BILINGUAL / ESL / MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
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In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was made flesh. It
was so in the beginning and it is so today. The langauge, the Word,
carries within it the history, the culture, the traditions, the very
life of a people, the flesh. Language is people. We cannot even
conceive of a people without a language, or a language without a
people. The two are one and the same. To know one is to know the
- Sabine Ulibarri
- The Educational Resources Information Center/National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy
Education (ERIC/NCLE) recently posted these resources for educators: Compiled by MaryAnn
Cunningham Florez, the effort contains a fact sheet with suggestions for a successful search
of the ERIC database, along with a list of ERIC descriptors and references.
- The University of Southern California was one of the first institutions nationwide to
recognize that some portion of its international student population might require instruction
in English in order to successfully complete their studies. The ALI was founded in 1959 to
provide such instruction. The ALI has been in the forefront of English for Academic Purposes
program design. In 1978, it was one of the first institutions to adopt a content-based
approach to ESL instruction with the focus of instruction being on the informational content
of the lesson rather than on the structure of the English language.
- Are you interested in becoming a Bilingual Education or ESL teacher, or advancing your
career teaching linguistically diverse students? This page provides links to U.S.
universities, colleges, and school districts offering teacher education and/or professional
development programs in bilingual education and ESL.
- This page is intended primarily as a place for bilingual parents to find information and
resources to help them raise their children bilingually.
- The psycho-linguistic field on bilingualism has a long-standing debate on how the brain
processes more than one language. Among the questions and issues that are being investigated
at this Center are the following: are there two modular lexicons? Does the bilingual mind
have two separate dictionaries? For example: If a person is an English/Spanish bilingual
does this person's mind have a part that controls Spanish and another separate part that
controls English? Is there one highly-interconnected system? Is there a single system with
variations in the strength of within- vs. Between-language associations?
- Organized in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder the Center
strongly promotes quality education with an emphasis on cultural pluralism through a
comprehensive range of research, training, and service projects. The Center is deeply
committed to facilitating equal educational opportunities for cultural and language minority
students. The Center also disseminates research findings and related information through
various Center publications.
- CAL is a private, nonprofit organization that has been involved in applying research and
information about language and culture to educational, cultural, and social concerns since
1959. CAL's primary objectives are to improve the teaching of English as a second or
foreign language, to promote the teaching of the less commonly taught languages, and to
conduct research that will enhance the educational process.
- A think tank focusing on research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic,
fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States. The Center's policy suggest
much of the analysis of immigration issues has been carried out by ethnic, business or
foreign-policy interests that have given little attention to immigration's impact in the
nation as a whole or to assessing that impact comprehensively. The Center promotes the case
against immigration with strong calls for strict reform.
- Based at the University of California, Santa Cruz, this multi-organizational research
collaborative's goal is to assist the nation's population of diverse students, including those at
risk of educational failure, to achieve academic excellence. The purpose of CREDE's research
is to identify and develop effective educational practices for linguistic and cultural minority
students, as those placed at risk by factors of race, poverty, and geographic location.
- The Center located at California State University San Marcos endeavors to maintain strong
ties with organizations interested in meeting the needs of young readers. El Centro se
esfuerza en mantener lazos con organizaciones interesadas en atender las necesidades de
- This site is dedicated to the nations of the Fourth World and their elders. The Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) is an independent, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to wider understanding and appreciation of the ideas and knowledge of indigenous peoples and the social, economic and political realities of indigenous nations.
- The Centre for Research on Bilingualism serves as a basis for a wide range of theoretical and
practical research designed to create a better understanding of bilingualism. Areas
addressed include bilingualism in the family, bilingual education, Swedish as a second
language for children and adults, foreign language teaching, interpreting and translation
services for immigrants and native ethnic minorities, conference interpreting, language
attrition in bilinguals, minority language maintenance, and multilingualism in developing
countries, thus covering sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic aspects of
- Contact information for over 180 K-12 two way bilingual immersion programs in the U.S.
Languages include Spanish, Korean, French, Navajo, Cantonese, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese,
Russian, and Portuguese.
- A short hypertext paper linking to arguments for bilingual education, federal legislation,
some professional programs and resource lists.
- Operated by the Center for Applied Linguistics, ERIC/CLL provides a wide range of services
and materials for language educators, most of them free of charge. These include two-page
information digests and short bibliographies, a semiannual newsletter, and a question
answering service firstname.lastname@example.org. All of these are available at no cost. Ready-made computer
searches of the ERIC database are also available for a nominal fee.
- Operated by the Indiana Univeristy School of Education this site provides educational materials, services, and coursework to everyone interested in the
language arts. Includes lesson plans and a Tips for Parents area.
- The Institute for Urban and Minority Education in Teachers College, Columbia University is now holding an archive of publications created by the former clearinghouse. UEweb offers manuals, brief articles, annotated bibliographies, reviews and summaries of
outstanding publications in urban education.
- Includes lesson plans for ESL, bilingual education, and foreign language; employment
opportunities and professional associations.
- Many ESL sites and English schools consecutively linked for a unique browsing experience.
- The ESL Standards for Pre-K-12 Students is the result of many years' effort on the part of TESOL members and others who have sought to improve the education of students who are learning English as a second or additional language in the United States.
- Library resources for Ethnic Studies can be found to some extent in almost every library in
the USC library system. Among the types of materials found which relate to ethnic studies
are histories, surveys of the individual areas, biographies of significant individuals, the
published works of important authors, and journals.
- The Ethnologue is a catalogue of more than 6,700 languages spoken in 228 countries. The
Ethnologue Name Index lists over 39,000 language names, dialect names, and alternate
names. The Ethnologue Language Family Index organizes languages according to language
- The European Language Council (ELC), which was officially launched at a major
international conference held at the Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III on 3 - 4 July
1997, is a permanent and independent European association, the main aim of which is the
quantitative and qualitative improvement of knowledge of the languages and cultures of the
European Union and beyond. Membership of the ELC is open to all institutions of higher
education in Europe and all national and international associations with a special interest in
the area of languages. The European Language Council has a key role to play in policy-making
at a European level. Individually, institutions are not in a position to respond to the
challenges of a multilingual and multicultural Europe. The objective of the ELC is,
therefore, to create the framework and conditions necessary for common policy development
and provide a platform for the launching of joint projects specifically designed to bring
about real improvement. The association has adopted a systematic approach, convening ten
policy groups to address key issues in the field. VERSION FRANÇAISE
- The Human-Languages Page is a comprehensive catalog of language related Internet
resources. Over 1600 links in their database provide some of the best language links the
Web has to offer. The site includes online language lessons, translating dictionaries, native
literature, translation services, software, language schools, and other useful information
focused on language and learning.
- A monthly web magazine; includes articles, research papers, lesson plans, classroom
handouts, teaching ideas, and links.
- Used by KIDLINK classes around the world, the Multi-Cultural Calendar is a list of various
holidays world-wide. Searchable by month, holiday, country or author.
- An "on-line" refereed journal that seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second
language educators in the U.S. and around the world on issues related to technology and
language education. The site features both a message and a medium. The message is that the
use of computers and other new technologies has now moved to the mainstream of language
education; research and theory are thus needed more than ever to ensure that new
technologies are used wisely and effectively. The focus is to put language learning first;
technology is considered not from a technical point of view, but rather as to how its use
impacts the process of teaching and learning languages. The journal publishes a broad range
of full text articles reporting on original research or linking previous research, learning
theory, and teaching practices.
- James Crawford, an independent writer and lecturer who specializes in the politics of
language has constructed a site designed to encourage discussion of language policy issues,
publish updates on current developments, report on pending legislation, and highlight links
to other sources of information. Topics covered include the English Only movement, English
Plus, bilingual education, efforts to save endangered languages, and language rights in the
- This site offers 30 lesson plans for different levels of ESL.
- Online exploration of the global linguistic environment with extracts from the Linguasphere
Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities - a transnational classification of
the languages and dialects of the world.
- European network for information, documentation and research into regional or minority
languages in education. In 1987 the Mercator network was set up, with the help of the
European Commission, to store and collect documentation and information and to carry out
research on minority or regional languages. To do so, a database with up to date material on
the position of the languages was prepared. Mercator-Education carries out research and
documentation projects and offers information to general as well as specialized audiences. It
is active in the field of education, and co-operates with Mercator-Media and Mercator
Legislation to offer a broad range of information services.
- Migration Dialogue promotes an informed discussion of the issues associated with
international migration by providing unbiased and timely information on immigration and
integration issues. Four Migration Dialogue activities are highlighted: the newsletters
Migration News and Rural Migration News, the work of University of California
researchers, and seminars for European and American opinion leaders. UC Davis hosts this
- From the projects described in this federally sponsored report, educators can learn much
about how to develop a highly qualified instructional workforce for language minority
students. Illustrates research-supported principles of professional development with the
experiences of communities of scholars, practitioners, and teacher aspirants at selected
sites. Commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Bilingual Education and
Minority Language Affairs.
- At the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of theUniversity of Toronto, The Modern
Language Centre addresses a broad spectrum of theoretical and practical issues related to
second and minority language teaching and learning. The Centre's work focuses on
curriculum, instruction, and policies for education in second, foreign, and minority
languages, particularly in reference to English an French in Canada but also other languages
and settings -- including studies of language learning, methodology and organization of
classroom instruction, language education policies, student and program evaluation, teacher
development, as well as issues related to bilingualism, multilingualism, cultural diversity,
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Multicultural Issues Board has assembled
17 factsheets of suggested reading for individuals interested in obtaining a more in-depth
understanding of the following issues: Asian and Asian-American Issues, Pacific Islander
Issues, Native American Issues, African American Issues, Hispanic Issues, Multicultural
History and Demographic Profile of the United States, ESL/Accent Modification/SESD Issues,
Regional and Social Dialects, Cultural Differences in Communication and Learning Styles,
Least-Biased Assessment, Language Attitudes and Educational Policy, Bilingualism and
Language Development in Multicultural Populations, Intervention with Multicultural
Populations, Neurological/Fluency/Voice Disorders in Multicultural Populations,
Audiological Concerns, Research on Multicultural Populations/Ethnography, Service
Delivery with Multicultural Populations. Excellent bibliographic resources provided.
- The Multicultural Pavilion's mission is to provide resources for
educators interested in multicultural issues. The site provides a wealth of multicultural
resources including activities, discussion groups, research and list serves to mention but a
- The NCLRC is one of nine federally-funded language resource centers. The mission of the
NCLRC is to serve as a resource to improve the teaching and learning of languages other than
English. It fulfills this function by providing material resources and professional services
that derive from its current activities and past projects. Located in Washington, D.C., the
NCLRC is a collaboration between Georgetown University, Center for Applied Linguistics and
The George Washington University. Each institution contributes an extensive network of
foreign language educators combined with institutional resources that make the Center truly
national in scope.
- The Purpose of the Center is to collect and report statistics and information showing the
condition and progress of education in the United States and other nations in order to promote
and accelerate the improvement of American education. NCES studies cover the entire
educational spectrum, providing the facts and figures needed to help policymakers
understand the condition of education in the nation today, to give researchers a foundation of
data to build upon, and to help teachers and administrators decide on best practices for their
- The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), formerly the National
Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education (NCBE) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education
to collect, analyze, and disseminate information relating to the effective education of
linguistically and culturally diverse students in the United States.
- State-by state policies and resources as well as compiled information on meeting the
educational needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students in the U.S.
- An adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse focused on literacy education, family literacy, workplace
literacy, and native language literacy, for adults and out-of-school youth learning English
as a second language.
- The NFLC is a research and policy institute located at The University of Maryland. The Center was founded in 1986 in
response to a national need for foreign language competencies. The mission of the NFLC is to improve the capacity of the US to communicate in languages other than English. The NFLC implements that mission through intensive and innovative strategic planning and development with globalized institutions, organizations and enterprises throughout the US.
- The aim of this site is to provide general -- but detailed -- information about one of the
most recent and the most promising approaches to language teaching, the Natural Approach.
It does not only introduce the very well-known facts about the approach but also strives to
clarify the principles of the approach, which are often misinterpreted by language teachers
and methodologists. Another important point made is its applicability to foreign or second
language classes. Accordingly, the application of the Natural Approach theory to language
classes is explained in detail.
- Collaborative effort of the New York State Education Department (NYSED)and the Office of
Bilingual Education (OBE). It was developed in response to the need of NYS educators for immediate access to
current information on critical issues pertaining to the education of limited English
proficient (LEP) students. A source for support and guidance in the areas of state
regulations, program development, instructional strategies and materials, assessment, and
policy issues. Utilizing the benefits of current technology to address the immediacy of their
needs, NYSBEN promises high quality information that will help educators in implementing
educational programs that support LEP students in the achievement of the NYS learning
- formerly the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (OBEMLA) was established in 1974 by Congress, the Office helps school districts, local education agencies and institutes of higher education
meet their responsibility to provide equal education opportunity to limited English
- Creative writing resources and materials for ESL teachers.
- The Schools of California On-Line Resources For Education provides links to quality language
arts materials in Spanish.
- An international journal of multicultural studies from the University of Colorado.
- An international, nonprofit organization concerned about the future of the world's cultural
and biological diversity. They report two main aims: preserving the world's linguistic
diversity, and investigating connections between biological and cultural diversity. Site
includes extensive internet index of resources on preserving linguistic diversity, language
endangerment, survival, and revitalization.
- Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language Electronic Journal from Berkeley. Many
valuable articles from 1994 to present.
- Information on TOEFL including test dates, registration, practice questions, and study
- Links to web resources relating to the most common language groups for LEP students in the
United States: Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Chinese languages, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Lao, Native American, Tagalog, Russian, Haitian, Arabic, Japanese, and Armenian.
- The LMRI collaborates with other institutions in research, dissemination and professional
development activities that promote the understanding and improvement of language
minority students in the schools. LMRINET provides information accessible through the
Internet to researchers, students, and practitioners interested in issues of language,
education, and public policy, especially as they relate to linguistic minorities.
- Student financial aid materials, tips for parents, statistics & the latest findings on what
works in education are among the myriad of documents stored on the site, helping make it
one of the most widely used education resources on the Internet.
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BILINGUAL / ESL/ MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
FULL TEXT ARTICLES AND RESOURCES
- by K. Anstrom. This document summarizes, analyzes, and integrates findings from relevant
research pertaining to the education of language minority students in the content areas. The
study focused on the instruction of secondary-level language minority students in
mainstream social studies, science, mathematics and langua classes. Specifically, the
document focuses on several key questions: What does the relevant literature pertaining to
content area instruction of linguistically and culturally diverse learners (LCDLs)
contribute to the theory and practice of (1) standards for LCDLs? (2) measures of
achievement, proficiency, and/or academic literacy for LCDLs? (3) the field of promising
practices in content area instruction for LCDLs? The report includes preparation of
mainstream teachers to work with language minority students.
- Given the misinformation that persists about second language acquisition among both
educators and the public, this short publication by Virginia P. Collier is written to guide the
reader through the substantial research knowledge base that the field has developed over the
past 25 years.
- by Gustavo Gonzalez & Lento F. Maez. As we prepare students to meet the challenges of the
21st century, research must be utilized to guide the implementation of innovative and
comprehensive school-wide instructional practices that focus on helping all students meet
high standards. The findings and conclusions from the research studies discussed here can be
applied to help linguistically and culturally diverse students reach high levels of
achievement and performance.
- by Charles William Twyford. The author of this article analyzes a number of factors -
cognitive, sociocultural, affective, and linguistic-- that may account for age differences in
second language acquisition.
- by Jim Cummins and Michael Genzuk. The U.S. Department of Education released the findings
of an eight-year study designed to provide definitive answers to one of the most volatile
questions in American Education: What types of programs work best in helping Hispanic
students succeed in school? The issue has revolved around the effectiveness of bilingual
education which involves using the child's primary language in addition to English as a
language of instruction. This article also available in Spanish.
- by James Crawford. Paper presented at a Conference on Language Legislation and Linguistic
Rights, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 21, 1996.
- by A. M. Zehler, P. J. Hopstock, H. L. Fleischman, C. Greniuk. The purpose of this report is
to examine assessment instruments and practices and to review issues related to assessment
of LEP students. It is critical to examine these issues now, as major steps are being taken
toward: (1) the redesign of assessment approaches; and (2) definition of standards and new
national assessment systems. Given their increasingly large representation in schools today,
issues related to language minority and LEP students should be included early on in the
efforts to define new assessments.
- by Deborah J. Short. Integrated language and content instruction has become a popular
alternative to traditional ESL instruction. Researchers have recommended this instructional
approach to develop students' academic language ability and facilitate their transition to
mainstream classes. Practitioners have also favored this approach to prepare students for
mainstream classes, increase student motivation and interest with content themes, and make
ESL students feel part of the mainstream school curricula. This article addresses the issue of
assessment in integrated classes and provides a framework for organizing assessment
objectives. It recommends using alternative assessment measures, such as checklists,
portfolios, interviews, and performance-based tasks.
- by R. G. Rumbaut. This review is intended to provide some insight into the determinants of
the educational progress and adaptation of the children of these new immigrants in California
public schools. Results from a comparative research study of the educational performance of
children of immigrants in San Diego schools (including dropout rates, grade-point averages
[GPAs], achievement test scores, and educational aspirations), focusing on the largest
groups: Mexicans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, and East Asian groups is
given. This is followed by a review of three illustrative case studies of the adaptation of
immigrant high school students who reside in different parts of California: Southeast Asian
refugees, Punjabi Sikhs from India, and Mexican immigrants.
- by Mary T. Cazabon, Elena Nicoladis, and Wallace E. Lambert. Research on the most effective
forms of bilingual education (usually in terms of English achievement) suggests that two
way programs may be the best. Two-way bilingual education has been described in a national
study as "the program with the highest long-term academic success" (Thomas & Collier,
1997, p. 52). The students' success in these programs is undoubtedly due to a number of
factors. These include opportunities for linguistic minority students to assume strong peer
leadership roles in the classroom, an emphasis on grade-level academic instruction in both
languages, sustained support for and use of multicultural curricula, and opportunities for
non-English-speaking parents to form close partnerships with the school staff as well as
with other parents. The purpose of the present report is to examine students' development in
a two-way bilingual program by focusing on both their attitudes toward becoming bilingual
(and possibly bicultural) and their school achievement in both languages. Although the
authors do not have data to examine causal links between attitudes and achievement, they see
this study as a first step toward showing the relationship between the two.
- A review of current research literature on the education of language minority students in
the United States. The result of the review is the presentation of the "Best Evidence" as it
relates to the research foundations of the Bilingual Education Act (Title VII of The Improving
America's Schools Act). The author, Jim Crawford, has organized the document according to
the Congressional findings on the Bilingual Education Act.
- Jim Cummins, from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education clarifies aspects of the
distinction between basic interpersonal communicative skills and cognitive academic
language proficiency that he framed 20 years ago (Cummins, 1979) as a qualification to
John Oller's (1979) claim that all individual differences in language proficiency could be
accounted for by just one underlying factor, which he termed global language proficiency.
- by Stephen D. Krashen. The core of the case for bilingual education is that the principles
underlying successful bilingual education are the same principles that underlie successful
language acquisition in general. These principles are: (1) We acquire a second language by
understanding messages, by obtaining comprehensible input. (2) Background knowledge can
help make second language input more comprehensible, and can thus assist in the acquisition
of the second language. (3) The development of literacy occurs in the same way as second
language acquisition does.
- by Barbara Miner. This article looks at two California schools with large Latino populations
take very different tacks to preserve bilingual literacy in the wake of Proposition 227's
- by Richard Rothstein. A Phi Delta Kappan article suggesting that our commonly held notion
of how earlier generations of immigrants were educated -- often used as the chief argument
in support of English immersion -- is a myth.
- Reading is a discipline that requires a significant transfer of skills, knowledge, and concepts
from one language to another for bilingual students. In the classroom, bilingual educators
must provide instruction that builds a strong foundation for reading literacy in both the
first and second language. The research and classroom practices highlighted in this pathway
provide bilingual educators with specific methods and materials that can be used to build a
strong foundation in reading.
- This article by by Kenji Hakuta reviews numerous areas including the following topics:
bilingualism defined, what is bilingual about bilingual education? second language learning,
bilingualism and cognitive development, and cross-language transfer of skills and
- An historical perspective on bilingualism and bilingual education in North America. From
James Crawford's highly acclaimed book, Bilingual Education: History, Politics, Theory, and
- by B. Bower. Unlike people who become bilingual after childhood, those who learn a second
language at an early age rely on the same critical patch of brain tissue when speaking either
tongue, according to a new study. Adult learners of language apparently recruit nearby
groups of brain cells, suggest neuroscientist Joy Hirsch of Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center in New York and her colleagues.
- by Charles W. Stansfield. Not all students are able to participate in the assessment program.
Typically, schools defer or exempt students from participating if they cannot speak, read,
and write English. Consequently, the test results obtained by schools often give an
incomplete and, sometimes, misleading picture of the quality of student achievement at the
school. In schools where there are a large number of non-native English speaking students,
the school may exclude all of those students from participating in the assessment program.
Thus, the official reported results may have little relationship to the actual status of
educational achievement in the school. This digest reviews the problem and the situation and
- by G. Genevieve Patthey-Chavez, Lindsay Clark and Ronald Gallimore. This report explores
the ways in which instructional conversations between a teacher and her students
contributed to building an academic community in a transitional bilingual fourth-grade
classroom. Through an analysis of reading lesson transcripts, classroom events, and student
essays and journal assignments, this report shows how classroom experiences fostered the
development of students' understanding of the concepts of sacrifice and responsibility. This
report describes how, at both the individual and classroom community level, instructional
conversations deepened student understandings of the texts they read in class by encouraging
students to make connections between particular textual concepts and their own experiences.
In addition to tracking student gains in understanding, this report shows how the
conversations helped build a classroom community that incorporated the cultural beliefs and
concerns of the students.
- by Kenji Hakuta. In a recent court declaration urging that immigrant students be exposed to
English as early as possible, an advocate wrote: "the optimal time to learn a second
language is between age three and five or as soon thereafter as possible, and certainly before
the onset of puberty" (Porter, 1998). Such statements derive from the critical period
hypothesis for second language acquisition, the origins of which are attributable to Penfield
and Roberts (1959) and more prominently perhaps to Eric Lenneberg (1967), who
amassed evidence in support of the view that first language acquisition is a biologically
constrained process, with a specific timetable ending at puberty. In a single paragraph of the
book (p. 176), Lenneberg speculated about the implications for second language acquisition,
noting that after puberty, second languages are acquired consciously and with great effort,
and often not very successfully. The purpose of this paper is to make explicit the
assumptions underlying this hypothesis, and to highlight what we know, and don't know,
about its empirical status.
- NOTE: To read this article you will need a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat. Click here
to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Robert A. Peña investigates the relationships between student achievement, student culture
and practitioners' attitudes and expectations. Student achievement was defined as academic
performance but also included perceptions, rationales and explanations for student
behaviors and conduct. Student culture described students' Mexican American origins,
customs and beliefs. Practitioners' attitudes described how middle school personnel
generally perceived Mexican American high and underachieving students, and practitioners'
expectations described how personnel interacted and behaved toward Mexican American
- by: Hakuta, Banks, Christian, Durán, Kaestle, Kenny, Leinhardt, Ortiz, Hinojosa, Lucinda
Pease-Alvarez, & Snow. The Committee to Develop a Research Agenda for the Education of
Limited-English-Proficient and Bilingual Students was convened to undertake a
comprehensive review and synthesis of research on the education of limited-English
proficient and bilingual students an recommend research needs and priorities for the future.
A report of the committee's work, Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children: A
Research Agenda, was published in early 1997. A second report published in February
1998, Educating Language-Minority Children summarizes for teachers and education
policymakers what has been learned over the past three decades about educating language
- To view full-text articles you must click on the "Image Version" buttons.
- by Stephen Krashen. Critics of bilingual education have cited the high Hispanic dropout rate
as evidence against bilingual education. Since most bilingual programs are Spanish-English,
it is concluded that bilingual education must be responsible. This note reviews what is
known about dropout rates among Hispanic students.
- by W. P. Thomas and V. P. Collier. English-language learners do better academically over the
long term if they participate in special programs to learn English at the start of their school
careers, rather than attend only mainstream classes, according to one of the largest
longitudinal studies of such students ever conducted. That conclusion comes from a study of
English-language learners released last month by Wayne P. Thomas and Virginia P. Collier,
researchers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The authors say the study also
confirms what they found in earlier research: Students who take bilingual education classes
do much better on standardized tests after entering mainstream classes than students who
take English-only classes. (Education Week)
- Full-Text Report Available for Download at CMMR
- Executive Summary Available for Download at CMMR
- These publications only available in PDF format.
- by H. Molina, D. Farrell Siegel, and R. A. Hanson. This paper presents the results of several
related studies that examine the relationship among early reading instruction, non-English
language background, and the schooling achievement of high school seniors. Collectively,
these studies challenge the current thinking about when students should begin receiving
formal reading instruction, and that being from a non-English language background (NELB)
is generally synonymous with being academically disadvantaged. To the contrary, they
indicated that NELB students, particularly those who are provided with early reading
instruction, are generally not at a disadvantage in terms of standard education measures
taken in high school. That is, after controlling for social class and family size, being from a
non-English language background probably has positive effects on the general achievement
levels of children. These findings add support to bilingual programs utilizing NELB language
and cultural assets.
- by Glenn Ole Hellekjaer. Bilingual instruction is the Council of Europe's preferred term for
teaching content in a foreign language. This article looks at some of the ways in which
bilingual instruction differs from foreign language and subject-matter instruction, and
what this means for teaching. It pays particular attention to the process of introducing
upper-secondary school pupils to this novel form of instruction, and offers practical
suggestions on how to teach and organize such a class. Next it looks at how foreign language
and subject-matter instruction can help or hinder bilingual instruction. Last, it discusses
briefly the need for a whole school policy to support a bilingual program.
- by Eugene Garcia. This report suggests that linguistically and culturally diverse students
can achieve academic success when provided with appropriate instruction tailored to meet
their specific needs. Recent research has documented effective instructional practices used
with students from homes and communities where English is not the primary language of
communication. These descriptive studies identified specific schools and classrooms whose
language minority students were particularly successful academically.
- by Virginia P. Collier. This article reviews a number of studies, including the author's own
recently completed one, that point to an advantage which children in middle childhood appear
to have over younger children and adolescents in formally acquiring a second language.
- by Nicholas B. Fitzgerald. This digest summarizes findings of the NEAEP that are pertinent
to English as a second language (ESL) literacy education, including a profile of the ESL
population served by adult education, the nature of ESL program participation, the impact of
ESL instruction, and estimates of both current and future demand for ESL services.
- by Linda Harklau. Language minority students are often placed in mainstream, English
medium classrooms long before they develop the degree of language proficiency necessary to
compete on an equal footing with native speakers of the school language. With the ever
increasing presence of such students in U.S. schools, ESL and content are educators are
working to better integrate their respective curricula and instructional roles. In order to
accomplish this integration, significant instructional difference in these two contexts must
be identified, and systematic comparisons must detail how L2 learners fare in each of these
instructional environments. What do students lose and gain in their transition from ESL to
the mainstream? This question was addressed in a 3 1/2 year ethnography of the L2
learning experiences of newcomer students attending a high school in northern California.
- by Douglas E. Mitchell, Tom Destino, and Rita Karam. Summaryt of the report on data system
reliability and statisticfal modeling of program impacts in the Santa Ana Unified School
District's English language development and bilingual programs.
- This is the Executive Summary of the Final Report: Longitudinal Study of Structured English
Immersion Strategy, Early-Exit and Late-Exit Transitional Bilingual Education Programs
for Language-Minority Children, February 1991, as prepared for the United States
Department of Education under contract no. 300-87-0156.
- By Stephen Krashen. The "failure" of whole language in California has been widely reported.
The author attempts to give a clear definition of whole language, discuss some of the
research, and provide some information about the impact of whole language in California.
- By K. Hakuta, Y. G. Butler and D. Witt. One of the most commonly asked questions about the
education of language minority students is how long they need special services, such as
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and bilingual education. The purpose of this paper is
to pull together findings that directly address this question. This study reports on data from
four different school districts to draw conclusions on how long it takes students to develop
oral and academic English proficiency.
- NOTE: To read this article you will need a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat. Click here
to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- by Muriel Saville-Troike. This discussion of the role of culture in the bilingual classroom
explores the relationship of language, culture, and education. It provides in-service and
pre-service training procedures for developing cultural competencies in bilingual
educators; and suggests applications of cultural information to classroom practices,
curriculum development, and evaluation. These concepts and methods may prove useful not
only in bilingual programs, but for improving equal educational opportunity for all
minority-group students, and for all those commonly labeled the 'disadvantaged'.
- by Jim Cummins. The term "immersion education" came to prominence in Canada during the
1960s to describe innovative programs in which the French language was used as a medium
of instruction for elementary school students whose home language was English. However, as
Johnson and Swain (1997) point out, there is nothing new in the phenomenon of
"immersing" students in a second language (L2) instructional environment. In fact,
throughout the history of formal education the use of an L2 as a medium of instruction has
been the rule rather than the exception. The Canadian French immersion programs,
however, were the first to be subjected to intensive long-term research evaluation,
although some large-scale research had been undertaken in other contexts prior to the
- by Lily Wong Fillmore. Just as readers must apply their linguistic knowledge to the
interpretation of the texts they read, so too must they make use of their knowledge of the
world and their prior experiences in reading. The author argues that the education of
children irrespective of their background would be greatly diminished if educators were to
choose materials for them that were in any way narrowed or lowered in level because of
putative deficiencies in the children's backgrounds. Such decisions must take into account
the role that authentic and challenging materials play in building students' background and
in supporting language development. Children and adolescents also gain the very kind of
background that they need to have, to deal with materials they read in school, from the
literature and textbooks they have already read.
- by Fred Genesee.This report presents a selective review of research findings from the
extensive evaluations that have been undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of immersion
programs in Canada and the United States. It focuses on selected aspects of second language
learning and discusses implications of immersion research findings for the design and
development of second language programs in other school settings for other kinds of
learners: for example, for students learning through other forms of content-based
instruction and limited-English-proficient students.
- by Kellie Rolstad. This study examines the effects of Korean/English two-way immersion on
third language speakers who received no first language support, and includes assessments of
self-concept, ethnic identification, academic progress and language proficiency. The effects
of this third language immersion experience on these language minority children were
assessed longitudinally, ending during the children's sixth and final year in the program, as
well as cross-sectionally in comparison with similar children in other programs. The
findings show that, except for the tendency for first language ability to decline among the
third language children, the immersion experience has not been detrimental to the third
language children, and hence that third language immersion may, in fact, constitute a source
of educational enrichment despite the lack of first language support. These findings suggest
that submersion damage is likely related to what I call "sociolinguistic status" rather than to
supposed linguistic deficits incurred as a result of a home/school language switch. The
implications of this study, while only suggestive, provide further evidence of the social
causes of submersion damage, and support the feasibility of immersion education for third
language speakers as a form of educational enrichment, provided that the children have at
least a basic proficiency in the majority language.
- by Courtney B. Cazden. Controversy continues over the most reasonable conclusions to draw
from the accumulated research evidence on the effectiveness of various program models for
students who are not proficient in English. This paper examines a report prepared for the
U.S. Department of Education on three program models for language minority children:
structured English immersion strategy and early-exit and late-exit bilingual education.
- by Jesus Salazar. This article summarizes the results from the re-analysis of two recent
bilingual education studies: Greene's (1998) meta-analysis and Thomas and Collier's
(1997) longitudinal study. First , the article presents the ten main criteria identified over
the past three decades by the research community for conducting a methodologically adequate
bilingual education study. Second, based on a power analysis of Greene's data, it is argued
that a major reason why many bilingual education studies over the past thirty years remain
uninterpretable is because of the high occurrence of Type II errors. Third, based on an effect
size analysis of Thomas and Collier's data, it is maintained that their longitudinal model best
explains thirty years of bilingual education research. When Thomas and Collier's data are
converted into effect sizes, their model becomes a longitudinal meta-analysis, and their
findings support the results from Greene's and Willig's (1985) meta-analyses. This article
concludes by making recommendations for enhancing the evaluation of Title VII programs.
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to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- by Jay P. Greene. With the sponsorship of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, the Public
Policy Clinic of the University of Texas' Government Department, and Harvard University's
Program on Education Policy and Governance, the researchers have conducted a systematic,
statistical review of the literature on the effectiveness of bilingual education. With this
technique known as meta-analysis to summarize the scholarly research, they find that
children with limited English proficiency who are taught using at least some of their native
language perform significantly better on standardized tests than similar children who are
taught only in English. In other words, an unbiased reading of the scholarly research
suggests that bilingual education helps children who are learning English.
- by Mary S. Leighton, Amy M. Hightower and Pamela Wrigley. From the projects described in
this federally sponsored report, educators can learn much about how to develop a highly
qualified instructional workforce for language minority students. Illustrates research
supported principles of professional development with the experiences of communities of
scholars, practitioners, and teacher aspirants at selected sites. Commissioned by the U.S.
Department of Education Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs.
- by Lucinda Pease-Alvarez. Recent research has emphasized the economic, social, and
cognitive advantages available to bilinguals. Yet for many immigrant groups, bilingualism is
a temporary phenomenon. Most immigrant children arrive in the United States as
monolingual speakers of their native language, develop bilingualism as they acquire English,
establish English-speaking households, and raise their children as English-speaking
monolinguals. According to survey data, even Spanish, a language thought to be particularly
enduring in the United States, seldom lasts beyond the second or third generation.
- by T. Alexander Aleinikoff. This essay suggersts that cross-national group loyalties can
neither be wished away or erased. Yet the idea of the American nation is worth defending
against multicultural attack. Herewith some ground rules for a culturally diverse nation.
- by Christine Rossell. A critique of the study suggesting that the methodology of the study is
unscientific. The criteria for a scientific study are basically four-fold. First, there should
be a treatment group-for example, LEP students in a bilingual program-and one or more
comparison groups-forexample, similar LEP students in one or more types of all-English
programs. Second, the achievement of these students should be compared after some time
period in their respective programs. Third, any differences between the students initially
should be controlled for statistically in order to give each group a level playing field. (This
is not necessary if there is random assignment.) Fourth, the same students must be followed
over time since there is no way to statistically control or match on initial differences, nor
would it make any sense to do so if different students are in the study at different points in
time. This article contends that although all four characteristics are essential, only the first
two are found in the Thomas and Collier study.
- Focus on Evaluation and Measurement (NCBE Publications)
- Focus on Middle and High School Issues (NCBE Publications)
- by Robert Rueda, Claude Goldenberg and Ronald Gallimore. The current focus on more
effective ways to foster literacy in school-age children, especially language minority
students, has led to the development of alternative instructional approaches. One such
approach is the instructional conversation (IC), based on early work in the Hawaiian
Kamehameha Elementary Education Project (KEEP), on neo-Vygotskian theory, and on
recent classroom-based research on reading comprehension.
- by Kenneth Goodman, Yetta Goodman and Barbara Flores. The purpose of this monograph is
to examine the issues of reading in bilingual education. The focus is primarily on the
contemporary classroom in the United States. The authors examine the problems, issues,
trends, and research. They also include suggestions on promising directions.
- by Elsa Roberts Auerbach. Despite widespread opposition to the English Only movement,
support for bilingual education, and advocacy for language rights, many U.S. ESL educators
continue to uphold the notion that English is the only acceptable medium of communication
within the confines of the ESL classroom. Although the exclusive use of English in teaching
ESL has come to be seen as a natural and commonsense practice which can be justified on
pedagogical grounds, this article argues that it is rooted in a particular ideological
perspective, rests on unexamined assumptions, and serves to reinforce inequities in the
broader social order.
- Adult English as a second language (ESL) instruction is the fastest growing area of adult
education. Although much is known about best practices in adult ESL, there are still
unanswered questions about the adult English language learner, program design, teacher
preparation, instruction, and assessment. The answers to these questions are critical, not
only to improve the effectiveness of adult ESL programs, but also to improve the lives of
adult ESL learners. This paper, prepared by the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy
Education (NCLE) in collaboration with the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning
and Literacy (NCSALL) with support from Teachers of English to Speakers of Other
Languages, Inc. (TESOL), addresses those issues.
- by Patricia Gándara. The following report was written at the request of the Latino Caucus of
the California Legislature and was completed in April of 1997 as the debate surrounding
Proposition 227 was getting underway. The impetus for the report was the concern of the
caucus that much of the rhetoric in the press and on the street was that "bilingual education
had failed." The Caucus asked the question, "Is there research evidence that bilingual
education works?" Hence, the task that was put to us was "not" to provide an accounting of
studies and essays on all sides of the issue, but to essentially "present the case" for bilingual
education. We called upon many of the most distinguished researchers in the field and asked
them to provide guidance in answering the question that had been posed to us. (Their names
are listed at the end of the report). This report represents a synthesis of their
recommendations along with some analysis of basic education data.
- NOTE: To read this article you will need a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat. Click here
to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- by Jim Cummins. Rebuttal of the Rossell and Baker study. In 1996, Christine Rossell and
Keith Baker published a review of research studies which they claimed addressed the
effectiveness of bilingual education. (Rossell & Baker, 1996). Their findings looked
impressive and are frequently cited by opponents of bilingual education. For example, they
claimed that in ten studies comparing transitional bilingual education (TBE) with
Structured Immersion in reading performance, no difference was found in 17% and
Structured Immersion was superior in 83%. However, when we look at these research
studies more closely, it turns out that 90% actually demonstrate the effectiveness of
bilingual and even trilingual education.
- by Wayne P. Thomas and Virginia Collier. This publication presents a summary of an
ongoing collaborative research study that is both national in scope and practical for
immediate local decision-making in schools. This summary is written for bilingual and ESL
program coordinators, as well as for local school policy makers. The research includes
findings from five large urban and suburban school districts in various regions of the United
States where large numbers of language minority students attend public schools, with over
700,000 language minority student records collected from 1982-1996. A developmental
model of language acquisition for school is explained and validated by the data analyses. The
model and the findings from this study make predictions about long-term student
achievement as a result of a variety of instructional practices. Instructions are provided for
replicating this study and validating these findings in local school systems. General policy
recommendations and specific action recommendations are provided for decision makers in
- NOTE: To read this article you will need a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat. Click here
to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- by Beverly McLeod. The National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second
Language Learning at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in collaboration with BW
Associates of Berkeley, California, was contracted by the U.S. Department of Education Office
of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) to study good educational practice for LEP
students. Researchers conducted a nationwide search for schools that have successfully met
the challenge of educating LEP and other language minority students to high standards.
- by E. DeAvila. Over the past twenty years programs designed to improve the language
proficiency of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students have met with mixed results.
Largely because of a lack of adequate evaluative documentation, results have been equivocal
regardless of program quality. Much of the confusion has come out of variable approaches to
the concept of growth and what can be expected from programs of this type. Recently,
"expected gain" has become an important concept in documenting the educational development
of Limited and Non English Proficient speaking students. An understanding of this concept
requires an analysis of the relationship between quality of instruction and measurable
student outcomes. This article looks at three key factors which both underlie this
relationship and provide the necessary foundation upon which expectations for learning that
can be derived or generated in a meaningful and defensible manner.
- This 1996 report, authored by Reynaldo F. Macias and Candace Kelly, summarizes the
information submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Bilingual Education
and Minority Language Affairs by State Educational Agencies (SEAs) in the Survey of States'
Limited English Proficient Students and Available Educational Programs and Services for the
1994-95 school year. The explicit purpose of the annual SEA Survey is to collect
information on the number of limited English proficient (LEP) students in the various
states and outlying territories and jurisdictions and the educational services provided or
available to them.
- by Cheryl A. Roberts. Do literacy skills developed in L1 transfer to L2? Many researchers
and practitioners in ESL/BE are aware of research evidence which supports such transfer,
but research is not always applied to practice. In this paper, the author discusses definitions
of literacy, reviews research related to the transfer of literacy skills, and suggests some
practical applications of research findings.
- by Tamara Lucas and Anne Katz. The use of the native language appears so compelling that it
emerges even when policies and assumptions mitigate against it. This article explores the
complexities of the use of students' native languages in schooling, describes and illustrates
various ways these languages were used in the English-based but multilingual programs,
and argues that programs for language minority students should be reconceptualized to move
beyond the emotional and politically heated debate that opposes English-only instruction to
native language instruction.
- by Donna Christian. In a growing number of schools in the United States, students are
learning through two languages in programs that aim to develop dual language proficiency
along with academic achievement. These two-way bilingual programs integrate language
minority and language majority students and provide content area instruction and language
development in two languages. A study of over 160 schools between 1991 and 1994 provides
a picture of the current state of two-way bilingual education in the United States. Two-way
programs typically share the goals of bilingual proficiency, academic achievement, and
positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors, but they vary a good deal in the approaches
and strategies they use to work toward those goals. A host of local factors affect such issues
as student enrollment, program features and design, and instructional features. Emerging
results of studies of two-way bilingual programs point to their effectiveness in educating
nonnative-English-speaking students, their promise of expanding our nation's language
resources by conserving the native language skills of minority students and developing
second language skills in English-speaking students, and their hope of improving
relationships between majority and minority groups by enhancing cross-cultural
understanding and appreciation.
- By Joshua Fishman. Attitudes toward language-loss depend on your perspective. When a
language is lost, you might look at that from the perspective of the individual. Many
individuals suppressed their language and paid the price for it in one way or another. You
can also speak from the point of view of the culture lost. The culture has lost its language.
What is lost when the culture is so dislocated that it loses the language which is traditionally
associated with it? We can ask it from the national point of view. What is lost by the country
when the country loses its languages? This article focuses on language loss from only one of
these perspectives, the perspective of the culture. Because losing your language is,
technically, an issue in the relationship between language and culture. What is the
relationship between language and culture?
- by Stephen Krashen. Bilingual education continues to receive criticism in the national
media. This Digest examines some of the criticism, and its effect on public opinion, which
often is based on misconceptions about bilingual education's goals and practice. The Digest
explains the rationale underlying good bilingual education programs and summarizes
research findings about their effectiveness.