Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reading is the key: Helping bilingual education reach its potential

Sent How can Texas end its bilingual teacher shortage? UNT-Dallas has an answer
Published in the Dallas Morning News, Nov, 27, 2017:

Re: How can Texas end its bilingual education shortage? UNT-Dallas has an answer.
(Nov. 25, 2017;

The Dallas Morning News has made an important statement in its report on the bilingual education teacher shortage. The case for bilingual education is stronger than ever: Studies have confirmed over and over that well-designed bilingual education programs do a better job in promoting academic English than do all-English “immersion” programs.

To help bilingual education reach its potential, we need to invest more in libraries and supply more reading material in English and Spanish.  Reading in the first language is the key to literacy: It is easier to learn to read in a language you understand, and this ability transfers easily to a second language. Reading is also an important source of knowledge in many different areas, including science and history, knowledge that will make classes taught in English more comprehensible.  

Our studies suggest that having a pleasure reading habit in English is nearly a guarantee of success in school. Not have a pleasure reading habit in English is nearly a guarantee of failure in American schools. 

As many of our ELLs live in poverty, often their only source of books is the library.  

Stephen Krashen

Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California
Los Angeles 90089-0031
Visiting Scholar, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas

Some sources:
“…. do a better job”: 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.
“Reading in the first language….”: Crawford, J. and Krashen, S. 2015. English Learners in American Classrooms: 101 Questions, 101 Answers. Portland: DiversityLearningK12
“… important source of knowledge”  Krashen, S.2004. The Power of Reading. Libraries Unlimited.
“… pleasure reading habit in English…” Krashen, S. and Williams, C. 2012. Is Self-Selected Pleasure Reading the Cure for the Long-Term ELL Syndrome? A Case History. NABE Perspectives September-December 2012, p.26; Henkin, V. and Krashen, S. 2015. The home run book experience. Language Magazine 15(1): 32-25.
“Source of books”: Neuman, S. & Celano, D. (2001). Access to print in low-income and middle- income communities. Reading Research Quarterly, 36(1), 8-26.  

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