English Only vs. Bilingual Education

In: Social Issues

Submitted By ozzy3313
Words 780
Pages 4
I am going to be discussing multicultural education in general, but focusing more on the aspect of English only vs. bilingual education in today’s classrooms. This topic has become more and more evident in today’s education system. The topic is pretty self-explanatory, English only vs. bilingual education. Should students in America be taught only in English, regardless of the student’s first language or nationality, or should there be some influence of bilingual education? In the 1990’s, the U.S. English Only started campaigns to promote multiculturalism under one language, English (Arce, 1998) These campaigns also propose the notion that every single aspect of public education in America should be strictly in English. Under this theory, education would be given in English regardless of age, ethnicity, sex, and English competency. Those who support this theory also feel very strongly that English should be the nationally endorsed language of the United States of America (Crawford, 1998).
This movement stretches even outside the classroom. The English Only movement proposes to take all other language almost completely out of society. These same supporters, as you can imagine, also strongly associate with anti-immigration theories fearing the costs that may come with an increase in people on unemployment and welfare programs (p. 8). The movement has grabbed momentum, as evidenced in California’s passing of Proposition 227 which is an initiative to eliminate bilingual education from the state’s public schools (Arce, 1998). It prohibits, by law, teachers, staff, and school administration from giving instruction in any language but English (p. 10). This trend is growing as the majority of the states have some sort of English only laws with respect to public education. Again, this movement is self-explanatory; to eventually cut out bilingual education…...

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