Segregation of Bilingual Students

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Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:36 am

Segregation of Bilingual Students

Post by mlordon » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:50 pm

In a group project in class last week, students read newspaper articles about a South Jersey school district that wanted to send all of their K-5 bilingual students to one elementary school. We role played parents and Board of Education members to understand all of the issues involved in making a decision. It basically would have entailed moving 285 regular education students to one of two different schools to accommodate all of the bilingual students in one building. Issues like transportation costs, teacher training, program implementation, segregation, and lack of English speaking peers were just a few of the issues discussed.

I think the main objection was that separating bilingual students from native speaking English students takes away any meaningful opportunities for the bilingual students to practice their language acquisition skills in real situations.

Any comments?

Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:04 am

Not a long term solution

Post by satter06 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:59 pm

When we did that group activity, my first thought as I was reading the article was how great it would be to place all bilingual students in one school. It would allow teachers to work cooperatively together and build a community within the school. However, as I started discussing it, I realized that separating non-native speakers from a larger majority of native speakers would not be allowing students to practice English more, or learn about the mainstream culture. If this was not occurring, then students could far badly academically once they are removed from thier bilingual bubble. It would be convenient for the teachers, but not for the students in the long run.

Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:57 am

Huge untertaking...

Post by suarez07 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:11 am

I agree. That would be a huge undertaking, plus it would rob the bilingual students of real learning experiences that are available with native English speakers. I must say though, your class project was a really great learning strategy. It provided a real life situation with a real life issue. It is great to see how the innocence of youth provides an unbiased perspective on a real life issue adults have a hard time seeing through, even with all their experience and knowledge!!

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