There’s an ongoing debate in Texas about the efficiency of dual-language programs. From the Houston Chronicle:
Here’s the plan: Put young children who struggle with English in a
classroom with English-speaking students and teach in two languages.
Soon, both groups of children will become bilingual and bi-literate
with the youngsters helping each other develop two languages, say
supporters of the dual language immersion program.
But others are balking at the experiment that Texas lawmakers
approved this spring, contending it’s turning classrooms into
With House Bill 2814, legislators created a six-year pilot program
that will test a dual language plan in up to 10 Texas public school
districts and 30 campuses.
I think it sounds great. But how do we know if it was successful?
The Texas Education Agency must submit an interim report to the
Legislature by Jan. 1, 2011, and a final report by Jan. 1, 2013. The
reports must show the effect of the project on grade-level completion
rates and high school graduation rates.
There are several schools in the Houston area that have been running dual-language programs already. And, talking to the kids in those schools, I am always astounded by how well they communicate.
Let’s see if this idea catches on.
- Dual-language classes in Texas stir debate; Supporters cite benefit of making students bilingual; critics say English speakers to suffer — by the Houston Chronicle