Bilingual Education Essay

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Experience documents that students from minority-language backgrounds historically have higher dropout rates and lower achievement scores.

Finally, there is a basis for bilingual education that draws upon research in language acquisition and education.

As early as 1694, German-speaking Americans were operating schools in their mother tongue.

As the country expanded, wherever language-minority groups had power, bilingual education was common.

The students' native language may or may not be used to teach content material.

Bilingual education programs can be considered either additive or subtractive in terms of their linguistic goals, depending on whether students are encouraged to add to their linguistic repertoire or to replace their native language with the majority language (see Table 1 for a typology of bilingual education).By the mid-1800s, there were schools throughout the country using German, Dutch, Czech, Spanish, Norwegian, French, and other languages, and many states had laws officially authorizing bilingual education.In the late 1800s, however, there was a rise in nativism, accompanied by a large wave of new immigrants at the turn of the century.Cummins also introduced the concept of the common underlying proficiency TABLE 1 model of bilingualism, which explains how concepts learned in one language can be transferred to another.Cummins is best known for his distinction between basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).Bilingual education is a broad term that refers to the presence of two languages in instructional settings.The term is, however, "a simple label for a complex phenomenon" (Cazden and Snow, p.Research done by Jim Cummins, of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, supports a basic tenet of bilingual education: children's first language skills must become well developed to ensure that their academic and linguistic performance in the second language is maximized.Cummins's developmental interdependencetheory suggests that growth in a second language is dependent upon a well-developed first language, and his thresholds theory suggests that a child must attain a certain level of proficiency in both the native and second language in order for the beneficial aspects of bilingualism to accrue.In many South American countries, such as Peru and Ecuador, there are large populations of indigenous peoples who speak languages other than Spanish.Bilingual education programs there have the goal of bilingualism.

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