The Department of Teacher and Bilingual Education serves the entire university as the home for the Educator Preparation Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Self-esteem is not higher among limited-English students who are taught in their native languages, and stress is not higher among children who are introduced to English from the first day of school—though self-esteem and stress are the factors most often cited by advocates of bilingual teaching.
Comparing changes over time for limited English proficient students in schools with higher pre-policy prevalence to changes in schools with lower prevalence gives an alternative difference-in-differences estimate of the impact of a reduction in bilingual education.
On the other side, we also hear about the perniciousness of bilingualism among immigrants, the uselessness of supporting and preserving minority and indigenous languages, and the educational and economic harm that comes from ‘wasting’ valuable resources on bilingual education initiatives.
In the early 1990s, the school district shifted the focus of its instructional program from student limitations to student strengths-from remedial programs emphasizing English language development to enriched programs emphasizing total academic development; from narrow English-as-a-second-language programs to comprehensive developmental bilingual education programs that provide dual-language instruction.
Also, a growing number of middle- and upper-income families recognize the economic advantages to mastering multiple languages in an era of globalization; many have clamored for more dual language schools and programs as a result, helping to legitimize and popularize the approach.