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ERIC Number: ED350874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
The History of Bilingual Education in America.
Brown, Brad
During early settlement of the New World, schools were conducted in the community's native language. Concern over an official language for the United States can be traced to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. While British immigrants were in the minority, their influence predominated. English-only laws appeared but were largely ignored. In 1900, many schools still taught in languages other than English, but the trend soon shifted to English-only instruction. Local influence submitted to national and international pressures for homogeneity, especially under Theodore Roosevelt. American Indians and African American slaves were the two most disenfranchised groups, while other ethnic groups had varying degrees of linguistic and cultural autonomy. "Scientific" debate over racial and linguistic superiority emerged at this time. Isolationism and xenophobia increased after World War I. Diversity gained ground after the overseas experiences of World War II, with the government increasing foreign language instruction in the armed forces and public schools and giving support for desegregation. Bilingual education pilot programs began in the early 1960s, when more liberal immigration policies came into effect. Federal support grew, then lessened in the 1980s, and at the same time a backlash against perceived gains of minority groups developed, including a push for English-only policy. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A