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ERIC Number: EJ815015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1931-3152
The Decline of Bilingual Education: How to Reverse a Troubling Trend?
Crawford, James
International Multilingual Research Journal, v1 n1 p33-37 Mar 2007
For decades bilingual education in the United States has faced political adversity to varying degrees. Having survived several waves of English-only activism since the late 1970s, these programs seem unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Research has increasingly demonstrated their superiority to all-English approaches for educating English-language learners (ELLs), as documented by meta-analyses of the literature. Nevertheless, the continued availability of bilingual education in this country for significant numbers of ELLs is now in doubt. This is true in part because of the antibilingual backlash, which most recently took the form of English-only school initiatives adopted by voters in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts. In recent years a new and more formidable threat has emerged: the trend toward high-stakes testing, primarily in English, as mandated by the U.S. federal government's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Despite provisions requiring instructional programs to reflect "scientifically based research," the law provides indirect but powerful incentives to ignore this principle when it comes to ELLs. That is, it encourages schools to abandon native-language instruction in favor of all-English approaches. In this article, the author contends that to reverse the decline of bilingual education, it must be combined with consistent efforts to educate the public about the pedagogical and societal benefits of developing students' native-language skills. There is no escaping the reality that, as long as high-stakes testing continues to drive U.S. education policy, the trend toward all-English programs will continue to accelerate. (Contains 1 table and 6 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001