Southwest Center for Education Equity and Language Diversity (SCEED)
@College of Education, Arizona State University
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As a public service the SCEED staff reviews web sites and offers mini-critiques of selected sites dealing with areas of interest. The comments reflect our opinions and are offered in good faith to help web searchers find what they need. What follows is a starter set of resources; it is not exhaustive. Use the web search engines and links from the sites below to continue your search. Search frequently; web sites can disappear with little or no warning. We welcome your assistance in locating additional resources and policing this section for links that no longer function. Please make your comments or reports of bad links via email or this interactive form.
Before your next trip to New York City stop by this site. The Mexican Cultural Institute of NY reports on Mexican cultural activities in the city through a magazine-format web site called La Vitrina. It's a good way to find out what exhibits, theatre, and music events going on in NYC, an important venue for Mexican arts and culture. (Some 250,000 Mexicans live in the NY area.) A hardcopy newsletter called the Mexican Notebook is also available with much of the same content.
Latino USA is a Latino produced news broadcast by National Public Radio reporting Latino news of all sorts. Visit here and listen to the last broadcast if you missed it or if your station does not carry the program. Excellent English language resource totally Latino content. You must download the RealAudio plug-in for your browser in order to hear the show. You can also download the text only version. Nice resource!
Education Week is a "trade" newspaper devoted to K-12 education news. For years EW has covered bilingual education policy news and related topics. The paper tends to do a more balanced job than most. It tends to be better than many local papers which focus on polemics and controversy and shed little light on the subject. EW is a good source for non-specialists who want to understand the full range of issues in this field. Check out Education Week.
English First is one of the major organizations working to make English the official language of the United States and squashing bilingual education in the process. Check out who's who by looking around their links. Interesting ...
Hispanic Pages in the U.S. maintains this web page devoted to the arguments AGAINST making English the official language of the United States. This site is also a good resource for Latino/Hispanic information of all types. In addition to their own pages there are many external links.
Another group that is not not keen on bilingualism or bilingual education is the Center for Equal Opportunity in Washington, D.C. It features the conservative journalist, Linda Chavez. Linda, BTW, may be Ron Unz' mentor. She mounted the anti-bilingual education soapbox long before the idea occurred to him. Chavez is one of the more articulate anti-bilingual spokespeople. Sidebar: like Ron Unz, Chavez was an unsuccessful candidate for high office (the U.S. Senate). Why do these people like to run for public office, I wonder?
The Arizona Republic is a regional newspaper with only moderate editorial depth but it does an outstanding job of web design. Furthermore, it is conscious that its readership is multicultural and has a section on that. Take a look at the multicultural web page, which is part of Arizona Central, and enjoy one of the best designed web pages in the business.
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The Language Policy Research Unit (LPRU), a unit in the Education Policy Research Lab at Arizona State University, promotes research and policy analysis on the challenges and opportunities posed by national and global multilingualism.
LPRU priorities include:
The Texas Two-Way/Dual Language Consortium is a group of bilingual educators in Texas that share a commitment to the philosophy of two-way/dual language education. This group believes that the best model for educating all students, but particularly English Language Learners (ELLs), is through a dual literacy approach that validates both languages and cultures. The mission of the Texas Two-Way/Dual Language Consortium is to advocate the implementation of educational policies and effective dual language instructional practices, based on current research and professional development, in public education that ensures that all learners are equipped with the necessary academic and linguistic skills to successfully compete in a global and diverse community.
By far the most comprehensive web sites on the subject of bilingual education is that of NCELA, the National Clearinghouse on English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Education Programs. This is a huge site with highly useful, and plentiful, material. NCELA, formerly known as the National Clearinghouse on Bilingual Education (NCBE), is government funded and has close ties to the Office of English Acquisition (formerly known as the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs [OBEMLA]) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Historically, both of these units have emphasized the transitional form of bilingual education with its compensatory and civil rights slant. While its coverage is comprehensive NCBE does not push the envelope on policy matters. Don't look here for critical analyses of legislation or alternatives to "the official story" on bilingual education. Still, NCELA's site is a virtual warehouse of resources.
The Southwest Center for Education Equity and Language Diversity at ASU has a special interest in the Mexico/U.S. border. This area will soon become one of the most important binational regions in the hemisphere. Bordering the Future is a special report on the U.S./Texas border issued by the Comptroller of the State of Texas. Apparently Texas politicos share our interest in the borderlands!
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) runs a web site focused largely on bilingual goings-on at the federal level, especially the trials and tribulations of Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act. NABE's newsletter, NABE NEWS -- also available on this site -- is an excellent source on all Title III issues including the status of funding. NABE tracks Title VII legislation in exquisite detail.
Another site that is very informative and elegantly designed is the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRC) which conducts rigorous, policy-relevant research, evaluates the effects of governmental and corporate practices on Latinos, and serves as a nonpartisan source of information, analysis and ideas for the policymaking communities. One good thing about this site is that it is updated quite regularly and one can get recent articles on issues of concern to the nation's Latino communities.
Among the numerous university-based web sties on bilingual education we really like this one. It is sponsored by the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Research at the University of Southern California (USC). The language policy and language rights content is superb. CMMR has done an exceptional job of collecting resources on the Unz initiative in California.
James Crawford is a journalist/writer on the subject of the Official English movement, bilingual education and the civil rights issues involved. (He is a former Washington Editor of EW newspaper.) As a complement to his published material Crawford maintains a Language Policy Web Page with a collection of his own work and links to other sites. This is an excellent, well focused resource on the politics of language in the U.S. We like Crawford's straightforward journalistic style and recommend the site to readers outside the academy -- and those inside -- who prefer less jargon, more content.
P25-1130 Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050. This is the U.S. Census Bureau document that tracks the growth of the Latino population. The document is in PDF format and therefore requires the Acrobat plug in to your browser in order to read it or print it. The full report is about 100 pages long. There are periodic updates but this is the last full report done in 1996.
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A controversial aspect of bilingual education centers on the research literature regarding impact effectiveness. Many studies have addressed the question of whether bilingual education "works". (Almost none ask whether monolingual education "works".) If you are interested in this topic you must plod through the literature carefully; there is no easy answer. Although SCEED does not engage in effectiveness or impact studies we have included links to some of the better known effectiveness and impact studies. From a research perspective this is a moving target in addition to being an awkward research topic. Better to ask what forms of bilingual education work best, with what kinds of kids, and under what conditions -- just as we do for monolingual education. Nonetheless, if you want to examine some of this research, here are some links:
A recent and expensive study on bilingual education research resulted in a massive tome published by the National Research Council. The report, "Improving Schooling for Language Minority Children," was guided by a committee and it shows. Its 400 + pages concluded that much of the research is bad, highly politicized, and inconclusive. So ambivalent is the report that it was cited by both sides in the Unz battle in California to support their respective positions. Determined to say something definitive, the editors ended by suggesting that more research money be made available but that changes be made in how research funds are distributed. Hmmmm.. The book can be ordered on the Web.
UC/Santa Cruz researchers have found that "all students benefit from strong cognitive and academic instruction conducted in their first language." (Now, there is a clear statement on effectiveness.) The report summarizes the findings from research conducted by CREDE and other bilingual/ESL researchers on the effects of bilingual education. This one may be worth reading.
This page is a summary of an ongoing research study that is both national in scope and practical for local decision-making in schools. The research includes findings from five large urban and suburban school districts in various regions of the United States where large numbers of language minority students attend public schools.
A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Bilingual Education: TRPI (Tomas Rivera Policy Institute), in collaboration with the Public Policy Clinic of the University of Texas' Government department, and Harvard University's program on Education Policy and Governance, has conducted an objective, systematic, statistical assessment measuring the effectiveness of bilingual education programs. This analysis shows that students with limited English proficiency (LEP) who have received bilingual instruction perform significantly better on English-language standardized tests than similar children taught in English-only programs.
This article by Jim Cummins and Michael Genzuk, which originally appeared in the California Association for Bilingual Education Newsletter, summarizes a U.S. Department of Education study on this hot question in American education: What types of programs work best in helping Hispanic students succeed in school? The issue has revolved around the effectiveness of bilingual education, which involves using the child's primary language in addition to English as a language of instruction. The controversy continues ...
Too often U.S. educators and policy makers look upon bilingual and dual-language education as if they were concepts indigenous to this country. The truth, of course, is that two languages are used in education throughout the world. Stephen Krashen's page at the Azusa Unified School District is replete with commentary about issues related to second language acquisition, literacy, and bilingual education.
This is part of a big whopper study, a large scale investigation into the current status of language education in the United States, its context and its dimensions, especially at the secondary level. It is based on the "National Profile: United States Language Education Study". This is the U.S. contribution to Phase One of an international study of educational achievement in language education. It will be interesting to see what the final study has to say about transitional bilingual education. Is it additive or subtractive? Does it contribute to home language development or hinder it?
This page is from AskNCELA, the FAQ for the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs website. The data analyzed are from the National Center for Educational Statistics' (NCES), Digest of Educational Statistics, 2002.
The MLA Language Map is intended for use by students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning about the linguistic and cultural composition of the United States. The MLA Language Map uses data from the 2000 United States census to display the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty languages and three groups of less commonly spoken languages in the United States. The census data are based on responses to the question, "Does this person speak a language other than English at home?" The Language Map illustrates the concentration of language speakers in zip codes and counties. The Data Center provides actual numbers and percentages of speakers and includes census data about seven additional groups of languages less commonly spoken in the United States.
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SCEED believes southwestern educators should do a better job of building working relationships with Mexican counterparts and seek their ideas for the education of Mexican immigrant children in U.S. schools. To do that we must understand better the changes currently underway in Mexican life, especially "la democratizacion" that is slowly creating a multiparty system there. A Mexican professor in Canada, Alex López-Ortiz, has assembled an important set of documents for the study of contemporary Mexico. His collection reflects journalistic and scholarly thought in Mexico today. You may find these resources useful in keeping up with changes in that country. Please give Alex some feedback if you benefit from his work.
If you need help figuring out the proper bibliographic citation form for online resources check the latest editions of APA or MLA style books. Also helpful are the guides that are now becoming available for online research. A good example is by Dawn Rodrigues (Prentice-Hall, 1997). (Chapter 9 explains how to cite online resources.)
You may also want to take advantage of sites that describe technical features of various Internet search tools. Among them are Richard Einer Peterson's page, Eight Internet Search Engines Compared. Included in this site is a concise summary chart. Another useful site for information about how search engines work is A Webmaster's Guide to Search Engines.
© 2003 Arizona State University
Southwest Center for Education Equity and Language Diversity
College of Education, Arizona State University,
P. O. Box 871511, Tempe, AZ 85287-1511
Voice: 480.965.7134 Fax: 480.965.5164