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Jeffery Wright Professor John Rosewall English Section 111-101 July 27 2003 English First Some immigrants come to California in search of the American dream a better life better economic wages better living conditions and better education for their children Most immigrant children face language barriers in Californian classrooms The State of California tired to fix these language barriers with bilingual education In simplest terms bilingual education is a special effort to help immigrant migrant and refugee children learn English so they can do regular schoolwork with their English-speaking classmates and receive an equal educational opportunity Advocates of bilingual education believe their method develops native-language literacy skills that facilitate students eventual switch to English while at the same time allowing them to keep up with the standard curriculum Opponents argue that bilingual education segregates non-English-speaking students and impedes their English-language acquisition ultimately limiting their opportunities for success The English only or immersion education program for bilingual immigrant migrant and refugee children in California schools is crucial and important Bilingual education has had some negative effects in the past In Peter Schrags essay Language Barrier Californias Bilingualism Mess he points out some of the problems with bilingual education Schrag felt that the goals of bilingual education were never followed 157 Bilingual students were supposed to learn courses in English-and their native language in Wright 2 the first three years of school But in practice many bilingual programs became over concerned with teaching in the native language and maintaining the ethnic culture of the family than with teaching children English The bilingual students would end up in the bilingual program well into high school and costing the California taxpayers more money This approach kept the students from progressing in English and kept them to dependent on their native language Schrag felt that bilingual classroom instruction was substandard and poorly taught 157 Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz felt that bilingual education
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