Bilingual Education in America Essay

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Bilingual education in America is controversial as many educators, politicians, and citizens disagree as to the process of assimilation in the classroom. Bilingual education is the process of providing content-area instruction to Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in their native language while teaching them English. English immersion provides almost exclusive instruction in English with the intent of mainstreaming students after one year (Eagan). Support for and against English language assimilation crosses cultural, economic and financial lines with no clear indication as to why some support it and others don’t. America’s bilingual education efforts should focus on English language immersion. Peter Duignan, emeritus senior …show more content…
Additionally, innovative implementation by leading educators such as the Deputy Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, Maria Santos’ proves that English immersion is viable when the emphasis is placed on adapting curriculum to meet cultural norms. Bilingual education has been evolving for decades now. Coming from an educator’s standpoint, Peter Duignan provides a foundation by explaining that to understand the current bilingual education issue, one must first recognize that immigration tendencies have changed drastically in this last decade. Immigration to America has increased, and the origins of the immigrants have shifted from being primarily European to more from Asia, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Per Duignan, this new wave of immigrants, some legal and many others undocumented are harder to integrate due to less pressure on the groups to do so, whereas the early European immigrants wanted to assimilate and join the “melting pot” of America. Duignan notes that the early immigrants did not have a bilingual education option available to them. Instead, it was immediate immersion for children of immigrants, and studies show that it took one generation to assimilate them. His article notes that the assimilation process is now up to three generations. Duignan advises us that major changes in bilingual education occurred in the

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