Essay How to Give American Students a Billingual Education

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Imagine what Christopher Columbus first said when stepping on American soil. Perhaps he said: “This land holds great promise.” Whatever he said the more fascinating question to ponder centers around what language did he speak, for Christopher Columbus, a multi-linguist, knew Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. So what happened to the diversity of languages in this land of promise? Many foreigners contribute to the melting pot of America, bringing their culture and language, yet American schools continue to teach just one language in today’s society. The heated debate among parents, educators, and politicians over a multilingual education in the United States began in the late nineteenth century. Over the next sixty years many crucial …show more content…

Government geared support for bilingual education in the 1970s, almost ruling bilingual education as a requirement by President Carter; nevertheless, President Reagan turned the country against bilingual education by undoing President Carter’s proposal, cutting bilingual education funds, and enacting English-Only Laws in more states over the course of the 1980s (Jost 1039) . Despite the lingering criticism from the 1980s, President Clinton reenacts the bilingual education law in 1994; however, President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, which requires all students to meet standards otherwise schools will receive penalties, negates the bilingual education law (Jost 1039). Since 1998, many states have passed loopholes bypassing the teaching of another language similar to California’s Proposition 227 stating the specific teaching method of English immersion, when students only receive instruction in English, for English language learners. Yet, other states like Utah and Minnesota have discovered the advantages and benefits of two-way bilingual immersion. Over these decades, the federal financial plays as the major culprit to the fluctuating support for bilingual education. Although the Total Spending Government Spending graphs, which includes Federal, State, and Local spending, from 1960 to 1990 demonstrate the increasing amount spent on education, the percentage of total money spent on education wavers from

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