilingual and provide on-line assistance with dictionaries, spell checkers, and grammar helps. When technology is used interactively among students, cooperative writing activities are strong motivators to help students develop writing skills.

e. Culture
Because of the visual component (with non-verbal behavior), video-based activities are well suited for observing cultural differences and similarities in a live context. Both video tape, including satellite broadcasts, and interactive videodisc programs provide ways of developing cultural sensitivity.

f. Testing
Computer-assisted testing now provides a more comprehensive, fast, and accurate way of testing student language skills (other than speaking skills). Students can also self-test using CAI programs. Teachers can use testing in an instructional way given the right kinds of activities and programs.

With technology-assisted instruction, there are changes in both educator and student roles. Students are given more responsibility for their own learning, while the educator serves as a guide and resource expert who circulates among students, working individually or in small groups with a technology-assisted lesson. Educators observe more of the learning process in action and serve as a guide in that process.

The new technologies offer many possibilities to the second language learner. The effectiveness of these
technologies depends on appropriate use by informed educators. Neither textbooks nor technology can replace the live, unprogrammed feedback and interaction of the language teacher.

Internet