Additive and Subtractive Programs

The terms additive and subtractive bilingual education came into use in the last quarter of the 20th century as it became apparent that substantive differences existed between two major forms of bilingual education. The terms suggested totally different aims and goals. They are commonly attributed to Wallace Lambert, who used them in a 1975 publication. In their simplest definitions, the terms relate to the linguistic objectives of the program: to provide students with an opportunity to add a language to their communicative skill sets or, conversely, to insist that children participating in the program subtract their home language from active use and concentrate all efforts on rapidly learning and refining their English skills.

This simple statement of differences between program types masks important attitudes and ideas that underlie the ways in which language diversity is viewed by school people and education policymakers. In this entry, these differences are explored. Other entries in this encyclopedia delve more deeply into related topics mentioned here. Factors affecting the choice: additive or subtractive? The choice of either a policy aimed at fostering and enhancing the child's home language as part of the goals of bilingual education or one that seeks the opposite-abandoning home language use as quickly as possible-does not occur by chance.

Such choices are rooted in underlying assumptions concerning the benefits, risks, utility, and cultural valuing of languages other than English in the wider society. Similarly, whether native speakers of English are included in these programs determines in part what the objectives of the program will be. In the main, children who are native speakers of English would not be involved in programs of subtractive bilingual education.

When such children are involved, the programs are often referred to as two-way immersion programs, also known as dual-immersion programs, because the learning of the two languages occurs in both directions. This distinction does not always hold in n in other countries. Hence, the analysis below is limited to what is clearly the case in the United States.

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The Capitalist Ideals of Supply and Demand

The capitalist ideals of supply and demand, specialization, competition, and freedom of choice foster the development of schools that are compelled to implement the necessary methods to remain in business. Charter schools, although able to operate with relative flexibility, must serve the needs of parents and students while being held accountable, like any other public school, for student achievement.

Ultimately, schools must meet the required standards of academic rigor and excellence, or it will be shut down. Several studies of existing charter schools have shown mixed results; however, for those students with the greatest need, gains have been steady and positive. Considering all of these factors (flexibility, competition, innovation, and diverse student population), charter schools are a natural vehicle for bilingual education. In some instances, charter schools are the only vehicle for bilingual education, especially in states such as California and Arizona, where Propositions 227 and 203, respectively, abolished the right of families to enroll their children in this type of educational program.

Although bilingual education in the context of charter schools is generally viewed as a tool that aids in achieving rigorous educational outcomes for English language learners as well as native English speakers, it is also viewed as ensuring equal access to opportunity and fostering positive cultural identity and self-esteem, which can be linked to academic success. In this latter capacity, bilingual schools offer an opportunity for students to actively pursue a meaningful connection with a culture or heritage through language maintenance and development.

Although bilingual education has been at the center of heated political discussions, when linked to charter schools, it can be consistent with the concepts of parental choice, freedom from overregulation, and innovation. There are numerous bilingual schools in the United States today, serving as testing grounds for finding out whether this methodology works or where and with whom it may work better. A wide array of bilingual programs exists; however, a common model employed with emerging success by these schools is two-way, dual-language immersion.

This model combines students of the same age or grade level who are native speakers of different languages, with the goal of the children becoming fluent in more than one language. This model is most effective when the number of students in each group is evenly distributed and the proper supports are readily available, such as bilingual teachers, assistants, books, and other materials. Two charter schools exemplify this model: District of Columbia Bilingual Public Charter School, in Washington, D.C., and El Sol Santa Ana Science and Arts Academy Charter School, in Santa Ana, California.

Each offers students a dual-language immersion model in Spanish and English and a culturally based education anchored in program enhancements, including the arts, an extended day and year, and additional family support services. Although these are relatively new schools, each having been in operation for no more than a few years, as of 2006, they have embraced bilingual education as their program of choice and offer it in response to the needs and demands of their communities.

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Opinions of Language Specialists

Some language specialists like Van Dijk claims that some of the following prevailing commonalities have been found in studies of the news media:

Many of the dominant topics are directly or more subtly associated with problems, difficulties, or threats to the dominant values, interests, goals, or culture.

Ethnic events are consistently described from a White, majority point of view.

Topics that are relevant for the ordinary daily life of ethnic groups, such as work, housing, health, education, political life, and culture, as well as discrimination in these areas, are hardly discussed in the press unless they lead to "problems" for society as a whole or when they are spectacular in some way.

These general trends apply directly to language minority concerns. Press coverage of the recent antibilingual education ballot measures in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Colorado reveals some insight into how information about bilingual education is circulated. Whereas newspapers are only one of several media resources available to researchers, recent studies have demonstrated a direct correlation between the representation of bilingual education in newspapers and public voting trends in the cases mentioned above, as claimed by Otto Santa Ana and Eric Johnson.

Although such studies might effectively display how periodicals tend to project images of bilingual education to the public, one must consider the many elements that constitute a newspaper article, and their various types, in order to understand the issues clearly. From the broad perspective of readership demographics to the minute detail of the individual journalist's own perspective, the final print version of a newspaper article has been wrought by multiple influences.

A specific example of this can be seen in the media coverage of the 2000 Arizona Proposition 203 campaign, also known as the "English for the Children" ballot initiative. Supporters of Proposition 203 promoted the end of bilingual education in favor of a "sheltered English immersion" approach to language minority education. Arizona media coverage surrounding this political battle reveals how newspapers communicated messages concerning bilingual education, subtly or directly.

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Being Bilingual - 3 Ways Being Bilingual Will Help You Get a Job

Being bilingual has never been a bigger asset when it comes to looking for a job. Even if one has no formal education, there is an opportunity for careers that require prospective employees to simply be bilingual in order to apply. Being bilingual can expand your choice of jobs as employers are in desperate need to communicate to more clients.

Being Bilingual Makes You Valuable

Because bilingual employees are a rarity, employers value them greatly. Companies and employers need people that can communicate in other languages in order to see to the needs of their clients. Most employees are not bilingual, so someone else is needed to bridge the communication barriers. Fluently speaking another language is like having job insurance. It is one of the greatest assets that an employee can have. As our nation continues to grow, and more people speak other languages, companies need individuals that are bilingual in order to maintain their business.

Being Bilingual Opens The Door to Higher Careers

In the past many job opportunities required extensive experience. Now, more employers are finding that they can train individuals for the job role, if those individuals bring certain valuable attributes to the table. Bilingual individuals by nature now have the ability to take on job roles that they never would have before, because the employers need them. As more advanced positions open, bilingual employees find themselves valuable and competitive in the eyes of the company, and may be able to work their way up quicker than employees who are not bilingual.

Being Bilingual Can Encourage a Company to Grow

If a company only offers a product to certain types of people, then their business revenue will be more limited than others that reach a broader group. For companies that are only able to communicate in English with their clients, an entire group of potential consumers may feel alienated and seek to do business elsewhere. By having bilingual employees, companies can expand their consumer base and attract individuals that may not have felt as welcome in the past. This increases company profits and attracts more customers.

Dentistry is quickly becoming one of the fields in need of more Spanish speaking workers that can aid in patient communication and care. As dental offices see more non-English speaking patients, it is becoming extremely valuable to have bilingual front desk workers and assistants who can communicate with these patients. In some cases being bilingual is even more important than having prior dental experience. However, having a combination of the two can make a prospective employee very, very valuable.

Bilingual persons that have received training in the dental field make extremely competitive job applicants. Online study is one way for bilingual job applicants to become familiar with and confident in roles as a dental office employee. Online training classes allow students to study at their own pace and become certified in Dental Office Management, Dental Insurance Coding, and HIPAA Compliance courses. It's important that classes are certified by the American Dental Association and led by professionals in the field. Just think in a few short months you can feel empowered with the knowledge that you need to begin a new career in the field of dentistry.

Teacher Education Programs

People who want to take up teaching as their career, profession and passion should definitely read some information about the kind of teacher education programs available in the country. It will help them choose their areas of interest and pursue a course suited to their dreams and aspirations.

Almost all universities in the United States of America offer graduate and undergraduate programs in teacher education. All the colleges and universities have definite goals and objectives for teacher education, and focus on molding quality teachers. Schools have laid down principles and philosophies to guide them in training leaders in education and contribute a great deal to shaping the young generation.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), offers minors, majors, graduate and undergraduate programs in education studies. The UCSD Education Studies (EDS) also offers M Ed, credential programs and doctoral degrees to certified teachers who want to further their careers and add to their knowledge base and skill sets. Their special programs include MA Deaf Education and M Ed Credential programs in multiple subjects. More information on admission and curriculum can be found at

[http://www-tep.ucsd.edu/].

The Harvard Graduate School of Education wants their graduates to have an impact in the schools and indirectly in the society. Their graduate programs include the Teaching and Curriculum (TAC) program and the Mid-Career Math and Science (MCMS) program. Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP) at the school has trained students for more than 15 years for K-12 schools. They aim at getting aspiring teachers to certify for teaching in public schools in the United States.

Central Washington University has teacher education programs for teachers of all age groups. Undergraduate programs include minors in Bilingual Education, Reading and Second Language English teaching, and majors in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education and Special Education. The Masters programs in the university comprises of Instructional Leadership, Special Education, Educational Administration and Reading Specialist.

Teacher Education provides detailed information on Teacher Education, Online Teacher Education, Teacher Education Philosophies, Teacher Education Programs and more. Teacher Education is affiliated with Online Special Education Courses.

Dual Language Education

In the midst of multiple international conflicts, an interwoven global economy and the shrinking nature of our techno-driven world, language learning can no longer be considered an elective subject, but should rather be a necessary core to modern education. Typically, we put language learning on hold through much of elementary school, but this is the time when children's minds are most adept for absorbing words and languages.

Schools throughout the country are realizing this need and implementing Dual Language Education.

From neighborhood schools to charters and magnets, these schools are providing their students with greater opportunity to academically compete with students abroad by diversifying their skill sets in areas of communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and analysis. Some education leaders are even predicting that dual language education will be the future of American schools.

Dual Language Education vs. ESL/ESOL

Dual Language Education is often confused with ESL/ESOL programs. While there are similarities between the two, there are major differences in their agendas.

The Breakdown: Compare & Contrast

Dual Language Education   
- Schoolwide approach
- Goal: To provide ALL students with the skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) necessary to become fluent in both languages
- Programs usually begin at a young age (kindergarten or 1st grade) and continue for at least five years
- Students automatically opt in by enrolling in the school
- Depending on the type of program, requirements are placed on instructional time in partner language
- Not available in every school

ESL/ESOL
- Select group of students
- Goal: To provide non-native English-speaking students with the proper skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) necessary for academic success
- Program entrance is on an individual basis and can begin at any grade for any length of period
- Students may opt in or may be chosen based on entrance exams/placement tests
- Program is supplemental to classroom curriculum
- Most public schools have ESL/ESOL

Variation in Dual Language Education
Within the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of dual language programs throughout the United States. Results vary depending on the type of program and structure implemented however overall results remain positive. Parents and educators have taken great interest in such programs because they feel they will provide students with multilevel thinking strategies, stronger linguistic skills, and greater communication skills to succeed in the interdependent world.

Dual language programs can be classified into four categories:

1. Two-way Immersion- This type of program requires an enrollment of both native English-speaking students and native speaking students of the partner language. Schools may choose to implement programs that are either full-immersion (50-50 model) or partial-immersion (90-10 model). Both immersion programs have been proven to have high success rates.

2. Heritage Language Programs- Participants of this language program are dominant in the English language but have parents, grandparents or other ancestors fluent in the partner language. This program addresses the needs of heritage language learners.

3. Foreign Language Immersion- Also known as one-way immersion, foreign language immersion involves students that are native English speakers in hopes to become fluent in the partner language. It is more in-depth than spending a portion of your day in Spanish class or French class.

4. Developmental Bilingual Programs- Enrollment in this type of program is specific to those who are native speakers of the partner language. Participants of this program will develop the necessary skills and strategies to not only succeed academically, but also be fully proficient and comfortable in both languages.

Currently, the vast majority of dual language programs in the U.S. are in English and Spanish however other languages with growing popularity include: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

These variances in languages are a determined by a combination of factors including, but not limited to, school district demographics, community needs, and educator or student interest. Dual language programs are most commonly used in states such as Texas, New Mexico, California, and Hawaii however schools nationwide are looking into implementing this type of curriculum.

Success of Dual Language Education
Singapore's current national bilingual education policy is an excellent example of how successful these programs can be.

By government order, students in the Singaporean education system are required to learn two languages, English and one of the other three official main languages of the country (Mandarin, Malay or Tamil). This has allowed nearly the entire literate population of Singapore to be fully bilingual all while unifying all members of its nation without sacrifice to any heritage.

E.K. Garcia is a writer for TeachHUB.com-- a new, free online resource center specific to the needs of K-12 students and educators. This stand-alone resource center has made thousands of classroom-tested and teacher-approved strategies, tools and recommendations available in one convenient location. For more professional development opportunities and classroom resources relating to topics within K-12 education as well as other articles by E.K. Garcia, please visit http://www.TeachHUB.com

Education Schools Offer Teacher Training

For those considering a career in teaching, Education Schools can provide programs of study for earning degrees in general education, higher education, K-12 education, adult education, curriculum design, distance learning, education technology, ESL (English as a Second Language) and bilingual education, education leadership and administration, special education, teacher licensure, training and knowledge management, and many others.

Future teachers may opt to specialize in certain subjects, such as physical sciences; English, literature, composition, or creative writing; biological sciences; business education; American history, world history, or regional history; management and administration; and many others.

General Education programs satisfy practice and career goals for interdisciplinary subjects, with studies in humanities and social and behavioral sciences. Numerous two-year vocational, trade, and community college and four-year college and university general Education Schools provide programs that offer various diploma, certificate, and degree programs of study in general education.

Students in four-year Education Schools can obtain Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS) degrees in education, as well as education doctorate (EdD, PhD) degrees and combined degrees.

Diplomas and certificates from Education Schools may satisfy requirements for pre-school, assistant, vocational, and continuing education teacher positions. BA and BS degrees in education are generally required of classroom teachers, however most classroom teachers today have MS degrees. PhD degrees, and sometimes MA degrees, will qualify professionals for higher education (college and university professorships) and corporate education program positions.

MS degrees in education develop advanced skills to improve teaching abilities. Specializations in master studies focus on encouraging educators to test their skills in classroom and school settings. Courses are designed to increase professional depth and effectiveness in traditional settings, corporate settings, and various educational programs. Those who have graduated from Education School with a Master's degree should feel prepared to meet many challenges in education, having studied learning theory, instructional and curriculum design, and research and instructional technology.

PhD programs present studies designed for experienced professional educators wishing to expand their skills as teachers, researchers, and consultants. They provide opportunities for education students to focus on personal areas of interest and to develop advanced skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and research that will facilitate professional growth and effectiveness in the classroom. PhD degrees allow for pursuit of positions as superintendents, education coordinators, special education directors, principals, professors, deans, and more.

If you would like to learn more about Education Schools and even Online Education Schools, you can find more in-depth information and resources on our website.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERAL OVERVIEW and may or may not reflect specific practices, courses and/or services associated with ANY ONE particular school(s) that is or is not advertised on SchoolsGalore.com

Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved
Michael Bustamante, in association with Media Positive Communications, Inc. for SchoolsGalore.com

Notice to Publishers: Please feel free to use this article in your Ezine or on your Website; however, ALL links must remain intact and active.

Michael Bustamante is a staff writer for Media Positive Communications, Inc. in association with SchoolsGalore.com. Visit our Traditional School Directory and find Colleges, Universities, Vocational Schools, and Online Schools at SchoolsGalore.com, your educational resource to locate schools.

Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency

Separating achievement and language as distinct psychological constructs allows us to contrast the learning situation of majority language (children in the U.S. who already know English) and minority language children in school. While majority language children have the single objective of mastering academic content (math, social studies, science, reading, etc.) in school, language minority children have two objectives they must meet to be academically successful.

Like majority language children, they must master academic content; but unlike children in the majority, they must also learn the language of instruction at school. Bilingual instruction allows these children and youth to keep up academically while they take the time needed to master English.

Also, in the course of developing children's knowledge of school subjects, bilingual education provides background knowledge that serves as a context for children to better understand the presentation of new academic subject matter in the second language and also helps them make inferences about the meaning of new words and grammatical structures they encounter in the new language.

An alternative to the BICS/CALP (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills/Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency) distinction was introduced by Kellie Rolstad and Jeff MacSwan in an effort to avoid some of these pitfalls. They argued that once children have learned English sufficiently well to understand content through all-English instruction, they have developed second-language instructional competence (SLIC). Unlike CALP, SLIC does not apply to native-language development and does not ascribe any special status to the language of school.

Also, while CALP appears to equate cognitive and academic development, SLIC simply denotes the stage of second-language development in which the learner is able to understand instruction and perform grade-level school activities using the second language alone, in the local educational setting. Children who have not yet developed SLIC are not considered cognitively less developed; they simply have not yet learned enough of the second language to effectively learn through it.

The SLIC concept thus avoids the implication that a child is deficient and still allows us to stress the need for children to continue to receive interesting, cognitively challenging instruction that they can understand during the time needed to achieve second-language competence. There is little doubt that James Cummins's BICS/CALP theory has been a useful tool for practitioners in assessing where their students are in their linguistic development. At base, however, the construct remains a theory with little empirical evidence of its existence.

This does not invalidate the contribution; several other important theories have remained unproven while serving as important bases on which to build additional research. Nonetheless, while critics have applauded the original intent of the BICS/CALP distinction, they have argued that certain refinements are needed to avoid some unintended negative consequences. By distinguishing between academic achievement and language ability and between first- and second-language development in school-aged children, we might be better able to characterize the language situation of linguistic minorities and their achievement in school.

Bilingual Business Degree Instruction

The business industry is expanding to include more foreign business owners and customers. Running a business is complicated and earning an adequate education is extremely beneficial. Several colleges and universities offer training in business in student's first language of instruction.

Students with limited English speaking knowledge benefit the most from this type of education. The main focus is training non-English speaking students in traditional business practices. Business skills are learned through programs that provide business communication, accounting, operation management, and law. The increased need for programs to prepare students to work cross-culturally is giving individuals the opportunity to become business professionals. The two prominent options available to students is earning an associate's or bachelor's degree. Training is focused on teaching students to successfully work within a foreign market and the global economy. Students that want to work with foreign businesses can also complete a program where they receive training in a language outside of English.

The areas covered within an associate's degree present a general overview of business principles. Some possible courses within a degree program may include:

    Statistics
    Information Technology
    Financial Reporting
    Accounting

Students can expect to learn how to manage a business according to everyday operation. The skills obtained in critical thinking, communication, and computer technology prepare students to fully take on all job responsibilities. Education allows students to apply learned skills to further education or their personal business.

A bachelor's degree trains students to fully understand their role in the business environment. Deepening the understanding of marketing and management is focused on inside a degree program. Courses incorporated into a bachelor's degree program may include:

    Organizational Behavior
    Finance
    Mathematics
    Information Systems

The work completed helps students use gained knowledge to run a business. A management course teaches bilingual students to organize, operate, and manage all operations of a business. Programs focus on providing students with leadership, problem-solving, and strategy abilities that make overseeing a business and its employees more manageable. Other courses may teach students about the global market. Students learn about small business ventures and practices within an international business setting. This education prepares students to work with different people from all over the world. After completing a bachelor's degree students can enter the business world confident or continue education if desired.

Programs are dedicated to working directly with students through their primary language. Courses encourage students to develop their own personal operation methods based on industry norms. Students will learn about the laws and regulations that affect their business and understand the business requirements that they will use when working for or opening their own business.

Non-English speaking students should take full advantage of bilingual business degree opportunities. Finishing a program is highly beneficial and students will be able to work within the industry and establish a working business environment. Students can start learning about business practices by finding an accredited bilingual program that is appropriate for their needs. Fully accredited programs offer students a quality education that is approved by agencies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (http://www.aacsb.edu/).

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Renata McGee is a staff writer for PETAP.org. Locate Bilingual Business Schools and Colleges as well as Online Bilingual Business Schools at PETAP.org, your Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs.

Bilingual Programs Incorporate Students' Home Culture

Special education programs incorporate supportive, culturally responsive learning environments as well as validated instructional practices. Optimal programs incorporate students' home cultures and include native-language instruction and a focus on English language development in addition to validated practices in literacy and the content areas. It is a heightened focus on language and cultural practices that makes bilingual special education distinct from generic special education.

Culturally Responsive Learning Environments School climates that foster success are caring communities based on the philosophy that all students can learn. Such schools accommodate individual differences in a positive manner. Some researchers characterize them by (a) strong administrative leadership; (b) high expectations; (c) nurturing, supportive environment and a challenging, appropriate curriculum and instruction; (d) a safe and orderly environment; and (e) ongoing, systematic evaluation of student progress. Linguistic Support Successful programs are those in which language development is a central focus, whether in students' native language or English.

Students receive frequent opportunities to use language in an environment that promotes active engagement. Instruction focuses on higher-order thinking and active problem solving. Teachers preteach and reinforce key terms, as explained by Marilyn Rousseau and Brian Tam, using visuals, graphic organizers, and realia to bring words to life and make them meaningful for students, as explained by Elba Reyes and Candace Bos.

They help students make connections within and across the curriculum and to their own prior knowledge and experiences, as Mack Burke, Shanna Hagan, and Bonnie Grossen explain. Ideally, teachers provide students with multiple and varied opportunities to review and apply previously learned concepts. Curricular Modifications Baca and de Valenzuela describe modifications to make the curriculum more accessible to ELLs. These modifications are changes in content, pedagogy, and classroom instructional settings to meet the needs of individual students.

For example, modifications may include adjusting the method of presentation, developing supplemental materials, tape-recording directions, providing alternative response formats, requiring fewer or shorter responses or assignments, outlining material, or breaking tasks into subtasks, as John J. Hoover and Catherine Collier explain in their chapter in The Bilingual Special Education Interface. Adaptations of content might also include the provision of native language instruction and/or materials.

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Headlines, Text and Communication

Assuming that most people will not read every article in a newspaper, the communicative impact of newspaper headlines is important in capturing the reader's attention. Some headlines are able to deliver a message potent enough to grab the reader's perspective with great power. In general, editorial letters often contain the most heavily slanted headlines. Beyond the thematic slant of an article (including the headline), the text of the article may be loaded with multiple messages and images.

Even though an article might have an overall positive depiction of bilingual education and/or the needs of language minority students, individual quotations might accentuate a socially negative stereotype. For example, when a journalist quotes individuals favoring the ballot initiative as saying, "'Bilingual education is an evil system of racial discrimination that has destroyed the education of countless Hispanic children in our state,'" the reader may think about bilingual education in terms of "evil" and "discrimination."

When bilingual education is portrayed in a positive light, however, the significant details of how it benefits children are often missing. Daniel Gonzalez, an editorial writer for the Republic, asserted that "scrapping bilingual education would especially hurt Hispanic and Native American children with limited English proficiency", but he does not explain how this might happen. This relationship between the positive and the negative often taps into what we think of as "natural," speculate David Croteau and William Hoynes.

According to this view, nature is something that we define in contrast to culture. Unlike culture, nature is understood to be beyond human control. If social structures and relationships are perceived as natural, they take on a certain degree of permanency and legitimacy that makes them seem uncontested.

For example, readers may assume that it is only "natural" that the difficulties experienced by language minority students are rooted in their home language and condition, which is, in turn, aggravated by the continued use of the language via bilingual instruction.

For example, according to Gonzalez, Congressman Matt Salmon blamed bilingual education for the high dropout rate among Hispanic students in Arizona. The Republic made no mention of the fact that there is no research evidence supporting this assertion.

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A Puerto Rican Vision of Bilingual-Bicultural Education

In the years before the consent decree was signed, Puerto Rican parents and educators in New York City had faced institutional resistance to the implementation of bilingual and ESL instruction and to their demands for community participation in the governance of neighborhood schools. While the "Boricua" community was struggling for bilingual/bicultural education programs, African Americans sought to obtain desegregated, high-quality schooling in community-controlled public schools.

Encouraged by the civil rights victories of African Americans, Puerto Rican leaders created organizations like Aspira and PRLDEF and engaged in protracted negotiations with the central school board. These measures led to the 1974 consent decree compromise. Concurrently, both Puerto Rican and African American communities participated in the 1960s community control "school wars" that led to another political compromise, New York State's 1969 School Decentralization Law.

Puerto Rican community support for bilingual education in New York City had always been high. It was motivated by a dedication to cultural survival, reflective of their struggle for identity in New York City, the quintessential "melting pot" American city. "Boricuans" embraced bilingual/bicultural education as an expression of a pluralist philosophy that respects the language and culture of their children and families.

This was in direct opposition to the deficit models of education embedded in many compensatory programs of the 1960s. "Boricuan" community leaders and educators argued that their children and youth, as native-born citizens of the United States whose native language was Spanish, had a right to be taught in a language they understood and that this type of instruction should prevail until they could acquire sufficient proficiency in English to enable them to learn alongside their English-speaking peers.

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Bilingualism in Holistic Perspective

Worldwide, most people speak two or more languages, simply because multiple languages are used in their environments. Researchers and educators in the field of bilingualism and bilingual education have been interested in defining what bilingual means and how a bilingual person's competences can be measured.

Among the several views of bilingualism, two have predominated in the field: the fractional and the holistic perspectives. The fractional view describes bilinguals as being the equivalent of two monolinguals in one person. This view considers bilinguals as developing parallel linguistic competence in both languages simultaneously, and studies following this perspective often compare bilinguals with monolinguals.

The holistic view, proposed by François Grosjean, argues that each bilingual is a unique individual who integrates knowledge of and from both languages to create something more than two languages that function independently of each other. This view holds that the total of the two languages is greater than their sum, because the two languages interact with each other to increase the functionality of each.

Both perspectives describe as ideal the development of balanced bilingual competence in speaking, thinking, reading, and writing, meaning equivalent fluency in the two languages.

Balanced bilingualism is a concept that is not easily achievable; instead, bilingualism must be understood as a continuum in which language ability changes constantly in relation to the individual's social, educational, and linguistic contexts. In addition, bilingualism may be described as simultaneous or sequential. Simultaneous bilinguals grow up learning two languages in their environments from infancy.

Sequential bilinguals develop mastery, or at least some proficiency, in their native languages before acquiring a second language. Bilingualism emerges when two different language communities come into sustained contact. Language contact in different communities creates a variety of bilingual discourses that meet the needs of the members of those specific communities. Bilingualism is more valuable when some members of each language group are not bilingual.

Logically, if everyone in a particular space were bilingual, there would no longer be a need for anyone to know both languages purely for communicative purposes. Some communities and countries have a policy of official acceptance of bilingualism, and, consequently, both languages are taught and have fairly equal status in society. For example, Belgium has an official policy of bilingualism in French and Flemish, not only on paper but also in practice.

Thus, in the school and community, people receive training and motivation to learn both languages and use them in the public sphere. In some countries, majority language speakers generally associate their language with nationalism and label the widespread use of other languages as a problem rather than an asset. An example of this dynamic in the United States is the so-called English-only laws that restrict the use of languages other than English in public schools.

As critics have pointed out, such laws are motivated by political and ideological considerations rather than sound pedagogical theory or societal benefit. They have little if anything to do with what constitutes a good education or an adequate linguistic preparation for the future.

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The Benefits Of Bilingual Spanish-English Crosswords

Obviously, there are many benefits to having skill in two languages. As the Spanish speaking population continues to grow in the United States, the ability to speak both Spanish and English fluently will open many doors in many professions. A person with bilingual skills is highly marketable and any serious minded professional looking for a career in customer service, the medical field, education, etc. should seek to develop such skills.

Bilingual skills, however, only come with diligent practice of the basics. If you are currently studying to boost your bilingual ability in Spanish and/or English, doing a lot of crossword puzzles will radically increase your comprehension level. Ok, some of you may be shaking your head wondering how the crossword puzzles in your daily newspaper can boost your Spanish comprehension. Honestly, the crossword puzzles in the newspaper will only help half of the equation. Those particular crossword puzzles won't help you unless you are looking to boost your English skills exclusively. However, if you want to become proficient in learning English AND Spanish then spending a little time working on English to Spanish/Spanish to English translation crossword puzzles would be most helpful.

These fun "translation" puzzles can prove to be a great help in boosting your reading comprehension. In fact, if practiced diligently they can provide a tremendous help to a motivated student. Whether you are enrolled in a Spanish language course or are studying an "English as a Second Language (ESL)" program you will discover these bilingual crossword puzzles to be a huge help as they greatly aid in boosting your language proficiency. This is because the student will be able to practice spelling, word identification, grammar and even pronunciation. As such, the value of these crossword puzzles can never be overstated!

For some, this may seem like a radical departure from the common ways of learning a language. Usually, the way in which we learn a bilingual education derives from one of three environments: in a formal high school or college setting; in a special language school; or simply "picking it up" a language by ear. All of these methods have their positives and their negatives, but none of them have any value if one does not practice. This is where the bilingual crossword puzzles come in handy as they have the ability to provide a unique method of practicing your skills and keeping them sharp. While diving into Spanish-English crossword puzzles may deviate from traditional methods of leaning these puzzles do provide a fun, lighthearted method of keeping your skills sharp. Over time, this will pay huge comprehension dividends.

Remember, if there was one negative about practicing material you have learned in class it would be that you are essentially reviewing much of the same material over and over. Chapter one is finite in the information it presents. In fact, the entire textbook as a whole is limited to what exists within in pages. This can bring about a quandary: how do you learn material that is not present in the book? Usually, people will watch Spanish language programming looking so as to expand their exposure to the language. That is fine for speaking, but what about reading comprehension and grammar? This is where those bilingual crossword puzzles come in handy!

With these crossword puzzles, you will come across a number of words and phrases that you may not have otherwise come across. If you are unable to answer a particular puzzle question, you can then consult your translation dictionary to get the right answer. Obviously, this will yield huge results in improving your language skills...guaranteed. So, never discount the value of the brilliant concept of these crossword puzzles.

Ken Stiles writes on a variety of subjects. He owns The Pencil Puzzle Connection Website: http://www.pencilpuzzles.com/crosswords.html Go here to find Spanish/English crosswords for improving your bilingual skills.

Lack of Universal Definition For Bilingual Paraprofessionals

The variety of terms used to refer to Bilingual Paraprofessionals explains the lack of a universal definition for this job. Most definitions, however, focus on the roles that paraprofessionals play, namely, assisting professionals in schools (e.g., teachers, speech language pathologists, counselors) and providing services to children or their parents under the supervision of certificated personnel. Bilingual paraprofessionals are usually hired to provide educational services in more than one language, usually English and another language; help students in public or private schools, either in general or special education; and assist with students who may or may not have disabilities.

The National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP) in its seventh report, The Employment and Preparation of Paraeducators: The State of the Art- 2003, highlighted the difficulties of collecting data regarding the exact number of paraprofessionals working nationwide. The report estimated the number of paraprofessionals to be more than 525,000 in the year 2000. Of that number, approximately 130,000 were assigned to multilingual, Title I, and other compensatory programs.

The history of the hiring of paraprofessionals, as presented in the NRCP report, clearly reflects the needs of personnel in the field of education and the changes in the paraprofessional's job description that occurred over the past 50 years. Paraprofessionals became common in the 1950s, when a shortage of certified teachers and parents' efforts to develop community-based educational services for children and adults with disabilities created a need to hire teacher assistants. At this time, paraprofessionals played mainly a clerical role and performed basic routine and housekeeping tasks in classrooms.

In the 1960s and 1970s, federal legislation such as the Head Start Act; Title I, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; the Bilingual Education Act, also known as Title VII; and the Education for All Handicapped Act led to the creation of programs that addressed the needs of educationally and economically disadvantaged children and their families. These programs focused on young, low-income children in elementary and secondary schools; children with limited English proficiency, now often referred to as English language learners (ELLs); and children with disabilities, respectively.

All of these programs provided funding for the employment and training of paraprofessionals, including bilingual paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals hired to serve in these programs still perform clerical and monitoring tasks but also assist the teacher and other school personnel in the education of children with specific reading, writing, and math needs.

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Importance of Bilingual Education

Most of you will be aware of the importance of globalization. The spread of the internet is already making way for a more closely knit "global village" and this will only become more so in the future. More and more people are taking up learning a second language as it not only helps to broaden their perspective and become sensitive to other people's culture but also gives a sizable boost to their career prospects.

Of all the languages that have gained importance in recent times perhaps the most sought after language today is Chinese, more particularly Mandarin Chinese. As this is the most widely spoken language throughout China, and China becoming the most important manufacturing and business hub of the world in recent times, many people have resorted to taking up studying Chinese. This trend has gained great popularity in the United States as many colleges and schools have started offering courses in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. However the west has a lot of catching up to do if it hopes to match the monumental effort been made by the Chinese to educate their youth in English. Consider the facts: about 50,000 of the 504 million total students population of the United States is studying Chinese; this in stark contrast to the almost 200 million students in China studying English. Of course the good people in the White House have something to worry about!

If we continue to keep business opportunities in perspective then also the heavy amount of out sourcing of manufacturing to China brings the importance of studying Chinese. In fact many companies naturally prefer to hire persons who are bilingual and fluent in conversing in (Mandarin) Chinese.

Although most will prefer to take up the study during their college, it is highly recommended that a language be learnt as early as possible. A small child picks up a language much faster than an adult. The National Research Council's study "Preventing Reading and Learning Difficulties in Young Children" states that children who are exposed to learning and reading at an early age make the symbol/language connection more accurately and are more likely to be learning the language much faster.

ChineseforSmartKids is a premier educational service focusing on teaching children aged between 3 and 8 Mandarin Chinese. We recognize that parents are now becoming more aware of emerging global realities and like to equip their children with the necessary skills to be prepared as they grow up. Our software is designed so that it is fun and easy to use. Click here is to try out a free demo of our ChineseforSmartKids software now!

Spanish Bilingual Education - More Benefits Than You May Realize

Remembering that young children can greatly benefit from exposure to a variety of cultures and languages is important when evaluating any Brookline daycare program. The developing skills of youngsters are particularly responsive to an enriched environment where more than one language is spoken. For this reason, daycare-aged children are able to reap the greatest benefits of a bilingual education. In fact, mastering a new language is easier for these children than their older counterparts.

In addition, exposure to a new language while at daycare in Brookline can strengthen the development of verbal/language skills in infants, toddlers, preschool and even pre-K aged kids.

Why choose Spanish bilingual education?

Spanish is the primary language of approximately 330 million people around the world. It is a second language for nearly 50 million people. In a world that is rapidly growing smaller, thanks to technology and a global economy, the value of being able to communicate in Spanish should not be underestimated. Further, access to a rich world of art, literature, history and music becomes available through one's knowledge of Spanish.

Children receiving an early bilingual education in their Brookline daycare program have a unique advantage. In addition to the developmental and educational benefits of learning Spanish early on, they are better prepared to thrive in and appreciate a multi-cultural environment at any age.

What if a child already speaks a second language?

One of the best features about the Brookline community is its diversity. Multiple cultures and languages co-exist within a relatively small space.

It is common within the community for some children entering daycare in Brookline to already speak more than one language within their families. This may lead parents to wonder if exposure to another language is beneficial. In fact, the wider the exposure to new languages, the greater the benefit to the child.

No matter if they are exposed to one or multiple languages at home, young children still benefit greatly from a Spanish bilingual education. At a young age, children are most responsive and sensitive to languages. As a result, Brookline daycare that includes multi-lingual education is an ideal setting for language enrichment. What's more, there is no limit to the amount of language study a child can absorb or how greatly they benefit.

Spanish bilingual education can greatly benefit children throughout their lives on so many levels. When considering any child care center, Brookline families are well-served by placing their youngster in such an enriched learning environment.

Jane Bartlett is a retired educator who spent much of her career in leading Brookline preschool programs and providing daycare in Brookline. She now writes extensively on early education issues and remains active locally in Brookline's preschool community.

Bilingual Education in Colombia, South America

This year President Uribe has declared that all schools in Colombia must start teaching English and that all schools must become bilingual...although there are already bilingual schools here in Colombia, even the public schools are now required to teach English.

The bilingual schools in this country have been able to capitalize on this for the last several years charging big prices for students to be able to attend their school. Although the catch on that depends on the teachers that you hire and how qualified they are.

Colombia is to be commended for being one of the first countries to actually bring it as a mandate that all students must learn English as they realize the importance of their students needing it for better jobs.

Obviously in the bilingual schools they are going to be the ones that can afford to hire the more qualified teacher and perhaps even native English speaking but the students will all still be exposed to the English language.

The majority of the entities represented here are very excited about this and feel that this is a step in the right direction. So many of the students here have an aspiration to go to either the US or Europe so they can study another language especially English and while I don't look for this to slow that down any, I do believe that those who are really on top of this will be those who are determined to have a career which will require the English language.

What I do wish would happen is that the US would also get smart and require our students to learn Spanish and not as an elective... if countries would offer a 2nd language from kindergarten and have them study it until they leave elementary, they would be ready to choose another language by the time they go to junior high and high school.

There are so many articles proving that students should be learning languages from the time they are a toddler and be assured that this is not going to affect their maternal language as that is going to come natural at home anyway.

I encourage all comments, debates and opinions on this matter because it is one that we must face facts and get smart on so we can correct this especially for the United States because in most all other countries especially in Europe, it is a requirement to learn two, three and many of them five languages before they can graduate.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wynelle is a motivational speaker, mentor, trainer & empowerer of youth leadership helping them discover their purpose in life and for over 35 years has been a missionary to youth in Latin America & the Caribbean. She has appeared on networks of television shows including TBN and Enlace (Spanish Christian TV). She received an award for the "Most Outstanding Woman of the Year" in 1988 for her ministry to youth. Wynelle speaks, reads & writes fluent Spanish serving as a translator for the Juvenile Courts of Texas which enabled her to be more effective with the youth of today. Wynelle is now hosting her own television program for young people in both Spanish and English.

Pros and Cons of Bilingual Education

Bilingual education has become very popular lately, with perhaps the most compelling reason for bilingual education being the concept of equality of education in our country. How is it possible for someone to obtain a great education when he or she doesn't fully understand the language the lessons are being taught in? Isn't that student going to become a second-class citizen? Should we just allow that to happen or should we teach them in their native language and worry about assimilation at some later time? The fact is that there are a lot of pros and cons about the subject.

On the positive side, there are many benefits of students learning another language at a very early age. It has been proven that children who learn to speak another language early in life have an easier time grasping the vocabulary, grammar, and nuances of both languages. It has also been shown that these same students will be able to move on to learning third and fourth languages just as easily. The reasons for this are varied, but one of the principal reasons is that many languages have their roots in a single ancient language such as Latin or Greek. As the nationalities have developed, their languages changed but kept a lot of the same words and word structure. Also as the world shrinks and everything becomes more global in nature, it is going to become ever more important to be able to communicate in more than one language.

There is no denying that bilingual education lessons should be taught to students at the elementary level. Waiting until high school will only make it more difficult on the children. Once a student becomes familiar with a second language it is much easier for him or her to master it as they grow older. It is also a good thing when students learn about the culture of different countries, which is enhanced by learning the language. Studies have proven that the ability to speak multiple languages does not confuse the mind. In fact, it helps to develop it faster and lead to a well rounded future.

On the negative side, there are people who feel that bilingual education is a bad idea because it takes away our sense of national identity. The United States has always been known as a "melting pot" of cultures where everyone is treated equally and every culture becomes assimilated into the primary culture of the United States. Historically, newcomers to this country have been forced to learn our English language and many of our ways, all the while contributing parts of their historic culture and making the entire culture better as a result. The argument is that by retaining the language of their old country, they are no longer as easily assimilated into this country.

Bilingual education is a concern in other countries as well as in the United States. For example, there is currently a movement underway in France to ensure that French remains the dominant language and that all citizens learn to speak French. Similarly in the United States many people feel that we as a country have gone too far overboard in making all the other cultures comfortable by printing everything in their home languages. The problem that is brought up is that, by printing everything in multiple native languages, the newcomers don't have to learn English. And if they don't learn English they will never be fully assimilated into the United States. By thus creating nationalistic cliques some people say that we are potentially creating the same type of societal issues that are found in other parts of the world and that those who are immigrating to the United States are frequently running away from. My personal belief is that children from other cultures who may speak other languages at home need to become familiar with English and that English should be the required language for all governmental affairs.

In summary, bilingual education is not a way to take anything away from American students. In fact, it is just the opposite. Language is an important part of the learning process. Young students are in position to learn a second language early on, which will benefit them greatly in the future. This is why so many school districts are implementing bilingual education criteria at lower grade levels. However, let us all recognize that there are issues to be faced in bilingual education and our schools and our society will need to face these issues fully.

Grace Mckenna writes on a wide range of topics concerning teaching, the school system, and particularly how the internet (aka the World Wide Web) impacts teachers and their interaction with the school, parents and children. More of her articles can be found at http://www.HomeroomTeacher.com

Landmark Year For Bilingual Education

The year 1974 was a landmark year for bilingual education, due in part, to the U.S. Supreme Court Lau v. Nichols decision, which found that the San Francisco schools were failing to offer a meaningful education to English language learners by providing them the same materials and curricula as native English speakers. The San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD requested that the Center for Applied Linguistics send a team to work with the schools and a community advisory committee to develop a master plan to respond to the decision.

Although the Supreme Court had avoided prescribing a specific remedy, CAL's plan, which adopted bilingual education as the most appropriate response, was accepted by the appellate court and indirectly influenced the interpretation of the Lau decision by the Office for Civil Rights as requiring bilingual education under certain circumstances. Although this requirement proved controversial, CAL played a central role in the evolution of official federal policy in this arena.

Concerned about the need for dissemination of research information to the field, CAL initiated the publication of a series of papers in bilingual education in 1975 and published the first book collection of papers on Mexican American Spanish and a research bibliography of linguistic work on the language of U.S. Spanish speakers. CAL also played a significant role in the development of long-term plans for research and information dissemination, as authorized in the 1974 Title VII legislation.

CAL worked closely with the staff of the National Institute of Education in the design of the National Center for Bilingual Research, and after the contract was awarded to the Southwest Educational Research Laboratory, CAL, with its long experience in information clearinghouse activities, formulated the design for the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education (NCBE, now known as NCELA).

When the project was designated as a minority business procurement, CAL became a partner with InterAmerica Associates, which served as prime contractor for the project. Rudolph Troike became deputy director of the Clearinghouse, and Joel Gómez became director. NCBE for a number of years served as an important central coordinating hub for cooperation and information dissemination throughout the country among various units involved in bilingual education.

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Discussions of Bilingual Education

In the United States, most politicized discussions of bilingual education policy have focused on language minority children. Frequently, their backgrounds in languages other than English are assumed to be the cause of their educational deficiencies. Title VII policies were largely predicated on this view, even though advocates of bilingual education tend to see minority languages as personal and societal resources rather than as detriments.

At best, the deficit view has tended to result in policies aimed only at accommodating children from home backgrounds in which languages other than English were spoken and lower expectations for their academic achievement were accepted. Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, there has been much fanfare regarding the need to promote higher expectations for all children.

Nevertheless, as critics have pointed out, NCLB has provided no clear direction on how to promote equitable programs and meaningful assessment of language minority children. Thus, NCLB has left language minority children in a policy limbo. The primary debate has been over whether to assess children through English and how quickly to do so, although it has been widely recognized that most language minority children will not perform well on tests administered in English when these children have not had sufficient time to develop English and academic skills.

Proponents of NCLB have countered that all children must be held to high standards to ensure accountability. A possible danger in this scenario is that high standards, along with underfunded and poorly planned programs, fail to result in the level playing field needed for high achievement. Again, a negative note in the history of federally supported bilingual education is that even as opponents of bilingual decried the "failure" of bilingual education, the vast majority of children eligible for Title VII services were not receiving instruction in their home languages and often received no specially designed instruction to develop the English language skills needed for advanced academic instruction.

In some states restricting bilingual education, such as in California even prior to the passage of its Proposition 227, teachers in so-called bilingual programs often did not speak the home language of many children. Again, these programs were labeled "bilingual" merely because the children came from homes where languages other than English were taught.

Thus, based on the erroneous assumption that children in "bilingual" programs were receiving instruction in languages other than English, rather than in English alone, bilingual education policies were blamed when language minorities under-performed on standardized tests in English.

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Colin Baker and the Bilingual Education

Colin Baker is perhaps best known for being the author of a widely read textbook on bilingual education, Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, which has undergone four editions. The book has sold over 60,000 copies and has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Latvian, Greek, and Mandarin.

For Baker, early experience was no predictor of his later career. Born on October 1, 1949, in Danbury, a hilltop village in southeastern England, he remembers only one bilingual person in that village. She was a Belgian refugee speaking French and English, considered by villagers as "different." In elementary school, teachers and students were monolingual English speakers, matching his nuclear and extended family.

In high school, Baker learned Latin and French through the grammar-translation method. Conversational French was regarded as nonacademic and insufficient as a brain-developing activity; hence, it was largely avoided. All students were native English speakers and were required to use a prestigious variety called "the Queen's English."

Despite encouragement from his high school principal to attend a top English university, Baker's main interest was walking mountains. Having traversed the highest peaks in England, he wished to walk the higher Welsh mountains. Bangor is located very near those mountains, and Bangor University became Baker's home. The university overlooks a small city. The many surrounding villages are populated with bilinguals, with the great majority of the indigenous population speaking both Welsh and English fluently and some immigrants from England learning Welsh for employment or cultural enjoyment.

University students can take some humanities subjects through the medium of Welsh, and bilingual education is predominant in all elementary and most high schools. In this context, bilingualism is a natural topic for study. One of Baker's tutors, W. R. Jones, was a world expert on the relationship between bilingualism and IQ and on empirical studies of the effectiveness of bilingual education. Jones also taught Baker advanced statistical analysis for his PhD, although Jones' "teaching" mostly meant Baker's self-teaching.

Thus, for young Baker, the foundations had been laid. Another event was probably more influential in precipitating a lifelong interest in studying bilingualism. As a freshman, Baker sang in a church choir and fell in love with his future wife across the choir stalls. Anwen was the daughter of the pastor of that church, and her family lived their lives speaking mostly Welsh. Students were warmly welcomed to the house, and Baker found a second home.

The seamless and effortless movement in that family between two languages, two literacies, and two cultures was in stark contrast to monolingual Danbury. The diversity and value-addedness of bilingualism became apparent and appealing. In years to come, it bore fruit in a thoroughly bilingual Baker household, with three children who were educated in two languages.

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Importance of Bilingual Education

Most of you will be aware of the importance of globalization. The spread of the internet is already making way for a more closely knit "global village" and this will only become more so in the future. More and more people are taking up learning a second language as it not only helps to broaden their perspective and become sensitive to other people's culture but also gives a sizable boost to their career prospects.

Of all the languages that have gained importance in recent times perhaps the most sought after language today is Chinese, more particularly Mandarin Chinese. As this is the most widely spoken language throughout China, and China becoming the most important manufacturing and business hub of the world in recent times, many people have resorted to taking up studying Chinese. This trend has gained great popularity in the United States as many colleges and schools have started offering courses in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. However the west has a lot of catching up to do if it hopes to match the monumental effort been made by the Chinese to educate their youth in English. Consider the facts: about 50,000 of the 504 million total students population of the United States is studying Chinese; this in stark contrast to the almost 200 million students in China studying English. Of course the good people in the White House have something to worry about!

If we continue to keep business opportunities in perspective then also the heavy amount of out sourcing of manufacturing to China brings the importance of studying Chinese. In fact many companies naturally prefer to hire persons who are bilingual and fluent in conversing in (Mandarin) Chinese.

Although most will prefer to take up the study during their college, it is highly recommended that a language be learnt as early as possible. A small child picks up a language much faster than an adult. The National Research Council's study "Preventing Reading and Learning Difficulties in Young Children" states that children who are exposed to learning and reading at an early age make the symbol/language connection more accurately and are more likely to be learning the language much faster.

ChineseforSmartKids is a premier educational service focusing on teaching children aged between 3 and 8 Mandarin Chinese. We recognize that parents are now becoming more aware of emerging global realities and like to equip their children with the necessary skills to be prepared as they grow up. Our software is designed so that it is fun and easy to use. Click here is to try out a free demo of our ChineseforSmartKids software now!

A Limited Mandate For the Transitional Bilingual Education

The transitional bilingual education (TBE) program resulting from the Aspira consent decree was a political compromise. It was something less than the developmental or maintenance bilingual program that was supported by the Puerto Rican and Latino community and that the Aspira plaintiffs had wanted.

TBE was never established as a legal right for all Latino pupils, only for those whose command of English was deemed inadequate. Later commentators faulted Aspira's leaders and the PRLDEF lawyers for adopting a narrow litigation strategy; many community activists and bilingual advocates viewed the consent decree as founded on an assimilationist model of education that would lead to a deficit-based, remedial type of bilingual education.

Over the years, this compromise created a rift between two groups: On one side were the bilingual professionals responsible for implementing and administering TBE and ESL instructional programs, along with grassroots education reformers; on the other side were the community leaders who continued to embrace developmental bilingual program models, including late-exit "maintenance" bilingual programs and, later, dual-language or two-way immersion programs.

Many Latino educators and community leaders also regarded the limited TBE mandate as a weakness of the consent decree because it did not address all the endemic conditions faced by the larger Latino student population. As a negotiated compromise, the decree was based on the then-reigning ideology that regarded the acquisition of English as the paramount social and educational imperative.

The board of education had insisted on keeping a smaller proportion of Latino ELLs in TBE programs. Approximately 40% of Latino students were to be included in the programs mandated by the decree. But the cutoff for ELL eligibility was set at the 20th percentile, a significantly low test score based on the Language Assessment Battery (LAB), a norm referenced test of English proficiency. Most important, there were no new services or any changes in mainstream monolingual English instruction for most Latino students.

Despite these limitations, the consent decree recognized the legitimacy of the Latino community's concerns and its interest in having Spanish as a medium of instruction. From a Puerto Rican/Latino perspective, the historical context for bilingual education in New York City included a set of persistent conditions, many of which arguably still exist.

Among these were the disproportionate Latino drop-out rate, Latino academic underachievement, the lack of adequate and culturally appropriate guidance and support services, the discouragement of parent and community involvement, and the low representation of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in teaching and school administrator roles.

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Bilingual Education Policies

Bilingual education policies may, for example, be designed to (a) promote English and one or more additional languages; (b) accommodate speakers of minority languages in English-only instruction; (c) restrict the use of some languages, as in the case of German during World War I; or (d) repress or even eradicate languages, as during the late 19th century, when American Indian boarding schools were used for that purpose.

Among additional factors to consider, Colin Baker, for example, suggests (a) the type of program, (b) type of child, (c) language(s) to be used in the classroom, (d) broader societal aims or goals, and (e) the language and literacy aims or goals. Baker's classification scheme also juxtaposes types of bilingual education into two broad categories: weak forms, or those that promote monolingualism and/or limited bilingualism, and strong forms, or those that promote bilingualism and biliteracy.

Identifying policies associated with specific types of programs is useful because the bilingual education label has been too elastic and ambiguous. Federally sponsored transitional bilingual education (TBE) programs, for example, have typically fallen under the former weak category. Voluntary programs, such as two-way or dual-language programs, more typically offered through elite schools, have typically fallen under the strong category. Under Title VII, TBE, submersion, also known as structured English immersion and structured English immersion with English as a Second Language (ESL) pull-out, was the most common approach.

The latter two types of programs did not involve the use of the primary language of the home. Nevertheless, because students enrolled were speakers of minority languages, these programs were often depicted as being bilingual, thus adding to the public's confusion over the types of programs in which the children were actually enrolled. As noted in the opening definition, language planning and policies are typically intended to solve communication problems.

If programs are evaluated to this end based on their goals, it is clear, critics say, that many of the programs that wear the bilingual label have neither been well-informed by language planning nor clearly connected to the goal of solving communication problems of language minority students. Structured English immersion (SEI), for example, as required in several states that have restricted bilingual education, draws more from political mandates than from any clearly articulated body of research on language acquisition.

It is not clear that many SEI programs require any extensive knowledge or training that would distinguish them from failed, unplanned, "sink or swim" English-only programs of the past.

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Pros and Cons of Bilingual Education

Bilingual education has become very popular lately, with perhaps the most compelling reason for bilingual education being the concept of equality of education in our country. How is it possible for someone to obtain a great education when he or she doesn't fully understand the language the lessons are being taught in? Isn't that student going to become a second-class citizen? Should we just allow that to happen or should we teach them in their native language and worry about assimilation at some later time? The fact is that there are a lot of pros and cons about the subject.

On the positive side, there are many benefits of students learning another language at a very early age. It has been proven that children who learn to speak another language early in life have an easier time grasping the vocabulary, grammar, and nuances of both languages. It has also been shown that these same students will be able to move on to learning third and fourth languages just as easily. The reasons for this are varied, but one of the principal reasons is that many languages have their roots in a single ancient language such as Latin or Greek. As the nationalities have developed, their languages changed but kept a lot of the same words and word structure. Also as the world shrinks and everything becomes more global in nature, it is going to become ever more important to be able to communicate in more than one language.

There is no denying that bilingual education lessons should be taught to students at the elementary level. Waiting until high school will only make it more difficult on the children. Once a student becomes familiar with a second language it is much easier for him or her to master it as they grow older. It is also a good thing when students learn about the culture of different countries, which is enhanced by learning the language. Studies have proven that the ability to speak multiple languages does not confuse the mind. In fact, it helps to develop it faster and lead to a well rounded future.

On the negative side, there are people who feel that bilingual education is a bad idea because it takes away our sense of national identity. The United States has always been known as a "melting pot" of cultures where everyone is treated equally and every culture becomes assimilated into the primary culture of the United States. Historically, newcomers to this country have been forced to learn our English language and many of our ways, all the while contributing parts of their historic culture and making the entire culture better as a result. The argument is that by retaining the language of their old country, they are no longer as easily assimilated into this country.

Bilingual education is a concern in other countries as well as in the United States. For example, there is currently a movement underway in France to ensure that French remains the dominant language and that all citizens learn to speak French. Similarly in the United States many people feel that we as a country have gone too far overboard in making all the other cultures comfortable by printing everything in their home languages. The problem that is brought up is that, by printing everything in multiple native languages, the newcomers don't have to learn English. And if they don't learn English they will never be fully assimilated into the United States. By thus creating nationalistic cliques some people say that we are potentially creating the same type of societal issues that are found in other parts of the world and that those who are immigrating to the United States are frequently running away from. My personal belief is that children from other cultures who may speak other languages at home need to become familiar with English and that English should be the required language for all governmental affairs.

In summary, bilingual education is not a way to take anything away from American students. In fact, it is just the opposite. Language is an important part of the learning process. Young students are in position to learn a second language early on, which will benefit them greatly in the future. This is why so many school districts are implementing bilingual education criteria at lower grade levels. However, let us all recognize that there are issues to be faced in bilingual education and our schools and our society will need to face these issues fully.

Grace Mckenna writes on a wide range of topics concerning teaching, the school system, and particularly how the internet (aka the World Wide Web) impacts teachers and their interaction with the school, parents and children. More of her articles can be found at http://www.HomeroomTeacher.com

Landmark Year For Bilingual Education

The year 1974 was a landmark year for bilingual education, due in part, to the U.S. Supreme Court Lau v. Nichols decision, which found that the San Francisco schools were failing to offer a meaningful education to English language learners by providing them the same materials and curricula as native English speakers. The San Francisco Unified School District SFUSD requested that the Center for Applied Linguistics send a team to work with the schools and a community advisory committee to develop a master plan to respond to the decision.

Although the Supreme Court had avoided prescribing a specific remedy, CAL's plan, which adopted bilingual education as the most appropriate response, was accepted by the appellate court and indirectly influenced the interpretation of the Lau decision by the Office for Civil Rights as requiring bilingual education under certain circumstances. Although this requirement proved controversial, CAL played a central role in the evolution of official federal policy in this arena.

Concerned about the need for dissemination of research information to the field, CAL initiated the publication of a series of papers in bilingual education in 1975 and published the first book collection of papers on Mexican American Spanish and a research bibliography of linguistic work on the language of U.S. Spanish speakers. CAL also played a significant role in the development of long-term plans for research and information dissemination, as authorized in the 1974 Title VII legislation.

CAL worked closely with the staff of the National Institute of Education in the design of the National Center for Bilingual Research, and after the contract was awarded to the Southwest Educational Research Laboratory, CAL, with its long experience in information clearinghouse activities, formulated the design for the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education (NCBE, now known as NCELA).

When the project was designated as a minority business procurement, CAL became a partner with InterAmerica Associates, which served as prime contractor for the project. Rudolph Troike became deputy director of the Clearinghouse, and Joel Gómez became director. NCBE for a number of years served as an important central coordinating hub for cooperation and information dissemination throughout the country among various units involved in bilingual education.

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Discussions of Bilingual Education

In the United States, most politicized discussions of bilingual education policy have focused on language minority children. Frequently, their backgrounds in languages other than English are assumed to be the cause of their educational deficiencies. Title VII policies were largely predicated on this view, even though advocates of bilingual education tend to see minority languages as personal and societal resources rather than as detriments.

At best, the deficit view has tended to result in policies aimed only at accommodating children from home backgrounds in which languages other than English were spoken and lower expectations for their academic achievement were accepted. Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, there has been much fanfare regarding the need to promote higher expectations for all children.

Nevertheless, as critics have pointed out, NCLB has provided no clear direction on how to promote equitable programs and meaningful assessment of language minority children. Thus, NCLB has left language minority children in a policy limbo. The primary debate has been over whether to assess children through English and how quickly to do so, although it has been widely recognized that most language minority children will not perform well on tests administered in English when these children have not had sufficient time to develop English and academic skills.

Proponents of NCLB have countered that all children must be held to high standards to ensure accountability. A possible danger in this scenario is that high standards, along with underfunded and poorly planned programs, fail to result in the level playing field needed for high achievement. Again, a negative note in the history of federally supported bilingual education is that even as opponents of bilingual decried the "failure" of bilingual education, the vast majority of children eligible for Title VII services were not receiving instruction in their home languages and often received no specially designed instruction to develop the English language skills needed for advanced academic instruction.

In some states restricting bilingual education, such as in California even prior to the passage of its Proposition 227, teachers in so-called bilingual programs often did not speak the home language of many children. Again, these programs were labeled "bilingual" merely because the children came from homes where languages other than English were taught.

Thus, based on the erroneous assumption that children in "bilingual" programs were receiving instruction in languages other than English, rather than in English alone, bilingual education policies were blamed when language minorities under-performed on standardized tests in English.

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