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Dual Language

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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:48 am    Post subject: Dual Language Reply with quote

Dual language programs appear to be the trend in California. I find it interesting that after Proposition 227 was implemented in California, the number of dual language programs have increased. To me I see it as proponents of dual language programs looking for other means to service a large population of LEPs who will and have benefited from such programs. The upside is that native English students also benefit. The two groups get to be biliterate and bicultural. I found it amusing how one district euphemistically referred to the dual-language program as “dual-language enrichment,” in order to get attention and support. Unfortunately, dual-language programs “can turn out better serving English proficient students and it can become more of a second-language program that is not serving ELs at all.” This is because those students from low socio-economic backgrounds might not qualify for any number of reasons, e.g. time commitments, transportation issues etc. if the people who have the most influence come from a more affluent background and have turned the program into an “elitist” program. In addition, parents of ELs have the anxiety about the program because they just want their child to learn English. They are of the “sink or swim” mentality. They are not convinced their child will benefit from a dual-language program or that it will really work. So in some cases, the students who are actually benefiting from the dual-language program are native English speakers and Latino families who are English-dominant looking to maintain or increase their knowledge of Spanish. So we need to keep in mind that it is crucial to maintain a balance in order to serve both groups equally.
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