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Teaching and Learning English in Bilingual Education

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Title: Teaching and Learning English in Bilingual Education
Authors: Genesee, Fred
Issue Date: 1985
Abstract: Since its beginning some twenty years ago bilingual education programs for minority language (ML) students in the U.S. have been the subject of heated debate. The most controversial feature of these programs has been their use of non-English languages for a substantial part of curriculum instruction. On the one side are those who argue in favor of such a practice for theoretical, logical and social reasons (Chavez, 1984; Cummins, 1981). On the other side are those who argue against it, largely on ideological and economic grounds (Bethel, 1979; Edwards, 1981). The debate has been longstanding and far-reaching, drawing in academics, researchers, public policy makers, government officials, media editorialists and even "the common man and woman in the street". It is far from being resolved.
At the same time, there would appear to be a general consensus concerning the other side of the bilingual education coin; that is to say, the English side. Even the most ardent supporters of native language instruction for ML students recognize the primary importance of English language proficiency for these students: "for minority language children in the United States, strong English proficiency in all domains is essential." (Chavez, 1984, p. 171). In this paper I will address the issue of teaching and learning English in bilingual education programs for ML students drawing on my experiences with Canadian immersion programs.
Pages/Duration: 22 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38575
Appears in Collections:Working Papers



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