Bilingual Education in USA

  • Segregated Schools

    Segregated Schools
    Indigenous Spanish speakers in Texas endured mandated English Only instruction, and Mexican Americans in Texas were placed in segregated schools until segregation was ruled illegal. This lasted until 1950.
  • Nationality Act

    Nationality Act
    Texas passed the Nationality Act, making the ability to speak English a naturalization requirement. Eleven years later, the United States entered World War I and the anti-immigrant fever was high. Congress passed the Burnett Act, mandating that all immigrants pass an English literacy test.
  • Escuelitas

    Barrio schools (escuelitas) were found mainly in South Texas, and offered home-based reading and writing instruction in Spanish for preschoolers. They operated as late as 1965.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) established the "First 100 (English) Words" program for Spanish-speaking preschoolers.
  • English as a Foreign language (EFL)

    English as a Foreign language (EFL)
    US Department of State and Rockefeller Foundation supported the founding of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan, which began formal training of US teacher for teaching EFL.
  • The Brown Case

    The Brown Case
    the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school segregation based on race was unconstitutional. Although it did not specifically mention Hispanics or other ethnic minorities, the ruling stated that it applied also to others similarly situated. While this ruling did not affect the education of non- English speaking
    minorities directly, it introduced a new era in American civil rights and led the way to subsequent legislation that would create programs for the disadvantaged.
  • National Defense Educ. Act

    National Defense Educ. Act
    One of the act’s primary goals was to raise the level of foreign-language education in the United States. To accomplish this mission, generous fellowships were awarded to promising foreign-language teachers.
  • Little School of the 400

    Little School of the 400
    LULAC in cooperation with the American G.I. Forum, organized the community-based "Little School of the 400." These schools taught basic English vocabulary considered essential for success in the formal school setting.
  • ESL

    The profession of Teaching English as a second Language (ESL) began to expand in response to increasing numbers of immigrant and refugee children entering the country, as well as to the growing numbers of international students attending US universities.
  • Coral Way Elementary

    Coral Way Elementary
    The first bilingual program was started at the Coral Way Elementary School in Miami in 1963. It was supposed to be a temporary curriculum to help Cuban students retain their language and culture, while people waited for the Castro regime to fall.
  • Texas and ESL programs

    Texas and ESL programs
    Superintendent Harold Brantley of the Laredo United Consolidated School District launched the first bilingual program in Texas. He built on the experience of the first bilingual program in the nation, initiated in the Coral Way school in Dade County, Florida. At Coral Way federal funds supported bilingual education for Cuban immigrants and inspired similar ventures elsewhere in the nation. Brantley made the initial effort in the first grade of the Nye Elementary School.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    Which stated the concept of equality in federal law. Several parts of the Act were significant for language minority students. Title IV of the Act allowed the Attorney General to initiate school desegregation suits if private citizens were unable to file suit effectively. Title VI of the Act provided that any person participating in any program receiving federal financial assistance could not be discriminated against on tthe basis of race or national origin.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
    Title I of the ESEA provided assistance to educational agencies for children of low income families. While this benefitted many inner city children, it did not target students who suffered specifically from language barriers.

    The professional Organization, Teachers of English to Speaker of Other Language (TESOL), was established, development of ESL textbooks expanded and courses in linguistics and ESL methodology were increasingly demanded. ESL instruction improved the process of teaching English to speaker of other language, but little thought was given to helping students keep up with academic work in content areas.
  • Senator Yarborough, Tx

    Senator Yarborough, Tx
    Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas introduced a bill which proposed to provide assistance to school districts in establishing educational programs specifically for limited English speaking ability (LESA) students. Although this bill was limited to Spanish-speaking students, it led to the introduction of 37 other bills which were merged into a single measure known as Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) or the Bilingual Education Act, which was enacted in 1968.
  • Bilingual Education Act (BEA)

    Bilingual Education Act (BEA)
    Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. First bilingual-bicultural education program at the federal level. Provided supplemental funding for school districts interested in establishing programs to meet the needs of people with limited English abilities. Had to be from low-income families.
    It also provided funding for planning and developing bilingual education programs as well as training and operation for these programs.
  • HEW Memorandum

    Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (modern day Department of Health and Human Services clarifies its policy on school districts' responsibility to provide equal educational opportunity to children with deficient English language skills.
  • TABE

    The Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE) was established in San Antonio as an advocacy group for the rights of language minority children, particularly Spanish-speaking students.
  • Lau v. Nichols

    Lau v. Nichols
    This case was a class- action suit brought against the San Francisco school district, alleging that 1,800 Chinese students were being denied an equal education because of their limited English skills.Although the lower courts disagreed that equal education was being denied, in 1974 the Supreme Court overruled the lower courts, arguing that the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curricula do not constitute equal education.
  • Equal Education Opportunity Act

    Equal Education Opportunity Act
    Title II of the Educational Amendments Act of 1974, the Equal Educational Opportunity Act, also affected the education of LESA students by specifically mentioning that language barriers were to be overcome by instructional programs. This Act effectively extended the Lau ruling to all students and school districts, not only to those receiving federal funds. School districts were required to have special programs for LESA students regardless of federal or state funding.
  • BEA Reauthorized

    BEA Reauthorized
    Amendaments changed the law to include eligibility for all children of Limited English Speaking ability (LES- defined as limited in listening and speaking skills in English), ending the low income requirement.
  • Lau Remedies

    Lau Remedies
    U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued the Lau Remedies, a set of guidelines that translated schools' legal obligations into pedagogical directives. Federal officials required the use of bilingual instruction in elementary schools where enough LEP students spoke the same language to make it comprehensible. The Office for Civil Rights began an aggressive campaign to enforce the Lau Remedies, withholding federal funds to resistant schools.
  • NABE

    National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) was officially incorporated as a professional organization.

    The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition collects, coordinates and conveys a broad range of research and resources in support of an inclusive approach to high quality education for ELLs.
  • BEA Reauthorized

    BEA Reauthorized
    Law expanded the definition to include elegibility for children of limited-English proficiency (LEP- listening, speaking, reading and writing). This change allowed students to remain in a program until they reached deeper proficiency in both oral and written English, rather than requiring that they be tested and exited solely on the basis of oral skills. The 1978 bill also allowed participation of english apeaking children in bilingual programs to assist children of LEP improve their L2 skills.
  • United States v. Texas

    United States v. Texas
    Affirmed "pervasive, intentional discrimination throughout most of this century" against Mexican-American students. Prejudice and deprivation, District Judge William W. Justice stated, blocked equal educational opportunities for these children and produced a "deep sense of inferiority, cultural isolation, and acceptance of failure." Through their segregated schooling, Mexican Americans had suffered de jure discrimination from the state of Texas and the Texas Education Agency.
  • English the official language

    English the official language
    Senator S.I. Hayakawa introduced a constitutional amendment that made English the sole official language of the United States. Hayakawa founds "U.S. English", a legislative organization, to lobby for Official English and against bilingualism. By 1998, twenty-five states had made English their official language.
  • Census Report

    The U.S. Census Burea ussues its 1980 Census report, estimating the number of school-age children speaking languages other than English in the home to be 4.5 million.
  • BEA Reauthorized

    BEA Reauthorized
    Introduced several new grant programs. Previously, most of the funding had been used for transitional bilingual education, a short- term (two-to three-year) bilingual program. The new categories of funding included: family English literacy,special populations,academic excellence, developmental bilingual education and special alternative instructional programs.
  • The Bilingual Education Initiative

    The Bilingual Education Initiative
    Secretary of Education William Bennett proposed the Bilingual Education Initiative in 1985. He had concluded that because of the high dropout rates of LEP students, previously implemented programs were not fully meeting the needs of these students. The Bilingual Education Initiative was to increase flexibility in federal programs for LEP students to enable local school district to determine the best method of teaching LEP students.
  • BEA Reauthorized

    BEA Reauthorized
    English Only proponents supported more funding for "special alternative instructional programs", and the 1988 law authorized up to 25 percent to be spent in this category. The 1998 law placed a three year limit on funding for any applicant, requiring that most students be "mainstreamed" in three years. Thus it continued to emphasize short-term transitional bilingual education model.
  • U.N. Declaration

    The "U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities" is published, with Article 4.3 declaring that “states should take appropriate measures so that, whenever possible, persons belonging to minorities have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue or to have instruction in their mother tongue.“
  • Improving America`s School Act (IASA)

    Improving America`s School Act (IASA)
    Funding for language minority students became available throuhg both Title VII and Title I funds. School districts were encoraged to create comprehensive school reform plans that integrated bilingual/ESL programs education into the core of the school system. The implementation of two-way developmental bilingual education programs, was strongly encouraged because of their proven effectiveness.
  • Ron Unz's Proposition 227 (California)

    Ron Unz's Proposition 227 (California)
    The "English for the Children initiative". This proposition eliminates bilingual education. Was passed in 1998, but is still debated today. Passage was a significant event in California 's educational history.
  • Proposition 203 in Arizona

    Proposition 203 in Arizona
    Similar to proposition 227 in California. Eliminates teaching students in any other language besides English.
  • No Child Left Behind Act

    No Child Left Behind Act
    Signed by President Bush is the successor of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. All English language learners will be tested annually to measure how well they are learning English, so their parents will know they are progressing. States and schools will be held accountable for results. Much debate over how helpful this is to non-native English speakers. Title VII was renamed Title III, the pedagogical emphasis is on English adquisition not the cultivation of bilingualism.