ERIC Number: ED321584
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Bilingualism and Bilingual Education: A Research Perspective. Occasional Papers in Bilingual Education, Number 1.
With respect to the ultimate goal for limited English proficient students, it would appear that the policy of transitional bilingual education in the United States is explicitly non-bilingual, incorporating a minimalist form of bilingualism for the period students are in the programs, and viewing the first language as only instrumental insofar as it helps in the acquisition of English. Research in second language learning has led to the following conclusions relevant to bilingual educators: (1) the native and second language are complementary rather than mutually exclusive; (2) the native language's structural patterns have minimal influence on patterns, especially syntactic, of second language learning; (3) language proficiency is not unitary but consists of diverse skills, not necessarily correlated; (4) age may constrain some aspects of acquisition; (5) affective factors studied in other language contexts may not be relevant for English as a Second Language; (6) bilingualism is associated positively with greater cognitive flexibility and linguistic awareness; (7) language skills transfer globally rather than piecemeal; and (8) expertise in translation exists in all bilingual children, demonstrating considerable ability to transfer regardless of content. Issues for further collaborative research between researchers of bilingualism and educators of bilingual education include the discrepancy between psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic equity, valuing language diversity as a natural resource, assessment of bilingual students, and developing an international perspective. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Washington, DC.