An article referenced by ACTFL in its “Smart Brief” discusses the idea of using (they say “leaning on”) the student’s first language to gain English proficiency. That is what we used to call bilingual education. It was the conservatives who insisted on English only, not only in schools but across the country, and on phonics as the only way for all children to learn to read. I was sorry to see Susan Pinker cite a book trashing Whole Language in her otherwise good book, The Village Effect.
To me, it is pusillanimous of ACTFL not to stand up for all of us fl teachers who said a bilingual approach is called for. More than that, the move to get rid of bilingual education came not from a true and sincere desire to help students learn English but from a hatred of the Mexican-Americans these people thought of as being “coddled” by being taught in their native language. Why won’t a professional organization call this out for the stupidity it is? I’ll tell you why. They don’t want to offend members and others who supported Prop. 227 in 1998.
The following sentence I find very offensive, a polite way of saying supremely irritating and stupid:
“This funding comes at a moment when bilingual education is growing in popularity across the state, and a November ballot measure – Prop 58 – would reverse the ban on bilingual education enshrined into law after the passage of Prop 227 in 1998.”
Here is the article: