A Survey of Bilingual Education Literature with Respect to the Theories of Berger andLuckmann, Collins and Marx
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Bilingual education serves varying purposes in different countries. With English fast becoming the language nations use to communicate with one another, an English-dominant country like the United States may see no reason to use any other language as the medium of instruction in the school system. However, bilingual education was legislated in the United States. Why? As will be specified in Part I, the 1968 Bilingual Education Act appears to assume that receiving instruction in ones native language while learning English will give such persons the ability to raise their level of income; subsequently, raising their standard to living. Thus, it interested me to discover if bilingual education actually has improved the lot of many language-minority groups; in particular, the Spanish-speaking. To do this, I intended to locate income and standard of living statistics on language-minority groups, and follow-up studies of students who participated in bilingual programs. The first was easily found in census data. However, longitudinal follow-up studies focusing on bilingual program participants were not to be found. It seems odd to imagine that legislation targeted at poverty-stricken language-minority groups was not followed by government studies. After all, how was the hypothesis on which the legislation was based to be tested? How could law-makers be sure of the effects of bilingual education on the standard of living of its recipients?