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18 - Language in education

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Lily Wong Fillmore
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Edward Finegan
Affiliation:
University of Southern California
John R. Rickford
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
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Summary

Editors' introduction

This chapter should be read with chapter 17. Both discuss Proposition 227, the anti-bilingual education voter initiative that was approved by 61 percent of the California electorate in 1998, but in this chapter Lily Wong Fillmore comes at it from the focused perspective of the rise (and fall) of bilingual education, complementing the more general perspective of language planning and policy examined in the preceding chapter. Here, the time depth is also more restricted, since, despite early twentieth-century contestations of the assumption that schooling would be provided primarily if not entirely in English, bilingual education was not formally instituted at a federal level until 1968. It was in that year, partly in response to the example of Florida schools in which the children of Cuban immigrants were being successfully instructed in English and Spanish, that the Bilingual Education Act was passed. This chapter traces the developments leading up to this and to the subsequent Lau guidelines of 1975, which further ensured the provision of bilingual education for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students across the USA.

From the beginning there was ideological opposition to bilingual education, however. This chapter documents the increasing debate that would end in the passage of proposition 227 in California and identifies seven “challenges” or charges often raised against bilingual education (e.g., bilingual education programs “are educationally ineffective”) along with counterarguments to each one.

Type
Chapter
Information
Language in the USA
Themes for the Twenty-first Century
, pp. 339 - 360
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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