Do Other Countries Do Bilingual Education?
by Stephen Krashen,
|Norway||Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese||L1 support in math, social sciences, natural science, grades 1-4; bilingual ed students better than controls in math, social/natural science in grades 4,5, perform close to native speakers of Norwegian (Ozerk, 1994).|
|Netherlands||Turkish||Bilingual students outperform control students in Dutch literacy in grade 2; differences not statistically significant (Verhoeven, 1991).|
|Turkish, Arabic||Bilingual students taught all in primary language for 1st year with Dutch as 2nd language, 50% 2nd year. At end of 3rd year, outperform controls in Dutch language, fewer behavioral problems, more social relations with Dutch students (Appel, 1988).|
|Turkish, Arabic||Full bilingual outperform controls ("few hours" of primary language) in Dutch reading, Turkish children approach native speaker level in reading, above norms in math 2 years after exit (Appel, 1988).|
Programs for indigenous minorities
|China||Korean||Full bilingual program; more Korean speakers obtain higher education degrees than speakers of Mandarin (Lin, 1997).|
|Sweden||Finnish||At grade 3, students outperform controls (speakers of other languages) (Lofgren and Ouvinen-Bierstam, 1982).|
|Sweden||Finnish||Graduates of bilingual programs do as well as controls (includes native speakers) in school achievement, slightly more continue to higher education after grade 9 (Hagman and Lahndenpera, 1987).|
|Australia||Gapapuyngu||Bilinguals outperform all-English in grade 7 in math, English composition, tend to be better in English reading (Gale, McClay, Christie, and Harris, 1981).|
|Mexico||Tzeltal,Tzotzil||Reading taught in vernacular during preparatory year. results in better Spanish reading (Modiano, 1968).|
Less convincing, but nevertheless impressive evidence is the fact that so many countries do some form of bilingual education. In the following list, I present the countries and the languages involved. All are state-supported.
Programs with intensive first language instruction have been described for children of immigrants in Bavaria (in Germany). Some children are placed in all-German programs with supplementary instruction in the home language for eight lessons per week (home language enrichment, see below) while those with less knowledge of German receive all their instruction in their home language, with German taught as a foreign language for eight periods per week, with German also used in art, music and physical education (Nist, 1978, p. 210). The goal of the latter program was "to bring the foreign child to a level of proficiency whereby he/she can choose to continue in the mother-tongue classroom or move to a German language classroom" (p. 211).
Such programs also exist in
In China, "by 1995, 23 minority groups (Mongolians, Tibetans, Koreans, Uygar, and Zhuang, among others) were using their own language, or both their own language and Mandarin, to teach (Lin, 1997, p. 195).
Glenn (1997) describes a variety of programs for immigrant children in a number of countries."Bilingual reception programs" are designed for students "arriving beyond the usual school-entry age" and "make use of the home language of pupils' to ease their adjustment and speed their learning of language and other skills considered necessary before they are mainstreamed" (p. 452). Such programs exist in
In "integrated bilingual" programs "language minority and majority students learn together, with a carefully crafted emphasis on both languages" (p. 461), similar to two-way programs in the United States. Such programs exist in
Integrated bilingual programs are also available in the Netherlands for Frisian, the language spoken in Friesland, a part of the Netherlands (Vallen and Stijnen, 1987; Zondag, 1989), and Denmark provides German/Danish integrated bilingual schooling for its German-speaking minority in the Jutland area. Sondergaard and Bryam (1986) report that 22% of the students in these schools report German as their only home language. Gerth (1988) reports that in the north of France, "French and immigrants' children, from Portugal or Algeria or Morocco or Italy, are put together in the same class. They all get about six hours a week in that foreign - or native - language. All subjects can be taught in that language as far as the teachers' work is related to the official French syllabus" (p. 200).
"Home language enrichment" programs were often originally designed to help guestworkers and their families re-integrate into their original homelands but continue for those who are clearly permanent residents. These are often after-school programs, but are occasionally integrated into the school day; in France, for example, home language enrichment is provided for three hours per week as part of the school day, and in the Netherlands the law allows for for two and a half hours per week during the school day and two and a half hours after school per week. State supported home language instruction is provided in
In addition, Darnell and Hoem (1996) describe schools for Saami speaking children in Sweden, largely in Swedish but with instruction in Saami language and culture, and in Norway, using the Saami language as the language of instruction.
Another category is language revival programs, in which curriculum is taught in a language that few in the community speak. Their design is similar to Canadian French immersion programs. They exist in
If one expands the definition of bilingual education even more, one could include situations such as Hong Kong, where both Cantonese and English are widely used. W while clearly a Cantonese-speaking city, 27% claimed that they knew English "quite well" in 1993, up from 5% in 1983; Bacon-Shone and Bolton, 1998). Primary education has been in Cantonese in Hong Kong, with most students attending English medium schools at higher levels; in the last two decades, both Cantonese and English have been used in higher education (texts in English, oral instruction in Cantonese or both) (Boyle, 1997, Johnston, 1998).
Similarly, one could include schools in the Catalan-speaking areas of Spain that teach in Catalan, with Spanish introduced by grade three, with content taught in Spanish for native speakers of Catalan; Catalan/Spanish bilingual programs also exist for native speakers of Spanish living in these areas, with all instruction in Catalan for the first two to five years (Artigal, 1997) as well as Basque/Spanish bilingual schools in the Basque-speaking areas of Spain, which service both native speakers of Basque and Spanish (Arzamendi and Genesee, 1997).
This survey does not include "immersion" programs, which are "bilingual" in that two languages are used for subject-matter instruction, but one is actually a foreign language. Originally done in English-speaking Canada for French, they are now in operation in several other countries, including the United States (Johnson and Swain, 1997).
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Artigal, J. 1997. The Catalan immersion program. In K. Johnson and M. Swain (Eds.) Immersion Education: International Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 133-150.
Arzamendi, J. and Genesee, F. 1997. Reflections on immersion education in the Basque Country. In K. Johnson and M. Swain (Eds.) Immersion Education: International Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 151-166.
Bacon-Shone, J. and Bolton, K. 1998. Charting multilingualism: Language censuses and language surveys in Hong Kong. In M. Pennington (Ed.) Language in Hong Kong at Century's End. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. pp. 43-90.
Benton, N. 1989. Education, language decline and language revitalization: The case of Maori in New Zealand. Language and Education 3 (2): 65-82.
Boyle, J. 1997. The use of mixed-code teaching in Hong Kong English language teaching. System 25 (1): 83-89.
Cazden, C. 1989. Richmond Road: A multilingual, multicultural primary school in Auckland, New Zealand. Language and Education 3 (3): 143-166.
Clyne, M. 1991. Immersion principles in second language programs - research and policy in multicultural Australia. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 12 (1,2): 55-65.
Cummins, J. 1993. Bilingualism and second language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 13: 51-70.
Darnell, F. and Hoem, A. 1996. Taken to Extremes: Education in the Far North. Olso: Scandinavian University Press.
Engle, P. 1975. Language medium in early school years for minority language groups. Review of Educational Research 45 (2): 283-325.
Gale, K., McClay, D., Christie, M. and Harris, S. 1981. Academic achievement in the Milingimbi bilingual education program. TESOL Quarterly 15: 297-314.
Gerth, K-E. 1988. Latest developments in early bilingual education in France and Southern Europe. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Education 9 (1,2): 193-202.
Glenn, C. 1996. Educating Immigrant Children. New York: Garland Publishers.
Hagman, T. and Lahdenpera, J. 1987. Nine years of Finnish-medium education in Sweden. In T. Skutnabb-Kangas and J.Cummins (Eds.) Minority Education: From Shame to Struggle. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters 329-335.
Hornberger, N. 1987. Bilingual education and Quechua language maintenance in Highland Puno, Peru. NABE Journal 11 (2): 117-140.
Hornberger, N. 1988. Misbehavior, punishment and put-down: Stress for Quechua children in school. Language and Education 2 (4): 239-253.
Johnston, R. 1998. Language and education in Hong Kong. In M. Pennington (Ed.), Language in Hong Kong at Century's End. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. pp. 265-276.
Kruesler, A. 1961. Bilingualism in Soviet non-Russian schools. Elementary School Journal 62: 94-99.
Lin, J. 1997. Policies and practices of bilingual education for the minorities of China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 18 (3): 193-205.
Lofgren, H. and Ouvinen-Birgerstam, P. 1982. A bilingual model for the teaching of immigrant children. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 3: 323-331.
Macnamara, J. 1967. The effects of instruction in a weaker language. Journal of Social Issues 23 (2): 121-135.
Modiano, N. 1968. National or mother tongue language in beginning reading: A comparative study. Research in the Teaching of English 2: 32-43.
Muller, L., Penner, W., Blowers, T., Jones, J., and Mosychuk, H. 1977. Evaluation of a bilingual (English-Ukranian) program. Canadian Modern Language Review 33: 475-485.
Nist, R. 1978. Guestworkers in Germany: The Prospects for Pluralism. New York: Praeger Publishers.
Ozerk, K. 1994. Subject matter acquisition and language development. In S. Ozerk (Ed.), University of Olso Pedagogiskforskningsinstitutt, report number 3, pp. 74-128.
Pavlinic-Wolf, Brcic, K. and Jeftic, N. 1988. Supplementary mother-tongue education and the linguistic development of Yugoslav children in Denmark. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 9 (1,2): 151-176.
Shafter, S. 1988. Bilingual/bicultural education for Maori cultural preservation in New Zealand. Journal of Multilingual Multicultural Development 9 (6) 487-501.
Stairs, A. 1987. Beyond cultural inclusion. In T. Skutnabb-Kangas and J. Cummins (Eds.) Minority Language: From Sharme to Struggle. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. pp. 308-327.
Thomas, P. 1991. Children in Welsh-medium education: Semilinguals or innovators? Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 12 (1,2): 45-53.
Sondergaard, B. and Byram, M. 1986. Pedagogical problems and symbolic values in the language curriculum - the case of the German minority in Denmark. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 7 (2,3): 147-167.
Vallen, T. and Stijnen, S. 1987. Language and educational success of indigenous and non-indigenous minority students in the Netherlands. Language and Education 1 (2):109-124.
Verhoeven, L. 1991. Acquisition of biliteracy. AILA Review 8: 61-74.
Zondag, K. 1989. Diversity and uniformity in six bilingual schools in Friesland. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 10 (1): 3-16.