This November, voters will decide whether dual-immersion language programs deserve a new chance in the state’s schools. Since the mid-1990s bilingual approaches to schooling and higher education have become popular in parts of South-east Asia , especially in Thailand and Malaysia where different models have been applied, from L2 immersion (content taught in a non-native language) to parallel immersion, where core subjects are taught in both the mother-tongue and a second language (usually English).
In contrast to traditional English as a second language” bilingual programs, more progressive bilingual programs, which the state emphasizes in its reformed curricular guidelines , have grown as a resource to build the language and cultural competency required for a globalizing society.
Although the outcomes were not significantly different for the three groups at the end of grade three, by the sixth grade late-exit transitional bilingual education students were performing higher on mathematics, English language, and English reading than students in the other two programs.
On top of the extra responsibilities, bilingual teachers also have to overcome decades of prejudice against foreign language speakers, said Alfaro, who remembers being made to wear donkey ears at age five when she came to kindergarten speaking only Spanish.
In my professional opinion, the slow but steady trend across the country appears to be away from a heavy reliance on native-language instruction as the one single necessary element in the education of immigrant children (and native-born) non-speakers of English.