Bilingual Education

Which programs should the Clinton administration support?


Whichrogramshouldhelintondministrationupport?With immigration surging, many U.S. schools must educate growing numbers of children who speak little or no English. Should these youngsters be taught in their native languages? Or should they attend classes taught entirely in English -- the “sink or swim” method experienced by previous generations of immigrants? Some educators say that learning English quickly is crucial. Others insist that students who speak two languages will better compete in the emerging global economy -- a boon to the nation. Congress, meanwhile, is weighing the philosophical and pragmatic arguments as it begins shaping legislation to extend -- and expand -- the 25-year-old program of federal aid to bilingual education. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars for children with limited English proficiency.

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