The English Only Movement and Bilingual Education

by Nancy Husari

Note: Students read an article on the English Only Movement
and an article on Proposition 227 thirteen years later before writing this essay.

In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 227, which requires that "nearly all" instruction be conducted in English, and provides children one year of instructional support for the learning of English in "intensive sheltered English immersion programs," The results of and reactions to the this bill have been mixed. In some areas, the proposition has been implemented and teachers say that the students are doing well in English immersion classes, rather than bilingual classes. Other school districts are not implementing this bill, and some are challenging it in the courts. There are many things to consider in this issue, including who is behind it. According to J.W. Crawford (whose website your reading material came from), some of the people who supported Proposition 227 were "citizens who want to preserve our common language and avoid ethnic strife,"while others are "bigots seeking to roll back civil rights advances for language-minority groups." Another issue to consider is the fact that 'protections for racial and ethnic minorities do not always extend to language minorities.'

Write a short paper expressing your opinion about Proposition 227. Please stay on topic. Do not copy more than a few words from the above writing prompt, and if you do use any of the wording above, please use quotation marks. Do not try to write a long paper. A good long paragraph is better than a disorganized longer paper. Allow time to plan. You can use your dictionary.

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