Re 8: Bilingual Education

From: Barbara O'Donnel (
Date: Thu Aug 12 1999 - 12:14:56 EDT

Speaking of language it seems we are confusing bilingual education with
ESL. I happen to think our country does all children a serious disservice
because they do not engage children in bilingual education. Most of our
children are taught english and english only in the schools. Around the
world there are many examples of children being taught to speak multiple
languages and research suggests that fluency in more than one language has
multiple benefits to the child. Ås an adult who speaks only one language
plus "high school" French, I know I feel that I have missed out (although I
think learning can take place at any time).

Anyhow, above and beyond this, I do agree with the general response that
there are huge individual differences in ability to attain a second
language (at any age). Like all teachers, teachers of language must be
prepared for this diversity. For some, immersion will work. For others,
alternative strategies must be found rather than simply giving up on the

Barbara K. O'Donnel
301 Johnston Hall
Dept. of FCS
Bowling Green OH 43403-0254

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jan 04 2000 - 12:33:19 EST