Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling

Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling

Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling

Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling


Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling, Second Edition maintains its original purpose of synthesizing the research on successful bilingual education in order to demonstrate that quality bilingual education is possible and desirable.
Findings from a wide range of studies are integrated to provide a clear picture of bilingual education in today's schools, and a professional understanding of the foundations and issues surrounding bilingual education programs. The recommendations offered provide a comprehensive basis for planning, developing, improving, and evaluating bilingual programs. For clarity, these recommendations are discussed with respect to the whole school, the curriculum, and the classroom, but it is stressed that they need to be applied in a holistic way because they depend on each other. All educators who work or will work with bilingual students--classroom teachers, administrators, and curricula developers--will find the information in this text essential and will appreciate the straightforward approach and easy reading style.
New in the Second Edition:
•A new Chapter 1, Pursuing Successful Schooling, includes the definition of success that frames the content of the book, and a review of how the research on bilingual education has changed.
•Chapter 2, Bilingual Education Debate, is substantially revised to address major changes in demographics and legislation.
•Chapter 3, Contextual and Individual Factors: Supports and Challenges, is updated to include important new research on the external and internal factors affecting learners and a new section on peers.
•Chapter 4, Creating a Good School, is reorganized and updated.
•Chapter 5, Creating Quality Curriculum, is updated throughout, particularly the sections on teaching content areas and assessment.
•Chapter 6, Creating Quality Instruction, includes extensive new material in the sections on "Teaching English and In English" and "Teaching Students with Limited Schooling."
•Chapter 7, Beyond the Debate, has an extensive new section describing and analyzing how the framework for quality education can be used as a guide to help create a new program.


Chaos theory, a way of analyzing phenomena as a whole rather than merely the sum of their constituent parts, has altered scientific perspectives (Gleick, 1987). It also provides a useful metaphor for educational research. Educational researchers confront not only the multiplicity of factors that impact the learning process— the natural endowments of students, their social and cultural contexts, teaching approaches and styles, shifting goals and curricula, interactions between teachers and students and among students, and so on—but also the fact that classrooms are not set up as laboratories, so that results in one classroom do not necessarily ordain similar results in other classrooms. In bilingual situations, the complexity is multiplied by the addition of linguistic and cultural variables. Thus, research results on bilingual students often appear contradictory not only because of the inherent complexity of educational research, but also because most analysis focuses on the effects of specific, isolated factors that may or may not be replicable.

Instead of isolating factors, perhaps we should approach research and practice in bilingual education with the perspective that all factors affect how students learn in schools and that, consequently, teachers themselves need to analyze and reanalyze what works in order to determine how best to teach such students. Chaos theory maintains that “tiny differences in input could become overwhelming differences in output” (Gleick, 1987, p. 8). The frequently used example is known as the butterfly effect, from the notion that a butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing may affect weather in New York a month later. A small, apparently isolated factor can produce unanticipated results. It is for this reason unfruitful to base a subject as complex as the education of bilinguals on generalizations or stereotypes about students from a particular ethnic group, for example. Social factors do affect such students, but personal characteristics are just as likely to affect their educational outcomes.


This book is addressed to educators working with bilingual students, from teachers who in the confines of their classrooms impart the fundamental skills and hopes for students to administrators and curricula developers who need to support . . .

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