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Historical Development of Bilingual Education in the United States
Transcript of Historical Development of Bilingual Education in the United States
University at Buffalo: Graduate School of Education
Assistant Professor: Jill P. Koyama Ph. D.
Student: Joshua Liddell
Spring 2013 The Permissive Period
1700's - 1880's -From 1700's to 1880, there was a climate of educational and linguistic tolerance The Restrictive Period
1880's - 1960 -With the significant increase in the number of immigrants came a fear of foreigners and a push for assimilation and monolingual English language instruction (Ovando, 2003). The Opportunist Period
1960's - 1980's The Dismissive Period
1980's - Present The Dismissive Period was highlighted by limited improvements in bilingual education. Although during this time period the BEA provide funding for bilingual educational programming the financial need outweighed federal support. In 1982, Secretary of Education Terrel Bell stated that, “only about a third of the [ELL] children aged 5 to 14….are receiving either bilingual instruction or instruction in English as a Second Language….Schools in general are not meeting the needs of [ELL] children” (Ovando, 2003 p. 12 & Crawford, 1999, p. 89). -A sense of geographical freedom combined with an appreciation and acceptance for an individual’s or group’s maternal language -German and other European based schools are present throughout all regions of the U.S. Legislation passed during time period 1839 1847
•Louisiana passes a law allowing French-English bilingual education.
•New Mexico passes a law permitting Spanish instruction in elementary schools and William Harris public supports bilingual education.
•Aggressive federal policy reform begins against Native Americans. Native American children are required to attend boarding schools and are provided English-only instruction. 1864
•Congress passes a law that prohibits Native Americans from being taught in their native languages. - A strong sense of Americanism lead to formation of many pro-American groups such as, the American Protective Association and the Immigration Restriction League (Higham, 1988). -Beginning in 1906 the naturalization act requires immigrants entering the country to be able speak English. (Bertha, 2004). Legislation passed during time period 1889 Bennett Act and Edwards Act
(Wisconsin & Illinois)
•Children in public and private schools in these two states required to be instructed in English in core subjects (Kloss, 1998).
1906 Nationality Act
•Congress requires all immigrants looking for naturalization to speak English(Perez, 2004). 1923 States are engaged in adoption of different English-only language policy
•34 states had laws mandating English-only instruction (Kloss, 1998).
1934 Federal Policy
•Bureau of Indian Affairs policy of repressing native languages is nullified. -World War II serves as a spark for addressing the lack in foreign language instruction. - Symbolized by the revocation of the Naturalization act of 1906, there is a general shift in attitude towards more immigration friendly policy. -New immigration policies resulted in influx of Asian and Latin immigrants. Furthered the need to implement bilingual education. -Bilingual education act is implemented. Aids children in the instruction of English in their native language. (Orr, 2001) Legislation passed during time period 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
•Passed by President Lyndon Johnson.
•This act provides funding for bilingual education programs (Koeller, 2003). 1968 Bilingual Education Act
•Coinciding with the civil rights movement, this act mandates that schools provide bilingual education.
•The act, supported by federal funding, encourages local school districts to incorporate native-language instruction. The 1984 BEA amendments provided school districts with increased flexibility in the instruction of LEP students and enabled schools to apply for funding for different bilingual program. There was emphasis placed on building an educational program that could be sustained without additional federal funding (Stewner-Manzanares, 1988).
•The act is amended and schools acting under title VII are provided the option of English-only instruction (Stewner-Manzanares, 1988). Legislation passed during time period 1994 Proposition 187 (California)
•Proposition 187 is enacted that challenges bilingual educational opportunities that are provided to illegal immigrants.
•The constitutionality of the law is immediately brought into question and three days later the law is suspended.
•The U.S. District Court clarifies that all immigration policy is controlled by the federal government. California does not have the authority to enact the policy and the law is revoked.
2001 No Child Left Behind Act
•The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), that was passed in 2002, changed the name of the BEA to the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act.
•The act allows parents to enroll their child in a Bilingual Education program. However, after a certain time period students must be placed in English instruction regardless of their ability to speak English(Crawford, 2004 NCLB). 1998 Proposition 227 (California)
•Proposition 227 requires that all LEP California students are taught English in a rapid learning program. Bilingual Education Defined:
“…the use of two languages, one of which is English, as mediums of instruction for the same pupil population in a well-organized program which encompasses part or all of the curriculum and includes the study of history and culture associated with the mother tongue. A complete program develops and maintains the children’s self esteem and a legitimate pride in both cultures”
(Guthrie, p. 4).
- Department of Education “Basic English skills are at the very core of what the public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that, before a child can effectively participate in the educational program, he must already have acquired those basic skills is to make a mockery of public education…..There is no equality of treatment merely by providing the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education…. We know that those who do not understand English are certain to find their classroom experience totally incomprehensible and in no way meaningful” (Laws & Court Cases, 2013). “The opportunist period, through federal legislation and court cases, as well as through community grassroots efforts, offered many opportunities for the development of bilingual education, thus affirming civil rights of the language-minority students. On the basis of developing research findings and increased experience, policy makers and educators had the opportunity to create strong language policies that held great promise for meeting the educational needs of English language learners. School districts throughout the nation established a broad range of bilingual and ESL programs as the numbers of English language learners continued to grow through increased immigrations (Ovando, 2003 pp. 11-12).
- Carlos Ovando - The linguistic tolerance of this period can be attributed to many thing including the isolation of rural schools, increased competition for students and the lack of state and federal control over schools. (Baker & Jones, 1998) "We have room for but one language in this country, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house” (Roosevelt, p. 554).
- President Roosevelt References PBS. (2001). The bilingual education controversy."Time Line" Retrieved from There was a significant ideological shift in bilingual education that took place in the late 19th century. This ideological shift was highlighted by the move from linguistic diversity to linguistic intolerance. The movement marked the beginning of the restrictive period (Baker & Jones, 1998). -The IRL continually pushed Congress to institute laws that required immigrants to pass literacy requirements as part of the naturalization process. Similarly, the APA’s goals was to make speaking English a prerequisite to obtain American citizenship (Higham, 1988). The Restrictive Period
1880's - 1960 - The Americanization of the Native American population could be seen in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and their decision to place Native American students into boarding schools that only taught the English language (Banks & Erdoes, 2004). - The United States Bureau of Naturalization and the Bureau of Education sponsored multiple bills between 1918 and 1920 that matched the finances spent by states on the teaching English to “aliens and native illiterates”(Higham, 1992, p.82). - A period of war marked the second half of the restrictive period. Monolingual English instruction became the norm and Americanization classes are embedded in courses taken by immigrants (Higham, 1988). Baker, C., & Jones, S. P. (1998). A brief history of bilingual education in the United
States, Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education. pp. 545-556
Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Banks, D & Erdoes, R. (2004). Ojibwa warrior: The rise of the American Indian
movement. Norman University of Oklahoma Press.
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education. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
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Chronology of Federal and State Law & Policy Impacting Language Minority Students.
(2004). Retrieved 4:52 pm, March 17th, 2013, from http://www2.sfasu.edu/enlace/modules/Chronology%20of%20Federal%20Law%20Guiding%20ELL%20Policy%20and%20Practice%20from%20TEA.pdf
National Governors Association Center for Best Practice and Council of Chief State
Officers. (2010). Common Core Standards. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 6:05
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Crawford, J. (1987, April). Bilingual education: Language, learning, and polities.
Education Week, 19-50.
Crawford, J. (2004). Educating English learners: language diversity in the classroom.
Los Angeles: Bilingual Educational Services, Inc.
Crawford, J. (2004). No child left behind: Misguided approach to school accountability
for English language learners. Retrieved, 8:48 pm, March 17th, 2013, from http://users.rcn.com/crawj/langpol/Crawford_NCLB_Misguided_Approach_for_ELLs.pdf
Doane, K. (2012). Anti-German hysteria swept Cincinnati in 1917. The Cincinnati
Enquirer, June 6, 2012.
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language education policy in the United States. Language Policy, Volume 4, Issue 1, 87-90.
Nieto, D. (2009, Spring). A brief history of bilingual education in the United States
Perspectives on urban education, 6 (1), 61-68. University of Massachusetts Boston. Retrieved, 11:30 am March 10th, 2013 from http://www.urbanedjournal.org/sites/urbanedjournal.org
Nieto, S. (1992). Affirming diversity: The socio-political context of multicultural
education. In Fraser, J. (Ed.) (2000). The School in the United State: A
documentary History. Boston: McGraw-Hill
Orr, A. (2001). Bilingual education act of 1968: Encyclopedia of immigration.
Retrieved 11:19 am, March 10th, 2013 from http://immigration-online.org/379-bilingual-education-act-of-1968.html
Ovando, C. (2003). Bilingual education in the United States: Historical
development and current issues. Bilingual Research Journal, 27, 1-24.
Reyhner, J & Eder, J. (2004). American Indian education: A history. Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press.
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University of Oklahoma Press.
Rehling, J. (2013). Native American languages. Retrieved 9:48 am, March 2nd, 2013,
Roosevelt, T. (1926). Works. Memorial ed., vol. XXIV, p. 554, New York:
Charles Scribner's 11 Sons.
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19th Century U.S. Immigration Statistics (2013). Latin American Studies. Retrieved
11:20 am, March 9th, 2013, from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/immigration-statistics.htm PBS. (2001). The bilingual education controversy."Time Line" Retrieved from
http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/roots_in_history/bilingual_timeline1.html Since the fifteenth century bilingual education in the United States has seen significant transformations. The ever changing history of bilingual education has been marked by periods of toleration, restriction, cultivation and rejection. Most recently the high academic standard set for all students within the CCSSI, if implemented properly, has the ability to enhance bilingual education in the United States.
Some believe the United States and its educational community is moving towards a more enlightened time period in which the importance of bilingual education will be supported on multiple fronts. The understanding that bilingual educational programs can provide an enhanced learning experience for both the language-majority and the language-minority student populations could facilitate another ideological shift. Being proficient and able to master two languages has become a significant and powerful twenty-first century skill and thus possibly increasing the importance of bilingual education.
As Nelson Mandela once stated, “if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” (Learning English, 2013). The starting point of the history of bilingual education in the United States can be identified even before the infiltration of European colonists in the sixteenth century. Crawford (2004) stated, “Language diversity in North America has ebbed and flowed, reaching its lowest levels in the mid-20th century. But it has existed in every era, since long before the United States constituted itself as a nation” (p. 59). National Association of Bilingual Education Current goals of Bilingual Education NABE states that the goals of a productive and successful bilingual educational model include:
- foster academic achievement
- acculturate immigrants to a new society
- preserve a minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage
- enable English speakers to learn a second language
- develop national language resources
(“Bilingual Education,” 2013)
The National Association for Bilingual Education states that, “literally hundreds of scientific studies over the past half century have shown that bilingual education – when well designed and well implemented – is an effective approach for teaching second language learners. These findings have been consistent across numerous national borders and languages of instruction, all pointing to the conclusion that bilingual education "works" (“Bilingual Education,” 2013). From Restriction to Opportunity The restrictive period continued into the 1960’s, however an ideological shift highlighted by an improving educational system brought with it an acceptance of bilingual education. One of the catalyst of the opportunist period (1960’s-1980’s) was the National Defensive Education Act (NDEA). Signed into law in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower. - The NDEA increased funding for 8 educational programs, including the instruction of foreign language (Leung, 2009). Lau v Nichols There were many significant re-uthorizations of the Bilingual Education Act in the Dismissive Period. One of the most significant re authorizations came after the Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court ruling of 1974.
- In 1971, there were approximately 2,800 non-English speaking Chinese students in the San Francisco Unified School District - Out of the 2,800 students only 1,000 of them received supplemental courses in English language instruction “The failure of the San Francisco school system to provide English language instruction to approximately 1,800 students of Chinese ancestry who do not speak English, or to provide them with other adequate instructional procedures, denies them a meaningful opportunity to participate in the public educational program and thus violates 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination based "on the ground of race, color, or national origin," in "any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance," and the implementing regulations of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare” (“US Supreme Court Case Law,” 2013). - The case made it to the supreme court level and ended in the ruling: According to Ovando (2003) there were a broad range of bilingual education and ESL programs in the United States during the latter part of the Opportunist Period and into the Dismissive Period (1980s-present). Ovando (2003) goes on to identify and define the following five bilingual educational programs: - "Structured immersion programs: students are given specialized ESL instruction tailored to levels of English proficiency
- Partial immersion programs: These programs provide ESL instruction and minor use of the native language
- Transitional bilingual programs: These programs provide extensive instruction in the native language as well as in English. After a certain amount of time they are placed in a monolingual English instruction program.
- Maintenance or developmental bilingual education: Extensive instruction is provided in the native language as well as in English. Even after the student is proficient in English they are still given some native language instruction.
- Two-way immersion programs: Speakers of both languages are placed together in a bilingual classroom to learn each other’s language and to work academically in both languages" (p.11). Bilingual Programs Ronald Reagan
"It is absolutely wrong and against American concepts to have a bilingual education program that is now openly, admittedly dedicated to preserving their native language and never getting them adequate in English so they can go into the job market and participate” (Ovando, 2003 p. 12 & Crawford 1999, p. 53). - In 2009 the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State Officers (CCSO) led a national effort to align state curriculum and standards.
- Supported by the U.S. Education Department and centered in Washington, D.C., the two groups developed the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). The mission statement for the CCSSI is:
“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy”
(“National Governors Association,” 2010). As stated in a CCSSI memo entitled Application of Common Core State Standards for English Language Learners, ELLs “may require additional time, appropriate instructional support, and aligned assessments as they acquire both English language proficiency and content area knowledge. ELLs are a heterogeneous group with differences in ethnic background, first language, socioeconomic status, quality of prior schooling, and levels of English language proficiency.” (“National Governors Association,” 2010) Current Common Core State Standard National Initiative Higham, J. (1988). Strangers in the land: Patterns of American nativism, 1860-1925 (2nd
ed.). New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Higham, J. (1992). Crusade for Americanization. In J. Crawford (Ed.), Language
loyalities: A source book on the official English controversy (pp. 72-85). Chicago:
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the foundations. Multilingual Matters Ltd. Great Britain by WBC Ltd. Bridgend.
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March 9th, 2013, from http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-cultures. •Ohio becomes first state to pass a law to officially allow bilingual education.
•The law permitted German-English instruction upon the request of the parent. http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/roots_in_history/bilingual_timeline1.html http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/roots_in_history/bilingual_timeline1.html PBS. (2001). The bilingual education controversy."Time Line" Retrieved from There were multiple amendments made to the Bilingual Education Act as it was reauthorized in 1974, 1978, 1984, 1988 and 1994. One of the most significant re-authorizations came after the Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court ruling of 1974 ("Laws and Court Cases" 2013) PBS. (2001). The bilingual education controversy."Time Line" Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/roots_in_history/bilingual_timeline1.html •Proposition 227 restricted the use of native language for instruction http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_227,_the_%22English_in_Public_Schools%22_Initiative_(1998) Ballot Pedia. (2010) "Proposition 227" Retrieved from Migrant News. (2013) "Proposition 187 Approved in California" Retrieved from http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=492_0_2_0 (Banks & Erdoes, 2004)