Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Keumsil Kim Yoon
Bilingual education , the use of two languages to educate children in a school, is very complex in its nature, aims, approaches, and outcomes. So much as its philosophy and practices vary across schools, regions, states, and nations, the controversial issues and arguments surrounding bilingual education have bewildered not only the general public but also bilingual researchers and practitioners, especially in the United States. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 encourages schools to abandon bilingual instruction, even though researchers have continuously demonstrated the value of bilingual programs for educating language-minority children. English-only advocates do not necessarily deny the effectiveness of bilingual education, but they view bilingual education or bilingualism as a threat to upholding national identity and a trigger to dividing people along ethnolinguistic lines; some of them even question whether anything was wrong with the old “sink or swim” approach that worked for earlier immigrants. ...