Thursday, April 11, 2013

Students languishing under Massachusetts' bilingual education law, critics say

Students are having difficulty in immersion classes and are asking for the law to be changed.   - - Donna Poisl


BOSTON — Alternating between speaking English and Spanish, mothers, teachers and students urged lawmakers Tuesday to revamp a decade-old law that nearly eliminated bilingual education, arguing it has left students learning to speak English “languishing” and struggling to advance academically.

Advocates want lawmakers to revisit English language learning programs that promote dual-language instruction. In 2002, backers of a successful ballot question argued that allowing students to continue instruction in their native tongue hindered them from learning English.

The voter-approved law called for immigrant students to be immersed into English-only classrooms, with their native language used minimally and only when necessary.
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