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Bilingual Education Issues

The Bilingual Education Program started in 1968 when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was amended, referred to the Title VII. This permitted pilot projects to help the poor children with educational disadvantages due to their inability to speak the English language. The U.S. Supreme Court decision Lau v. Nichols in 1974 provided the stepping stone for bilingual education (Bethell, 1979).These bilingual education programs were geared towards the instruction for students whose native language was not English, were intended for the non-English speaker to learn the content matter courses (mathematics, science, and social studies) in their native language, thus making it easier for the student to learn English as a Second Language and incorporate this knowledge into their content matter courses and in their other courses (music, physical education, art) and help them communicate with the school´s personnel and classmates.Bilingual Education should be placed in its historical context. The educational system started implementing this new theoretical educational concept when the civil rights movement started and the creation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act began. the recipients of federal funds cannot be discriminated against based on their national origin (Bethell, 1979): the African Americans were being taken into consideration. the women were taken into consideration (feminism, female liberation). and educational issues were taken into consideration. There were too many changes taking place contrary to what had been implemented for centuries. In 1970 a memorandum defined language as basic for national origin thus requiring schools to take affirmative action to correct the English language deficiencies.As with any new idea, there were people that were in favor of bilingual education and there were people against it.

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