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Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students?

October 31, 2014

Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students?

If you follow the public debate about bilingual education, you know that there are two basic opposing views. As Claire Bowern, the author of the following post, writes,

To put it bluntly, bilingualism is often seen as “good” when it’s rich English speakers adding a language as a hobby or another international language, but “bad when it involves poor, minority, or indigenous groups adding English to their first language, even when the same two languages are involved.

Here is a piece about the value of bilingualism for all students. Bowern is an associate professor of linguistics at Yale University and a fellow in The OpEd Project’s Public Voices project who has been researching topics s related to language and society, including bilingualism, for 15 years. She also works as an advisor to Native American and Australian indigenous groups on language reclamation, maintenance, and bilingual education issues.

Please read more here.

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