summarize three articles each article summarize 50-150 words.3/24/2016
Opposing Viewpoints in Context- Print
Bilingual Education Does Not Help Students
Should the United States Be Multilingual?, 2011
Greg Collins is a 2009 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he contributed to
the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and served as the president of the Republican Club.
Bilingual education is receiving renewed focus because immigration reform is again one of the
top political topics currently before our elected officials. Although bilingual education attempts
to help those students not yet proficient in English, in reality it prevents students from
successfully learning English at all. While this in no way means that people should not learn
and maintain their native languages, it should not be done at the expense of learning English.
Becoming fluent in English is essential for better paying jobs and financial independence.
Immigrants are capable of learning English, and to suggest otherwise is an insult.
If any one policy trivializes and patronizes immigrants, it is bilingual education. Possible presidential
hopeful Newt Gingrich re-ignited this issue recently when he spoke to the National Federation of
Republican Women in Washington (D.C.) last week [March 31, 2007] saying, The American people
believe English should be the official language of the government … We should replace bilingual
education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they
learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.
As immigration reform has risen to be one of the leading and most contentious political topics
confronting current politicians and presidential candidates, bilingual education deserves to be re-
examined. Continuing to enforce this policy is counterproductive towards encouraging assimilation
among immigrants, which hurts both themselves and the future of the United States.
Mastering English enables immigrants to acquire the necessary skills to work at higher-skilled
jobs to improve their socioeconomic status and to become financially independent.
Where Bilingual Education Fails
The goal of bilingual education programs that teach students mathematics and reading in their native
language, like Spanish, is to ensure they do not fall behind their classmates in these subjects. But
attempting to keep pace with their classmates in this regard stunts their growth in learning the most
important subject of all, which is of course English.
We are all aware of the benefits of becoming proficient in English, as it strengthens communication
among all Americans and provides a deep bond to convey our feelings in a mutually comprehensible
fashion. Taking into account tangible, real world benefits, mastering English enables immigrants to
acquire the necessary skills to work at higher-skilled jobs to improve their socioeconomic status and to
become financially independent. Immigrants will be able to start families and provide for them without
depending on government programs,
Opposing Viewpoints in Context- Print
But bilingual education supporters gloss over these facts by sacrificing long term ramifications for short
term benefits. In the short run students will not face the difficulties and high expectations of mastering
English. But when these people encounter situations in which proficiency in English is a necessary
prerequisite to fulfill the task at hand, whether it is writing an essay in college or responding to a
customers request at a restaurant, they will be left behind by people who already know the language.
Bilingual education supporters claim that they want to ease the transition of immigrants from their
homeland to America. However, enforcing programs that de-emphasize the significance of a skill
proven to be a crucial factor in earning high grades or getting hired does more to inhibit this transition
than bilingual educators would care to admit.
One must be reminded that enforcing mastery in English does not devalue or denigrate the
language and customs of the immigrants past.
Policies Prevent Immigrants from Learning English
We shouldnt lambaste employees or students who do not speak English very well when educators and
politicians enact policies to reflect a concern for feeling good about other people rather than having a
genuine concern for helping immigrants transition to America in the quickest possible fashion. It is
entirely logical why immigrants would not absorb the English language as quickly as they would
normally when politicians and School Board members discourage assimilation into American society.
Why would individuals feel the need to learn English quickly when programs are designed specifically
to inhibit this growth? Progressives claim their policies reflect the needs and wishes of immigrants and
the poor, but it is programs like bilingual education that explicitly promote laziness and irresponsibility
for failing to adapt to a new culture.
One must be reminded that enforcing mastery in English does not devalue or denigrate the language
and customs of the immigrants past. There are many language programs in the U.S. available for
people who want to learn their native language.
But feeling neutral about whether or not to enforce proficiency in English undermines the roots which
have provided the foundation for the rise and maintenance of America as the most unified nation in the
world. Our Founding Fathers and the Puritans who formed the original communities of this country
would have found it reprehensible if they were told that this nations educators were subsidizing
education primarily taught in Spanish or any language besides English.
Instead, mandating education taught exclusively in English affirms the uniqueness of a country that
enables people of all different backgrounds to not only embrace the most commonly spoken language
in this country. It also allows legal immigrants to enter into an implicit but deeply powerful covenant with
other Americans who will help their newly assimilated Americans in times of need. This would be the
seminal milestone for an immigrant who was attracted to America because of its freedoms and national
Immigrants Are Capable of More
Opposing Viewpoints in Context- Print
Bilingual education is a tacit way of saying that only a certain group of people have the capabilities of
becoming completely immersed Americans, and that immigrants should not be held up to the same
standards as American-born children who also face the expectation of learning English.
The issue is not whether immigrants will struggle to learn English, because most assuredly they win.
, countless immigrants, including many of our descendents, have admirably confronted and
conquered this challenge. Through the adaptation of learning English, immigrants have embraced
American conceptions of morality, virtue, and liberal democracies. To expect anything less from
immigrants is insulting and patronizing to their souls.
Further Readings
Colin Baker Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters,
• Maria Estela Brisk Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling, 2nd Ed. Mahwah,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006.
• Stephen J. Caldas Raising Bilingual-Biliterate Children in Monolingual Cultures. Bristol, UK:
Multilingual Matters, 2006.
James Crawford English Learners in American Classrooms: 101 Questions, 101 Answers. New
York: Scholastic, 2007.
• Tara Williams Fortune and Diane J. Tedick, eds. Pathways to Multilingualism: Evolving Perspectives
on Immersion Education. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2008.
• Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed
Social Policies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.
• Ofelia Garcia Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. Malden, MA: Wiley-
Blackwell, 2008.
• Francois Grosjean Bilingual: Life and Reality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.
• Beth Harry and Janette Klingner Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education?:
Understanding Race and Disability in Schools. New York: Teachers College Press, 2005.
Terry A. Osborn, ed. Language and Cultural Diversity in U.S. Schools: Democratic Principles in
Action. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2007.
• Aneta Pavlenko, ed. Bilingual Minds: Emotional Experience, Expression, and Representation.
Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2006.
• Kim Potowski Language and Identity in a Dual Immersion School. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters,
• Jon Allan Reyhner Education and Language Restoration. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House, 2006.
• Tal Abbady Boca Raton Resident Seeks to Make English Official Language: Boca Raton Resident
Opposing Viewpoints in Context- Print
Schools Should Not Employ Bilingual Education
Race Relations, 2001
In the following viewpoint, syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer contends that Spanish-
speaking students benefit more from English-only teaching than they do from bilingual
education. English-immersion programs in California, for example, have greatly boosted the
standardized test scores of English-language learners, she points out. Bilingual education
programs, on the other hand, should be dropped because they result in a very low rate of
English proficiency for immigrant students.
As you read, consider the following questions:
1. What is Proposition 227, according to the author?
2. By what percentage did standardized test scores go up after the introduction of English-immersion
programs in Oceanside, California, according to Geyer?
3. In Geyers opinion, what challenges remain for supporters of English-immersion programs?
They said it couldnt work. The entire education establishment was convinced that, without the
convoluted programs of bilingual education it had invested so much in, Spanish-speaking children
never would learn anything at all.
Well, not only is it working in California after a remarkably orderly start in 1998, but the new program of
structured English immersion is working wonders. English-Only Teaching Is a Surprise Hit, the Los
Angeles Times was trumpeting as early as January 1999, as it meticulously followed the changes.
Bilingual Classes Ban Gets A in California was the headline in a major Washington Times article in the
summer of 1999.
Most important, there now is undeniable proof that the English immersion classes and that means
teaching overwhelmingly in English from the very beginning instead of teaching 90 percent in Spanish
and expecting the kids somehow to edge into English-have had stunning results. Californias
Standardized Testing and Reporting scores, published in the summer of 1999, show that the scores of
English learners rose 18 percent in reading, 21 percent in mathematics, 15 percent in language, 21
percent in spelling and 19 percent overall from 1998 to 1999.
Impressive Results from English Immersion
Where English has been thoroughly implemented, and not grudgingly so, the results are even more
impressive. In Oceanside, a pretty seaside community between Los Angeles and San Diego,
Superintendent Kenneth Noonan had been a staunch supporter of bilingual education for a long time.
In fact, he was the founding president of the California Association of Bilingual Educators. But when he
was faced with Proposition 227, the citizen initiative that rejected bilingual education by a 61 percent
Opposing Viewpoints in Context- Print
margin in June 1998, Mr. Noonan, himself of Mexican descent, determined to do the best possible job
with the new program of structured English immersion.
proficiency, scores in the Oceanside Unified School District went up a whopping 47 percent from 1998
in a California school system where, under the old bilingual program, only 6.7 percent of the 1.4 million
Consequently, with a school population in which a fifth of the students were of limited English
to 1999. In a few districts, some of the score improvements have been as much as 93 percent. And this
California students with limited English proficiency were graduating to full proficiency every year.
Whats more, using a little-known part of Proposition 227, which provides for $50 million to help
immigrant parents to learn English, parents are pouring into the special English language classes, thus
preparing them to help their children with their schoolwork for the first time.
Such successes are being reported across the country. Indeed, the Washington Post ran a
comprehensive article on how well immigrant children are doing under English immersion. Only a few
years after their arrival in the United States, many are at the top of their classes. Theyve Arrived, the
headline read. Forced to Learn in English, Many Immigrants Excel in School.
Meanwhile, in states such as Arizona, which has one of the most disastrous bilingual education
systems in the country, with a pitiful 7 percent of the students able to acquire English proficiency each
year, a big fight over changing it has begun. As it now is, critics are calling it bi-illiteracy. The
chairman of the state Senates education committee calls the whole pathetic process mass production
Challenges Remain
Dont get too excited, lest you think the progress in California and elsewhere means the problem has
been solved or at least is being seriously addressed across the country. We need to realize that we
are dealing with the education establishments most ideological minds. They will tell you with faith and
confidence that the sun comes up in the West. Approach at your own risk then.
At every turn, the bilingual establishment is trying to sabotage the changes wrought by Proposition
227, or English for the Children, as it is called. Indeed, in a 1999 speech, Eugene Garcia, former
director of the federal Education Departments bilingual education office, stated openly that educators
were doing everything possible to circumvent Proposition 227. They were feigning compliance.
It is ideologues like those who expect us to believe that one learns English by speaking Spanish who
have been in control. But at least in California and elsewhere, that seems to be changing.
Further Readings

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