Still, there are cracks in the anti-bilingual wall in terms of K-12 education with California legislators currently debating the elimination of Prop 227 , which in 1998 effectively ended bilingual education in that state. New bilingual teacher education candidates encounter a rigorous teacher education program that includes taking additional expensive exams required for certification, including the test for supplemental certification in bilingual education and the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT), which assesses proficiency in academic Spanish.
For many students, the process of learning literacy and a new language simultaneously is simply an overwhelming task, so bilingual programs began as a way to help such students develop native language literacy first – research by Cummins, 30 a central researcher in the field, shows that skills such as literacy developed in a first language will transfer to English.
The one study that considers this possibility finds that achievement for non-limited English proficient students is higher in districts that began to offer bilingual education as a result of a Texas administrative rule 9 While this finding is consistent with non-limited English proficient students benefiting from lower exposure to limited English proficient students, this interpretation is speculative, and more research is needed on spillover effects.
While it is impossible to predict parent demand if the measure passes, Hilda Maldonado, the executive director of multilingual and multicultural education in the Los Angeles school district, said she would expect many more students to enroll in dual-language classes and other programs that allowed them to retain their native language.
In Iraq however, triple language programmes are, like in Lebanon and Syria, normal, except rather than using French, Kurdish is taught alongside Arabic and English due to Iraq’s considerably sized Kurdish minority in the north, and bilingual official language policy regarding Kurdish.