Bilingualism in Education and Politics
Bilingualism is the use of more than two languages in communications. The US Senate declared English is the national language in communications. U. S. residents, whether citizen or not, would have to be proficient in English language in order to claim benefits and services given by the U. S. government (Crawford, 2006). Before by law, Mexican American School was established to segregate Spanish schoolchildren from Anglos. For the last 20-30 years, there was a conscious effort of language segregation in school programs. Despite the provision of 1848 Treaty Guadalupe Hidalgo, guaranteed the right of Mexicans to maintain their cultures.
School children caught Spanish speaking had been punished thru detentions, fines, physical reprimands, or expulsion for repeated violations. For the past decades language battles in United States is irrelevant to their common concerns. In the past bilingual education, Mexican schools were given separate unequal treatments, and substantially unfunded. But bilingual education creates an opportunity for school children to keep their native language i. e. Spanish while inducing language of dominant society (Calderon, 2000). For the past 30 years, political parties begun to recognized Latinos force in election process.
Latinos growing populations, high proportions of voters’ registration and participation to the elections are factors that encouraged politicians to support them. English “Only” have fears in demographic, cultural change, losing Anglos majority status and political dominance in American communities. Bilingual education program teaches diverse linguistic cultures and allows speakers become proficient in more than two-languages. School children synchronized learn academic materials using their own language and the second language “English”.
Behind political arguments and pressures, bilingualism programs as strategy improved academic achievements of the students. In addition, bilingual language integrates students for instruction in language-minority and language-majority. Through bilingual education program students in Mexico become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural (Calderon, 2000). Election candidates seek Latinos votes yet many states declared English as their official language. Latino’s presence in politics is highly potentials and democrats has been successful in gathering Hipic votes (Bchealer, 2006). Reference: Bchealer, R.
(2006). Racial and Ethnic Groups, 10th Edition: Prentice Hall Calderon, M. , Carreon, A. (2000). A Two-Way Bilingual Program: Promise, Practice, and Precautions: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. . Crawford, J. (2006, 24 August 2006). “National Language” Amendment: Political Blunder by Republicans. 1997-2006, from http://ourworld. compuserve. com/homepages/jwcrawford/home. htm Krashen, S. , McField, G. (2005). What Works? Reviewing the Lastest Evidence on Bilingual Education Retrieved November – December 2005, from http://users. rcn. com/crawj/langpol/Krashen-McField. pdf