October 30, 2011

Article: California English Learners Still Far Behind under English-only Law

From http://hechingerreport.org/content/english-learners-still-far-behind-under-english-only-methods_6590

English learners still far behind under English-only law
By Sarah Garland
October 24, 2011

More than a decade after voters approved an initiative to limit bilingual education in public schools, the state is using a hodgepodge of programs. Meanwhile, critics contend, young students pay the price.

Educators cannot agree on the best way to teach English to non-native speakers. Success is anecdotal. Studies appear to contradict each other. Meanwhile, the percentage of California English learners who are proficient in fourth-grade English has dropped on a national test.

Since 1998, when voters passed Proposition 227, limiting the use of bilingual education, the number of English learners being taught in their primary language has dropped by half.

At the same time, the number of English learners has grown to about 1.5 million – about a quarter of California’s student population. Nearly 85 percent of them are Spanish speakers.

Read the full article at http://hechingerreport.org/content/english-learners-still-far-behind-under-english-only-methods_6590

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