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Bilingual Education Resources

Bilingual education is both a civil and human right. Unfortunately with the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, bilingual education has been attacked at the state and federal level. Statewide anti-bilingual initiatives have passed in California, Colorado and Massachusetts. Federal legislation recently passed (as part of George W. Bush's Elementary and Secondary Education Act) includes provisions which further disadvantage those who are learning English.

Here are links to articles on bilingual education that Rethinking Schools has published recently.

Bilingual Education is a Civil and Human Right
A Rethinking Schools Editorial
In the aftermath of the bilingual education initiatives in Colorado and Massachusetts Rethinking Schools editors argue strongly that bilingual education is both a civil and human right. Amid continuing attacks on the rights of immigrants and the erosion of the gains made by English language learners on the federal level (thanks to the anti-bilingual education provisions in the ESEA) people should support the right of all children to learn two languages, including their mother tongue.
(Vol. 17, #2, Winter 2002/2003)

Also available in Spanish

Leaving English Learners Behind
by Bob Peterson
The testing provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) are having devastating effects on bilingual programs and the education of limited-English learners. Some state education authorities are adding to the problem with narrow interpretations of the new law.
(Vol. 17, #1, Fall 2002)

OBITUARY: The Bilingual Ed Act, 1968 - 2002
by James Crawford
Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which transformed the way language-minority children are taught in the United States - promoting equal access to the curriculum, training a generation of educators, and fostering achievement among students - expired quietly on Jan. 8, 2002. The law was 34 years old. In this article Crawford examines what has replaced it. Be forewarned: It's not a pretty sight.
(Vol. 16, #4, Summer 2002)

Does Bilingual Ed Work?
by James Crawford
Bilingual education is counterintuitive. Most people wonder: How could teaching students in their native tongue help them learn English? James Crawford examines the basic arguments surrounding the issue of bilingual education.
(Vol. 16, #4, Summer 2002)

Bush's Bad Idea for Bilingual Ed
by Stephen Krashen
Krashen critiques the serious problems with the notion (now law under the ESEA) that there should be a three-year time limit for non-English speakers to attain 'English fluency.' The bogus arguments about students "languishing" in bilingual programs are laid to rest.
(Vol 15, #4, Summer 2002)

Bilingual Education: A Goal for All Children
A Rethinking Schools Editorial
Written just after a critical vote against bilingual education in Arizona in November 2000, the editors argue that it is important that progressives stress the value of bilingual programs in learning English. But we should also frame the issue in terms of power and the basic human right to maintain one's mother tongue.
(Vol. 15, #2, Winter 2000/2001)

Bilingual Education Works
by Stephen Krashen
Bilingual education is generally misunderstood, even though people appear to understand many of its underlying principles. Krashen examines some of the most common myths surrounding bilingual education.
(Vol. 15, #2, Winter 2000/2001)

Bilingual Education: Strike Two
by James Crawford
An analysis of the electoral landslide on Nov. 7, 2000 in which Arizona became the second state to adopt an English-only schools initiative.
(Vol. 15, #2, Winter 2000/2001)

Origins of Multiculturalism
by Christine Sleeter and Peter McLaren
Multicultural education can be traced historically to the Civil Rights Movement.The struggle for bilingual education is intimately connected to that struggle as well.
(Vol 15, #1, Fall 2000)

Raising Children's Cultural Voices
by Berta Rosa Berriz
A third-grade teacher describes how she uses children's writing to expand cultural awareness and teach Spanish and English in a two-way bilingual program. She describes how teachers can create a learning environment that honors the diverse family cultures of students within a racist society.
(Vol 14, #4, Summer 2000)

Bilingual and Spanish-Language Websites
by Cathy Amanti
Great resources that are hot-linked.
(Vol 14, #3, Spring 2000)

To Improve Bilingual Ed
Interviews by Barbara Miner
Rethinking Schools asked seven people involved in bilingual education about the challenges facing bilingual programs. These excerpts reveal both support for bilingual programs and an honest appraisal of what must be done to move such programs forward.
(Vol 13, #4, Summer 1999)

Bilingual Education: New Visions for a New Era
by Barbara Miner
An on-the-spot report about how two bilingual schools in Watsonville, California - Starlight and Alianza elementary schools - have managed to survive despite the anti-bilingual voter iniative that passed in California in 1998. The programs at both schools are described.
(Vol 13, #4, Summer 1999)

Coming Soon: The Son of Unz
by Barbara Miner
A brief analysis of millionaire anti-bilingual crusader Ron Unz and the organizations behind the anti-bilingual ballot initiatives.
(Vol 13, #4, Summer 1999)

What Now for Bilingual Education?
by James Crawford
An analysis of the implications of the Californian ballot initiative that virtually banned bilingual education in the state.
(Vol 13, #2, Winter 1998/1999)

Does Bilingual Ed Work?
by James Crawford
A well-footnoted article on what the research says about bilingual education.
(Vol 13, #2, Winter 1998/1999)

California Referendum Mandates 'English-Only'
by Barbara Miner
An analysis of the first statewide anti-bilingual initiative, written before its passage.
(Vol 12, #3, Spring 1998)

A History of Bilingual Education
by the National Association for Bilingual Education
A brief history of bilingual education in the United States.
(Vol 12, #3, Spring 1998)

Number of Language-Minority Students Skyrockets
by the National Association for Bilingual Education
Since 1980 the number of language-minority Americans has increased at more than four times the rate of overall population growth.
(Vol 12, #3, Spring 1998)

February 2001