One afternoon last fall, I watched as a group of young Hispanic students trained to become the best Spanish-language spellers in America. Studies can be cited to support either side of the debate on whether bilingual education programs work better than English-only programs; early meta-studies are 2 , 3 Many of the studies fail to deal with the non-random selection of limited English proficient students into bilingual education programs.
Following similar First Nations ‘ models to Canada , academic linguists throughout the United States are working closely with Native American reservations communities to establish immersion and second-language programs for a number of respective tribal languages including Navajo , Hopi , Cherokee , Ojibwe , Lakhota , and Sioux , among others.
In 1998, voters in California passed a law that severely restricted bilingual education in public schools, arguing that students were languishing in their native language and that requiring English-only instruction would speed up the time it took children to learn English.
Since language is one of the most obvious identifiers of an immigrant, restrictions on the use of languages other than English have been imposed throughout the history of the United States, particularly in times of war and economic uncertainty. Fordham’s Graduate School of Education is a nationally accredited teacher education institution in New York City.
One long-standing issue involves persistent shortages of bilingual education certified teachers. Language-minority students in U.S. schools speak virtually all of the world’s languages, including more than a hundred that are indigenous to the United States.