Summary: Massachusetts is one of only nine states in the country to require bilingual education in all school districts where there is a sufficient number of limited-English-proficient (LEP) students. Moreover, Massachusetts has set the lowest threshold for mandatory bilingual education in the country. Observations of actual classroom practice demonstrates that these students are not all receiving the same style of education. Generally, only Spanish-speaking students are taug ...show moreht to read & write in their native language, while also receiving some native language instruction in other academic subjects, as existing law requires. Students from virtually all other groups, though enrolled in "bilingual education," receive instruction almost exclusively in English, with at most a few hours per week of enrichment in their native languages & cultures. Twenty-five years after passage of the bilingual education law in Massachusetts, there is still no proof that the mandated approach to teaching works better than other approaches, such as intensive English instruction. Not only is there no proof from Massachusetts, but there is none from the many studies that have been conducted in other states. If one can draw any conclusion, it is that teaching a LEP student in their native language is at least marginally detrimental to their acquisition of English. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 96
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