ERIC Number: ED409721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Challenging the Political Mirage of ESL and Bilingual Education: A Study of Public Knowledge.
Williams, Gwendolyn M.
A survey investigating public beliefs about teaching methods of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and bilingual education is reported. An introductory section chronicles the political history of ESL and bilingual education in the United States, describes major program designs, and reviews literature on public opinion concerning these programs. The survey sought to determine what the general public believes to be the most appropriate methods of educating language-minority students and where they obtained information to form those judgments. Respondents were categorized according to their level of expertise in language pedagogy (expert/non-expert) and native language (English/non-English). Subjects were 97 graduate students in various fields, divided into four groups by expertise and native language status. All were administered a Likert-type questionnaire (appended) with 30 statements concerning program models and sources of information. Results indicate that overall, the respondents were not opposed to bilingual education, and almost universally agreed that bilingualism was a professional asset. However, they favored English language learning over native language maintenance, supporting the prediction that transitional programs would be favored. A majority did not get their information from the media, and a slight majority claimed their information came from research. Contains 26 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingualism, Educational Strategies, English (Second Language), Higher Education, Information Sources, Knowledge Level, Politics of Education, Program Design, Public Opinion, Second Language Instruction, Surveys, Teaching Methods, Transitional Programs
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: M.A. Paper, Pennsylvania State University. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (31st, Orlando, FL, March 11-15, 1997).