Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A misleading poll about bilingual education

Sent to The Mercury News, Sept. 28
Re: ("Poll: Repeal of bilingual education ban leading, Sept 28). 
California's Prop 58, would restore bilingual education. A recent poll said that there was support for 58, but respondents were not enthusiastic about 58 after reading one of eight summaries of the measure.
The summaries said that we should allow students to take classes in the native language to keep their culture and language, or because bilingualism will help students eventually "get good jobs."  True, but there is another reason to allow instruction using the first language: It results in better English.
The summaries also said that English-only is the way to "preserve our common American culture and language," and "English is necessary."  This assumes that the only way to acquire English is through English-only programs, which is false.
How would people react if they knew that students in well-designed bilingual programs consistently outperform similar students in all-English programs on tests of English? That's exactly what the research says.

Stephen Krashen
Original article:
Poll: done by Institute of Government Studies, UC Berkeley
Research, most recent analysis: McField, G. and McField, D. 2014.  "The consistent outcome of bilingual education programs: A meta-analysis of meta-analyses." In Grace McField (Ed.) The Miseducation of English Learners. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. pp. 267-299.

1 comment:

  1. Please post references for primary research data (not lit reviews that can be misconstrued) that include SIOP. At issue is the "either/or" that some wish to reduce a complex issue. Bilingual education itself can take many forms in practice. The students' formal education history and literacy in home language is correlated with academic outcomes.

    As someone seeking legitimately helpful methods to address all language learner needs in my classroom, I'm beginning to tire of the rhetorical propaganda that - as soundbites and social media blurbs - tell absolutely nothing.