Bilingual in education has sparked controversy all over the Nation. Teachers and parents both agree that the main goal in education is to master the English language. According the National Association for Bilingual Education, bilingual education seems to defy common sense. (NABE, 2004) If non-English-speaking students are isolated in foreign language classrooms, how are they to learn English? On the other hand, English Only advocates argue that any government recognition of minority languages may encourage non-English-speaking immigrants to believe they can live in America and never learn the English language conforming them to the “American” ways.
In contrast, Stephen Krashen, a linguist at the University of Southern California, explains that bilingual education can be a crucial variable for many students learning English. By educating students in a language that can be understood, provides the knowledge and literacy needed as the student continues their educational goals. Gradually, English skills become more efficient while the key point is that language acquisition is a natural, developmental process that cannot be rushed.(Crawford, 1998)
Bilingual in politics is not taken to a serious note by many. In fact, given that American’s are given the choice to learn a different language, many choose not to and display resentment towards those that are living in America and choose not to learn English. The politics in bilingualism may be considered an immigration issue. As author of the essay The Politics of Bilingualism, Corey Heller compares the Spanish language to the German language. A 16 year-old boy was suspended from school for speaking Spanish in the hallways. Mr. Heller voiced his opinion on the fact that if he spoke in the German language, the punishment would not have existed since the Germans are not associated with poverty, mass immigration and a decline in the prosperity of the U.S. (Heller, 2006)
According to an article published by Josefina Tinajero, a professor of University of Texas, and a bilingual educator, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires schools to use “scientifically based research” as a guide to all their programs, yet the principle only seems to apply when scientific findings are politically convenient and affordable.
Crawford, J. (1998-99) Does bilingual ed work? Rethinking Schools Online. Retrieved on April, 2009 form http;/rethinkingschools.org/special_reports/bilingual/biside.shtml
Heller, C. (2006) The politics of bilingualism. Bilingual/bicultural Family Network. Articles & Essays. Retrieved April 30, 2009 from http://www.bicultrualfamily.org/apr06/politicsbilingualism.html
NABE, (2005). Why is bilingual education controversial? Retrieved on April 30, 2009 from http://www.nabe.org/education/politics.html
Tinajer, J. (2005) Bilingual education in texas. Lighting the path, leading the way. Language Learner. Pg 20 retrieved April 30, 2009 from http://www.elladvocates.org/documents/RCN/Tinajer.pdf