Promoting Bilingualism in the Era of Unz: Making Sense of the Gap between Research, Policy and Practice in Teacher Education.Report as inadecuate

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This paper was written as a response to the political debate in California regarding the proper role of bilingual education in the state's kindergarten through high school public school system. Specifically, it examines, in light of the positions and prescriptions of Proposition 227 (an initiative holding that all California students be taught English as rapidly as possible, effectively mandating substantial revision in the operation and design of bilingual education programs in the state, and approved by the voters by a 61-39 margin in the election in June 1998), how educators of up and coming bilingual education professionals should prepare their students to deal personally and professionally with this emerging situation. The purpose of this study is to gain understanding of how potential bilingual education teachers and researchers should grapple with the complex relationship of research, policy, and practice within the field of bilingual education. Specifically, what does it mean to focus on scholarship that strongly supports native language instruction when, at the same time, public opinion and policy are swiftly shifting in the opposite direction? Most importantly, what kinds of pedagogical experiences can be provided for these students to assist them in making sense of these incongruities? It is concluded that engaging these newly-minted professionals in their own research in bilingual settings, based upon their own questions, provides the best response. (KFT)

Descriptors: Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingual Teachers, Case Studies, Chinese Americans, Elementary Secondary Education, English for Special Purposes, English (Second Language), Ethnic Bias, Federal Legislation, Filipino Americans, Higher Education, Language Minorities, Mexican Americans, Native Speakers, Politics of Education, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Spanish, Spanish Speaking, Teacher Education

Author: Katz, Susan


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