English Immersion: What Critical Challenges must we face American education is always considered to be a complex thing: first of all, because the United States does not have a national school system; the second problem is its multicultural and multilingual inhabitants. Public education is a civil institution for children and it is supported by local, state, and federal government. Public education is free of charge to everyone of school age. The system involves compulsory student attendance, certification of teachers and curricula, and tests and standards provided by government. Education standards in America were often changed. In the 1960s and 1970s, students were given an opportunity to choose subjects. By the 1980s, the growth of electives courses had been noticed and at the same time it was the slow but steady decline of American students’ average scores, speaking about standardized tests on mathematics, reading, and science.
There was another problem: students showed worse results in so-called three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. National system of education was criticized greatly as well as school boards and teachers. School boards paid teachers too little, so, good ones had to leave schools. Most of all it was not difficult to get a diploma because in many educational establishments students were given easier material to work with. It was not easy to make right solution for American secondary education. At the beginning of the 1980s, the U.S. Department of Education organized a special commission to examine the question; and only in 1989, President George Bush and the governors of all 50 states started reforming American education.
ESTABLISHING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES When we talk about the purposes of education we may be referring to purposes at one or more of the following levels: nation, state, school district, school, and subject? Grade, unit plan, or lesson plan. Although there is no perfect agreement, most educators use the terms goals and objective to distinguish among levels of purpose with goals being broader and ...
They set goals that should be achieved by the year 2000. One of the main goals was that every American adult will be literate and have the skills to function as a citizen and a worker. But for the USA it was not an easy task, taking into account that its citizens are multicultural and multilingual. It became a great barrier because not every student had an equal access to knowledge. A great number of immigration children, many of whom speak little or no English, caused American schools to solve some problems: to cope with the influx of immigrant children, to reflect the various cultures of all children in school curriculum, to develop basic skills of the immigrant students for the job market, and to reflect the diversity of the US educational system. To solve these problems, bilingual schools have appeared.
They were set up to help immigrant students to adjust to their new culture and language. A lot of teachers of English as a second language were hired and trained. Traditional European centered curriculum was opened up to use material from Africa, Asia and other cultures. The idea of bilingual education has its proponents and opponents. Proponents argue that bilingual education will help to keep non-English speaking children from falling behind the peers while they master English. Opponents say that it delays students mastery of English and the learning of other subjects as well.
They say that everyone in the US should learn to speak English. In 1968, US Congress affirmed bilingual education in order to give immigrants access to education in their first language. The U.S. Department of Education formulated a bilingual education program as one for limited English proficient (LEP) students. It was for those whose primary language was not English. Thats why such students had difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language.
... education. Access to higher education also dependents on a knowledge of English, due to all key information stored in this language. If students ... (1997) points some interesting aspects concerning bilingual users of English; he considers English a language with a large number of speakers that ... a huge industry of private programs to help learners reach a high level of language acquisition. This rule is ...
LEP students had no equal opportunity to successfully learning in classrooms because the language of instruction was English. There are two different approaches to bilingual education. One approach lies in that that immigrant students are trained in their first language and also English. It is called bilingual education. The other approach is known as immersion program where the teachers instruct students in English and use the students native language only for explanations. The proponents of the first approach say that it is easier for students to learn English if they are literate in their first language. They state that good bilingual programs for the students will help them to achieve proficiency in both the primary and secondary language.
Some claim that this type of learning works well in a classroom where half the students speak English, and half are considered limited English proficient (LEP).
A teacher instructs in English and in the LEPs primary English. The purpose of this type of classroom is dual. It lies to teach the children a new language and to let them learn about another culture. The proponents say if the program is well prepared and teachers are well equipped then students have a good chance of success. Such approach to bilingual education is called Traditional Bilingual Education.
It is an education theory that states that children can mostly easily acquire fluency in a second language by first acquiring fluency in their native language. Fluency is defined as linguistic fluency, for example, speaking; as well as literacy (e.g. reading and writing).
Critics of bilingual education claim that many bilingual education programs are native language programs with a minimal emphasis on teaching students English. They have claimed that studies supporting bilingual education have poor methodologies and they have little empirical support in favor of it. To reduce bilingual education in favor of so called main streaming, in 1998, California adopted Proposition 227 in the primary election. The question is: why in California? It is because forty-one per cent of Californias public school population is Latino.
It is a struggle to adapt to a new culture and language, which may be completely different from the ones young child may have already learned. This can lead to inner conflict, confusion, and even anger. One way to handle the conflict is to cut ties with the first culture including language. But is this the answer? Doing so can create a sense of loss. In the essay “Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual ...
Latinos represent 31% of the high school graduates. The new law became part of the Education Code in August, just before the beginning of the 1998-199 academic years. Proposition 227 requires that all English Language Learners in California receive a program of sheltered immersion, or structured English immersion. According to the proposition, English Language Learners will be taught English for one year before transferring to mainstream or regular classes. Much of the arguments were against bilingual education, because the supporters of Proposition 227 declared that California in the United States, so, everyone should learn to speak English. They stated law level of English proficiency among immigrant students, especially Latinos. The supporters of the Proposition 227 say that bilingual education prevents English language from becoming fully proficient.
Two years later, some critics of Proposition 227 decided to analyze the impact of this educational initiative. For example, Professor Eugene Garcia, a former director of the US department of Educational office, after presenting a summary of the findings from 10 studies that were conducted by research institutes and scholars came to the conclusion that there were no benefits in terms of improved teaching and learning conditions or academic achievement. The studies demonstrated the disruption to the education of language minority students. From Proposition 227, it is clear that it represents an attempt to formulate and enforce language policy, and to demonstrate an education policy. The opponents of the proposal think that, as for the first attempt of Proposition 227, it has failed. They say that it is not easy to analyze it from the point of public policy; but they state that when the policy is one the majority can impose its idea of what is best for you on the minority. They emphasize that it is necessary to remember that 39% of the California electorate opposed Proposition 227 and fully 63% of Latino voters opposed the initiative.
As for the point of view of bilingual educators and others who share concerns about the short-term and long range impact of Proposition 227, the media called them greedy and self-serving ethnic separatists. But the realities of Californias linguistically diverse student population and the challenges of providing them with the meaningful and effective education are quite different. 25% of Californias total student population is made up of students, classified as limited English proficient. Now they are termed English Language Learners. Fully 67% of the states k-12 students speak a language other then English as their native language. Only 9% of teachers hold a bilingual credential.
Last year my ability to write was above the average of my English class. At the time I thought that reading and writing were the only things to English. This year I was handed a light to show me that reading and writing are only the outlines of English. When handed this light I started seeing the interior: the texture, the color, and a lot more about the high lights of English.The texture of ...
The opponents of Proposition 227 draw attention to the level of implementation of bilingual education as an element in the larger educational picture of Latino students. According to California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, 2000, less then half 49% of Latino students in California are classified as Limited English Proficient. Only 15% of Latino students were enrolled in a bilingual program. Based on the statistics, bilingual instruction represents less then 4% of the total schooling experience of Latinos. The opponents of Proposition 227 affirm that the blame for the achievement gap between Latino students and their Anglo-American peers lies on English only education. It is 96% of it in California public schools.
Under the new law 80% of the ELL students are taught by monolingual teachers. 30% of them did not hold a teaching credential. According to PACE (Policy Analytic for California Education) only one out of every three ELL is taught by a fully credentialed bilingual or specialized teacher. As for the level in reading, the studies show that the majority of ELL read two grade levels below their English speaking peers. The bilingual educator noticed that the achievement gap widened as the students moved up the grades, until the ninth grade. The opponents consider that the question of eliminating a program lies in policy of politics. The discussion over bilingual education should take into account political and cultural context.
There are some conservative organizations in the USA (such as English First) which are opponents of bilingual education. They are sure that English should be the official language of the United States. The opponents accused them of racism and xenophobia. Nowadays, a great deal of political capital was spent on eliminating the program. It proves that contradiction between majority/minority politics and conflicts is deeply rooted. At present, the main question is in an age of growing cultural and linguistic diversity what it is to be American. The initiative of the government to introduce the “English ….
The name of the school was Brenneham Elementary, which is a K-8 school and one of the many, Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The focus of my observation and interview was to discuss diagnosis, prescription, evaluation, and analyses of goal instruction, daily role, and implementation in the classroom. The researcher’s observations and interview consisted of the realization of the importance of an IEP ...