Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bilingual education: What does the research say?

Published in Education Week, March 25, 2014, as 
Debate on Bilingual Education Needs to Include All the Facts

The campaign to full restore bilingual education in California needs to include the research. Despite efforts by academics, this research was not brought to the attention of the voters.

Not mentioned in the Education Week article is the fact that studies done before and after Proposition 227 passed consistently showed that students in bilingual programs outperform similar students enrolled in English-only programs on tests of reading English. Had the public known this, the outcome of the election might have been different.

Also, as researcher Grace McField noted in the article, dismantling bilingual education in California did not improve achievement for English-learners in California.

Both of these findings deserve much more salience in the bilingual education debate.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

original article:

Students in bilingual programs outperform: ...:
McField, G. and McField, D. 2014. "The consistent outcome of bilingual education programs: A meta-analysis of meta-analyses." In Grace McField (Ed.) 2014. The Miseducation of English Learners. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. pp. 267-299.
Dismantling did not improve ...:
Parrish, T., Linquanti, R. Merickel, A. Quick, H. Laird, J and Estra, P. 2006. Effects of the Implementation of Proposition 227 on the Education of English Learners, K-12: 2002 Report

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