ERIC Number: ED252066
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
When They Don't Speak English, How Do We Educate?
Bilingual education is a method, not a program, used by the teacher so that the student is receiving instruction in both English and the native language. All instruction is given with an appreciation for the cultural heritage of all children in American society. The purpose of bilingual education is to improve the child's English language skills so he or she is fluent and independent in the English language. Bilingual education is not the same as English as a second language (ESL). ESL is not a method, but a component of the total educational program. It is a course with specific content, like math or science, with concepts and skills to be learned. It is a false assumption that all immigrants successfully learn English, since it is not until the fourth or fifth generation that English is the dominant language. The schools must be allowed to do their job in assisting all non-English-proficient students to become proficient in the language of American Society and must be allowed to use sound methods and approaches. The assumption that the purpose of bilingual education is to allow children to not learn English is mistaken. The exclusive purpose of bilingual education is to help students learn English as rapidly and efficiently as possible and, at the same time, to ensure that they do not fall behind in other subjects while learning English. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National School Boards Association (San Francisco, CA, April 23-26, 1983).