Title

Reframing the Debate: The Roles of Native Languages in English-Only Programs for Language Minority Students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1994

Journal / Book Title

TESOL Quarterly

Abstract

The use of languages other than English in schooling is a subject of great controversy in the U.S., pitting those who hold assimilationist views (favoring English-only) against those who hold cultural pluralist view (favoring inclusion of the native language) (Secada & Lightfoot, 1993). A study of nine exemplary K-12 programs for language minority students in which English was the primary language of instruction showed that the incorporation of students' native languages in instruction need not be an all-or-nothing phenomenon. The use of the native language appears so compelling that it emerges even when policies and assumptions mitigate against it. Teachers who are monolingual English speakers or who do not speak the languages of all their students can incorporate students' native languages into instruction in many ways to serve a variety of educationally desirable functions. This article explores the complexities of the uses of students' native languages in schooling, describes and illustrates various ways these languages were used in the English-based but multilingual programs, and argues that programs for language minority students should be reconceptualized to move beyond the emotional and politically heated debate that opposes English-only instruction to native language instruction.

DOI

10.2307/3587307

Journal ISSN / Book ISBN

0039-8322

Published Citation

Tamara Lucas, & Anne Katz. (1994). Reframing the Debate: The Roles of Native Languages in English-Only Programs for Language Minority Students. TESOL Quarterly, 28(3), 537. https://doi.org/10.2307/3587307

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