The Historical Context for Dual Language Instruction in the United States
AbstractThe article addresses the historical development of the dual language instruction in the United States. The Americans have experienced a public attention to ‘language problems, which caused some radical changes in policies for educating language minority children and bilingual education programs. These policy shifts were caused by struggles over social dominance among cultural and ethnic groups within the larger society. Searching for the sources about the topic showed that the effort to create a social and political atmosphere in which cultural and linguistic diversity are not only accepted but also truly valued is a difficult one. The ideology of cultural and linguistic assimilation and the relative power and status of speakers of different world languages among mainstream, immigrant, and minority populations have created conflicting social and political agendas that play themselves out in reform initiatives in public schools. Bilingualism and bilingual education in the United States became the subject of renewed controversy as schools felt the impact of increasing immigration to the United States. As recent attention and validation has been directed toward Foreign Language and the National Foreign Language Standards that call for communicative competence, many schools are turning to dual language education to strengthen second language proficiency among students in the United States.