ERIC Number: ED241621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
The Role of Native Language Instruction in Bilingual Education.
Cardenas, Jose A.
Intercultural Development Research Association Newsletter, January 1984
In the context of increasing criticism of bilingual education and the use of native language instruction, it must be remembered that they are based on a sound rationale. First, they address the need for continued learning as the child moves from one language to the other. Second, they address the need to diminish the alienation which children feel when pushed into an unfamiliar language situation and to develop a positive self-concept. And third, they recognize the importance of new discoveries about the critical role of language acquisition and utilization in the intellectual development of the child. Despite overwhelming pedagogical evidence in favor of bilingual education and native language instruction, however, criticism continues unabated. The criticism can be put into three categories: (1) emotional--negative reactions to the use of a language other than English in American schools; (2) misinformational; and (3) attitudinal--based on past discriminatory attitudes about the place of racial and ethnic minorities and the belief held by some that equal educational opportunity is not desirable. None of the proposed alternatives, however, based as they are on the traumatic and disastrous programs of the pre-bilingual era are acceptable. Bilingual education with language instruction in the native language still appears to be the best option for children with limited English proficiency. (CMG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX.