What people do not realize is that our country has never been mono-lingual. Our founding fathers almost made the country’s language German (missed by one vote). Dutch and French were also spoken in the American colonies. The first bilingual program was in the northern Midwest. In fact, there have been bilingual programs in German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Czech, French, Spanish, and Chinese in places like Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and St. Louis. The state of Louisiana authorized instruction in French and English, and New Mexico in Spanish and English. The same has happened on Indian Reservations all over the country. The first legal challenge occurred in San Francisco, California concerning a Chinese and English program (Lau vs. Nichols). We are the only first world country in the entire world that insists that instruction only occur in English, and that was when public opinion made it unpopular in the 1930’s.
In 50 years of educational research, dual language programs (when done correctly) have shown to had a statically significant impact on student learning. If one reads the American Educational Research Journal entitled Review of Education Research for June 2010, one would learn that not only do students have significantly higher test scores. They also have higher cognitive and cooperative skills.
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