Bilingual Education: Social Justice for All

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To be honest, I didn't know very much about the legal status and specific methods involved in bilingual education. Researching bilingual education helped me develop a broad understanding of the controversy and sufficient knowledge to be able to defend which method I think is the most effective. The biggest challenge in presenting my argument was focusing on a topic, because bilingual education is a broad topic with many ramifications. After considering many possible angles, I finally chose to write about two-way bilingual education because it is an effective method that has not been implemented very frequently in the educational system.

The front doors of Chamberlain Elementary School in Goshen, Indiana are plastered with advertisements for GED courses for Spanish speakers and bilingual memos reminding parents of the upcoming parent-teacher conferences. Colorful posters in either Spanish or English, with the corresponding translation posted alongside them, deck the hallways. Over a third of the student body belongs to a linguistic minority group, with Spanish being by far the most common language. Thus, Chamberlain administrators and teachers face the daily challenge of meeting the needs of a diverse student body within the context of an English-speaking public institution. The school is well known throughout the area for its efforts in embracing diversity, projecting itself as a multicultural institution, and connecting with families regardless of their cultural background. However, in meeting the linguistic needs of its diverse population, Chamberlain falls sadly short. Volunteers or trained teachers pull students out of their classrooms for a brief lesson each day in English as a Second Language (ESL). Language minor...

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