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ERIC Number: ED369500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Bilingual Preschool Programs: Future Directions.
Milne, Rosemary
Language policy in Australia has evolved in three phases, with three kinds of argumentation prevailing in public attitudes. In the first phase (1945 to the mid 1970s), maintenance of the first language by non-English-speaking-background (NESB) immigrants was considered a hindrance to assimilation and educational achievement, and thus abandonment of the first language was encouraged. In the second phase (beginning in the mid-1970s), first language maintenance came to be seen as a right, either for protection of cultural identity or for educational equity. Although this view remained controversial, Australia's first bilingual education programs were developed during this phase. In the third phase (late 1980s), bilingual education was seen as beneficial not only to NESB students but also to English-speaking-background (ESB) students, for whom knowledge of a second language was considered economically advantageous. For advocates of bilingual education, this argument has the drawback that it restricts the range of languages supported to those considered advantageous to ESB students. Recommended policy changes are: (1) wider enrollment of ESB students in bilingual programs (also, deliberate inclusion of "third language" students, which, along with first language maintenance, has been found to strengthen bilingual programs); (2) education of parents about bilingualism; (3) improvement of assessment within bilingual programs; (4) greater emphasis in policy justification on the benefits of bilingual education for Australian society as a whole. (ME)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia