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Bilingual Education . Tara Murphy January 14th, 2014 Ms. Riley. Hola! (Hello in Spanish) Bonjour (Hello in French) Cześć (Hello in Polish) Dia Duit (Hello in Irish) Kumusta (Hello in Filipino)

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Bilingual Education

Tara Murphy

January 14th, 2014

Ms. Riley


Hola! (Hello in Spanish)

Bonjour (Hello in French)

Cześć (Hello in Polish)

Dia Duit (Hello in Irish)

Kumusta (Hello in Filipino)

As you can see, we as Americans understand many of these greetings because of the large number of immigrants we interact with each and every day; we have adapted to other’s languages. However, people argue this because some think English should be the only language, while others think Americans should be versatile and open to different languages. At the root of this controversy is bilingual education.


Bilingual Education is one of the most controversial topics within the history of the US, which is still being debated today. The conflict of bilingual programs began with the large number of immigrants coming into the States, who were looking to put their children into “Americanized” schools to get an education. However, the ethnic children could speak little or no English, and to solve this problem state officials and the government became involved. The first political law pertaining to bilingual education was enacted in 1839 in Ohio to promote German-English learning, and many states followed after. There became many different and varying opinions on the topic, and after much political discussion and action, bilingual education programs are still being debated.

The developments and modifications of bilingual education that took place in the 1980s within the United States occurred through law enactments, amendment adjustments, and court cases.


Law Enactments

Bilingual Education Act of 1968

This act gave access to minority children to attend schools and demanded the government fund programs for bilingual education

In 1981, Virginia enacted the “English Only Legislation”, which stated English as the only language of the people.

In 1982, following the means of the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974, a “three-point test” was created to determine which of the bilingual programs would be best for a certain student.

Carl D. Perkins Act was enacted in 1984, which funded money to bilingual programs to make them available to people of any ethnicity and any level of English language.


Amendment Adjustments

English Language Amendment of 1981

This amendment established English as the official language of the United States, but met serious opposition. The English Language Amendment varies from state to state, depending on their view of bilingual speakers.

Amendments to Title VII 1984

Alterations to Title VII changed the law to provides funding for LEP students, support family literacy programs and establish the significance of well-educated bilingual teachers.

Anti-Bilingual Ordinance of 1980

As more and more immigrants, specifically Cubans, came into Florida, voters in Dade County passed the anti-bilingual ordinance, which prohibited the utilization of any other language except English.


Court Cases

Castaneda vs. Pickard 1981

Set the standards for LEP students by demanding well-educated staff, an evaluation program and a sufficient plan for each student

Idaho vs. Migrant Council 1981

Established and stated that the state is responsible for LEP students with providing them an education

Plyler vs. Doe 1981

Established that forbidding immigrant children the right to an education is unconstitutional and provided them with a free public education

Illinois vs. Gomez 1987

Establishes state responsibility for LEP students and requires programs to ensure from LEP to FEP


Works Cited

"The Bilingual Education Debate: Part 1." Educaion World. Education World, INC., 29 Jan. 2013. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. <>.

Cerda, Natalie, and Christina M. Hernandez. "Bilingual Education Gallery/ Extras." Bilingual Education. N.p., 2006. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. <>.

English4Children. Bilingual Education New York #1 - News, New York One/ New York August 16, 1999. YouTube. N.p., 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. <>.

Meier, Nicholas. "Second Language Acquisition." Nicholas. Meier, 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. <>.


Work Cited

Mora, Jill Kerper. "The Bilingual Education Controversy: A Road Map." Mora Modules. N.p., 16 Dec. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. <>.

- - -. "History of Bilingual Education." Mora Modules. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2014. <>.

"Preview of Article: History of Bilingual Education." Rethinking Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. <>.

"Timeline: The Bilingual Education Controversy." PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. <>.