ERIC Number: ED167303
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Spanish in the Bilingual Classroom: Beyond the Standard/Vernacular Dilemma.
Clarkson, William M.
If Chicano children do not learn an alternative to their home dialect, the local Spanish with its heavy overlay of English will become the standard for bilingual Chicano youngsters. The Spanish language itself may soon be another cultural relic for many Spanish surnamed people in the United States. Bilingual education represents the obvious antidote to prevent this language loss, but its present state does not warrant optimism. Many bilingual teachers speak only the vernacular and have little training in Spanish grammar and orthography; the teaching materials they use may ignore universally accepted standards of the Spanish language. Some linguists and educators advocate accepting the dialect the child brings to school without disturbing, correcting, or tampering with it in any way. Such attitudes guarantee a second class education for those students falling under this "anything goes" philosophy. The Spanish needs of Chicano youngsters tend to be the fundamentals: orthography, basic grammar, improved reading skills, vocabulary building, recognition of anglicisms, etc. Many bilingual programs are ill-prepared to provide these basic language learning skills; poorly trained teachers who labor with inferior educational materials cannot impart satisfactory competence in Spanish language skills. These trends and attitudes must be reversed if bilingual education is to succeed and if Spanish is to remain a viable language in the Southwest. (DS)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingual Teachers, Bilingualism, Child Language, Dialects, Educational Policy, Instructional Materials, Language Attitudes, Language Instruction, Language Proficiency, Language Standardization, Mexican Americans, Non English Speaking, Opinions, Spanish, Spanish Speaking, Teacher Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A