Bilingual Education in the United States Essay

Bilingual Education in the United States Essay

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Bilingual Education in the United States

Aside from Native Americans, there are no indigenous "Americans" to speak of in the United States. The U.S. is therefore a large immigrant nation whose history has grown out of its ability to bring together people of different cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. This is why the United States is often considered to be the world's "melting pot." However, despite the fact that America is composed of a diverse immigrant population, English is recognized as the national language of the U.S., and it is through English that domestic affairs in the United States are conducted. Given the large influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking nations in South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico in particular, debate has arisen over whether or not Spanish should be recognized as a second national language in the United States. For example, as of 1999, Spanish had 332 million speakers while English had 322 million indicating that there are just as many Spanish as English people in the world (SIL International 2). Furthermore, as a result of censuses conducted in the U.S., it is estimated that in the near future the U.S. population will consist of more Spanish-speaking people than ever before. With an interest in this debate, this paper will focus on the controversy over bilingual education in the United States. My paper will examine whether or not the U.S. government should permit public schools to teach in both Spanish and English in order to accommodate the large influx of Spanish-speaking people into the United States in recent years. In light of this debate, I will argue that public schools in the United States should teach secondary languages such as Spanish in regions of the c...


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...d Services, 1997-98. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, 2000.

SIL International. Ethnologue: Languages of the World 14th Edition. 2000.

Collier, V. (1995). Acquiring a second language for school. Directions in Language and Education, 1(4).

Cummins, J. (1981). Bilingualism and Minority-Language Children, Toronto, Ontario: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Wong-Fillmore, L. (1991). When learning a second language means losing the first. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 6, 323-346.

The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, v13 p. 223-238, Spring 1994.

Cazabon, M., Lambert, W. & Hall, G. (1993). Two-way bilingual education: A progress report on the Amigos Program. Research Report, 7, Santa Cruz, CA: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.

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