ERIC Number: ED216053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr-16
Reference Count: 0
A Political Focus on Issues in Bilingual Education: Comparative Views from Selected Countries Around the World.
Laughlin, Margaret A.
In formulating an official language policy, a country must consider cultural, social, political and economic factors. Alternative policies on language instruction can be categorized into three groups: 1) subordination of the home language to the country's dominant language; 2) bilingual maintenance through the simultaneous provision of instruction in two languages; and 3) use of the home language in the early school years and the dominant language in later years. In the United States, Belgium, and the Philippines, cultural and political influences have led to conflicts concerning language policy. Current policy in the United States emphasizes transitional bilingual education and the eventual phasing out of the child's home language, but some advocates believe that transitional bilingual programs must lead to language maintenance programs and that the linguistic competencies of native speakers must be encouraged. In Belgium, policies to achieve equality of language use and instruction (among three language groups) have failed due to social changes and public attitudes: democratization in language choice and linguistic polarization prevail. In the Philippines, the linguistic issue is complicated by attempts to develop a national language, and by conflicting interests in Spanish, English, and the many native languages: the government currently supports bilingualism in English and Pilipino. Each nation needs to develop a consistent language policy in order to avoid semilinguistic literacy, promote academic achievement, and develop national unity. (Author/MJL)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Comparative Analysis, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Federal Legislation, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Language Maintenance, Language of Instruction, Official Languages, Political Influences, Public Policy, Sociocultural Patterns
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Belgium; Maintenance Bilingual Education Programs; Philippines; Transitional Bilingual Education Programs; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Interdisciplinary and Ethnic Studies (Santa Clara, CA, April 16, 1982). Not available in paper copy due to author's restrictions.