When I state my position “A Case for Bilingual Education” I do not mean that every student designated as an ESL learner should be in bilingual education. To the contrary, I am making a case for those that are at the lowest rungs of English language acquisition – “those that cannot communicate in English.” Those whose primary language is dominant, those that have little if any English language communication skills. Can other students who have some skills benefit from bilingual education too; the answer is a resounding yes.
Historically, internationally and even in the United States, Primary Language Instruction has been the norm except when political forces have come into play. (Lessow-Hurley 2013, chapter 2, p24) Research has often reinforced the use of the primary language as a foundation which can be build upon and added to with the secondary language.
Other important issues are assessments, NCLB, Common Core and redesignation of ESL students. Why can’t students be tested in their primary language to give us a baseline about their actual academic skill set? No Child Left Behind regulates growth on academic test but no clear cut nationwide regulations exist specifically for redesignation of students. Without clear parameters students are being short changed and those who are the most vulnerable are not being protected.
In the book we look at the research, the historical factors and hopefully provide some insight and solutions.
Author: Reginald Grant
Has a Master’s in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He has been an English teacher since 2002. He is a state of California Certificated English Teacher and taught public school for eleven years. For the past four years he has focused on research, teaching English as a Second Language and speaking. In 2011 he served on the CASHEE – California State High School Exit Exam development/review panel for English. He is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others and sees education as the force for change. He is an alumni member of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society.
He is currently on the board of directors for three non profits, NAAAA presenters of the “Watkins Award” for scholar athletes, Powers Women’s Network and the GCUMM, General Commission on United Methodist Men. Prior to entering education he was a businessman and professional athlete (New York Jets, NFL & Ottawa ,CFL) after graduation from the University of Oregon. He often speaks on Culturally Inclusive Curriculum, ESL, Mentoring and the Winners Mindset.