ERIC Number: ED467092
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
What Works for the Children? What We Know and Don't Know about Bilingual Education.
Currently, there is no overall strategy for comprehensively addressing the academic needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). Their right to equal opportunities to participate and learn has been recognized by federal law. There is limited evidence regarding bilingual education and effective strategies for educating ELLs. Research indicates that 1 year of English instruction is generally inadequate to prepare ELLs to succeed in general education classes taught only in English. Results from implementing California's 1-year English immersion programs show that these programs are not the success claimed by Unz Initiative proponents. Research indicates that achievement gaps between native English speakers and ELLs are widening, and teachers are seriously demoralized. As a civil rights matter, the future of bilingual education programs for ELLs must depend on the what works for children and not on who makes the decision. One type of support program should not be imposed on all schools. Parents and school districts have the right to implement different bilingual education and language support programs that meet rigorous, broadly accepted standards and local needs. Nine recommendations emphasize the importance of clarifying the goals of language support programs, providing additional high quality instruction for ELLs and additional funding to improve the quality of ELL education. (Contains 75 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Bilingual Education, Bilingual Students, Civil Rights, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Equal Education, Immersion Programs, Limited English Speaking, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation
Civil Rights Project, Harvard University, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 400 South, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-6367; Fax: 617- 495-5210; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.law.harvard.edu/civilrights/. For full text: http://www.civilrightsproject.harvard.edu/ research/bilingual 02/bilingual_paper02.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Civil Rights Project, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Location: California