Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Why is research on bilingual education ignored?

Proposition 227 dismantled bilingual education in California. But Proposition 58, which would reverse much of Prop 227, has "has so far generated only the slightest ripple of attention." ("Not a bang but a whimper: bilingual ed ban’s likely exit," August 8, The Cabinet Report).
The following appears close to the end of the article: "The education community, backed up by piles of research, never embraced the tenets of Prop. 227 …."
THIS IS A RARE MENTION OF THE STRONG RESEARCH SUPPORTING BILINGUAL EDUCATION. Despite the many attempts of some of us to share the results of this research with the public, it never became part of the debate in 1998 and is peripheral today.
Why?
In the final sentence of the aritlce, the founder of the California Tea Party Coalition is quoted: “(Removing the bilingual ban) seems like such a disservice to kids, because everything they are going to need and everything they are going to do is in English.”
THE RESEARCH CONSISTENTLY SHOWS THAT PROPERLY ORGANIZED BILINGUAL EDUCATION IS VERY GOOD FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. THOSE IN BILINGUAL PROGRAMS DO BETTER THAN COMPARISONS ON TESTS OF ENGLISH READING. THIS IMPORTANT FINDING WAS NOT PART OF THE DISCUSSION IN 1998, AND STILL APPEARS TO BE UNKNOWN IN 2016.   
Why?

2 comments:

  1. Not only is the research ignored, but they are ignored too. In a very real way, students wonder why they are being ignored in their classes too. Why are children immersed in incomprehensible Math, Science, SS, or ELA class all day without what research tells us is the best way to learn: billingual education. My kids want to know why too, and I'm so relieved Dr. Krashen shares our frustration. My kids can't do anything about their situation, just put their heads down, stay quiet, then come in my ESL class and cry about tests they are failing at lunch. They aren't making a fuss about the fact that immersion doesn't work. But Dr. Krashen is. So thank you.

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