Annotated Bibliography on
Successful Bilingual Education
August, D. & Pease-Alvarez, L. (1996). Attributes of effective programs and classrooms serving English language learners. University of California, Santa Cruz: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
This monograph describes and illustrates attributes of effective schools and classrooms for bilingual learners based on theory, research, and experiential knowledge. The authors suggest that the value of these attributes needs to be carefully researched with respect to their effect on students' outcomes. Existing research is vague with respect to the criteria to determine effectiveness.
School-wide attributes are related to school culture, policy and organization, home/school/community partnerships, curriculum, staff, professional development, and program evaluation. Classroom attributes include creating a challenging and responsive learning environment, and designing instruction that fosters language development, provides a framework and context for learning, and creates opportunities for extended dialogue.
Berman, P. (1992, April). Meeting the challenge of language diversity: An evaluation of California programs for pupils with limited proficiency in English. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco.
A 2-year study of California's programs for elementary and secondary school students with limited English proficiency (LEP) found that the state's explosion of LEP students has led to significant classroom innovations. Some elementary schools with large numbers of students from one non-English language have developed bilingual programs allowing students to make the transition to English instruction while keeping abreast of the core curriculum. Researchers selected 15 "exemplary" elementary schools which had implemented one of five program models: bilingual late exit, bilingual early exit, double immersion, sheltered English, and English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) pull-out.
More difficulty was found in covering the curriculum at adequate skill levels in schools with children from many language and cultural groups, but some have developed exemplary approaches, particularly when using the children's native languages as much as possible. However, despite instructional advances, state policy has lagged in establishing a coherent method for assessing the academic progress of students in the different instructional models, with the result that the schools can not be held accountable for LEP students' progress and the effectiveness of the models themselves can not be evaluated. Eight recommendations are offered on the basis of the research team's findings.
Carter, T.; & Chatfield, M. (1986). Effective bilingual schools: Implications for policy and practice. American Journal of Education, 95 (1), 200-232.
Presents a paradigm of the relation between bilingual program effectiveness and school-wide effectiveness. Presents a case study of Calvin J. Lauderbach Community School, a southern California elementary school where both school and bilingual programs are effective. The effectiveness of the school was determined by processes (e.g. positive leadership, high staff expectations for children, strong internal support among staff), rather than structures or attributes.
The bilingual program at the Lauderbach is a two-way approach that includes students along the entire spectrum of Spanish-English bilingualism, from students who speak English only to students who speak Spanish only. The classes are team-taught, with one teacher speaking only English and the other speaking only Spanish. LEP students speaking languages other than Spanish each have a bilingual Individual Learning Program and receive instructional help in a regular English-speaking classroom. The strength and climate of the program mirrors that of the school.
Mutually reinforcing interaction between bilingual programs and school context produces high student achievement. The authors emphasize that the factors that create an effective school and an effective bilingual program are complex, interconnected and dynamic and often seem very unique; however, they are worth studying for rational school improvement that will come through key actors in the schools.
Cazabon, M., Lambert, W. & Hall, G. (1993). Two-way bilingual education: A progress report on the Amigos Program. Research Report, 7, Santa Cruz, CA: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
The Amigos two-way bilingual program in the Cambridge (Massachusetts) public schools is housed in two locations: the Maynard School for Grades K-3 and the Kennedy School for Grades 4-6 (see also Lambert & Cazabon 1994). This progress report on the Amigos program describes: research on the achievement in mathematics, Spanish, and English of Amigos students and students in control/comparison groups; data gathered on students' and parents' attitudes toward bilingualism and biculturalism; student's self-assessments of academic competence and self-esteem; teachers' judgments of students' academic competence and self-esteem; and social-interaction patterns among Amigos students from different ethnic backgrounds. Features and policies of the program are described in a discussion of the results.
It was concluded that Spanish and English language skills had improved steadily in participants of the Amigos, transitional bilingual, and standard English-only programs, but that Amigos students had not suffered any academic loss in mathematics or English despite having only half their instruction in English. By grade 3, Amigos students developed classroom friendships independent of race or ethnicity. While English-Amigos and English controls had favorable views of bilingualism, the Spanish-Amigos were most favorable. Spanish-Amigos also rated themselves highest in personal satisfaction. A tabulation of survey responses and a brief bibliography are appended.
Cazabon, M., Nicoladis, E., & Lambert, W. (1998). Becoming bilingual in the Amigos two-way immersion program. Santa Cruz, CA: Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence.
This report focuses on students' attitudes toward becoming bilingual in Spanish and English and their academic achievement in the two-way Amigos program in Cambridge, MA. It includes two case studies, the results of a questionnaire on students' bilingualism, and the results of Spanish and English reading and math standardized tests.
Two Salvadorian eighth grade students are featured, one native speaker of English and one of Spanish. Both students claim that the Amigos program is partly responsible for their high achievement. Both girls see the value of their bilingualism in terms of future employability and also appreciate the connection to other cultures that their bilingualism gives them.
According to the results of the questionnaire, most students are satisfied with the Amigos program. They claim to enjoy studying both Spanish and English, like the amount of instruction dedicated to Spanish, and do not feel they are behind in English. Both Spanish-Amigos and English-Amigos feel that they are highly proficient in both languages.
The researchers compare Amigos students' scores in math and reading on both the Spanish Achievement in Bilingual Education (SABE) test and the California Achievement Test (CAT) with scores from a Spanish-speaking control group and an English-speaking control group. In most cases, both groups of Amigos students scored as well as or better than the control groups in the English tests. The Spanish Amigos outscored the Spanish control in most grades, but it took the English speakers until 8th grade to have better results than the control students.
Cazden, C. (1984). Effective Instructional Practices in Bilingual Education. Washington, DC: E. H. White.
Descriptions of seven diverse bilingual education programs focus on instructional practices that have contributed to the programs' effectiveness as measured by exceptional student achievement, trained observers' perceptions of instructional quality, and the pride of professional staff and parents. The program settings and types include these: (1) a small, rural agricultural community in California with carefully proportioned bilingual education from kindergarten through eighth grade; (2) a year-round community school near the California/Mexico border with two-teacher team-taught bilingual education through sixth grade; (3) a barrio school in a large California city, where the program encompasses the entire school; (4) a northern plains Indian reservation, with a program focusing on the written form of the native Indian language; (5) a suburban school in a northeast city, serving a population speaking 30 languages; (6) a large city school with a history of both successful and unsuccessful bilingual education programs, this one serving kindergarten through high school with separation of language groups; and (7) a California city school having both immersion and bilingual programs.
Effective instructional features found in the 58 classrooms studied that are shared by bilingual and monolingual education programs alike and features unique to bilingual instruction are outlined and discussed. These features include (1) specified task process and outcomes, (2) high expectations for LEP students, (3) high engagement of students, (4) teachers who understand both students L1 and L2, and (5) accommodation of instructional language for students who are not yet proficient integrated with activities that are designed for learning L2.
Dentler, R. A. & Hafner, A. L. (1997). Hosting Newcomers: Structuring educational opportunities for immigrant children. New York: Teachers College Press.
This book describes a study of school districts that showed large increases of poor ethnic and language minority students in the 1980s. It focuses on 11 districts in the Soutwest and California. Three districts were considered high performing because they showed positive gains in achievement test scores, five were low performing, and three showed little change.
The book analyzes in detail the contrasts among these three types of districts with respect to programs, staff, instruction, district and school organization, various services offered for newcomers, and the history and culture of the community.
The high performing districts were Isaac in Arizona and Rosemead and National in California. They all offered bilingual education.
Faltis, C.J. & Hudelson, S.J. (1998). Bilingual education as a schoolwide concern. In Bilingual education in elementary and secondary school communities (pp. 63-81). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
To support the claim that successful programs develop in supportive school-community environments, the authors cite three studies of bilingual education programs and then provide examples of four specific schools from their research.
The 1986 Carter and Chatfield study examines three elementary schools with bilingual programs previously identified as successful. Carter and Chatfield found that all three schools demonstrate high academic expectations for students and do not accept a cultural-deprivation argument as the reason for low student achievement.
The 1993 Garcia study developed an instructional plan based on factors compiled from research on successful bilingual programs, including more learning in a meaningful context, more content related to students' lives, and more peer collaboration.
In 1990, Lucas, Henze, and Donato studied six high schools and identified eight characteristics of successful bilingual programs, including high academic expectations for language-minority students, high value placed by staff on students' language and culture, high parental involvement, additional counseling for language-minority students, and specific staff development.
The authors present a case study of an elementary school with an active principal who recognizes the importance of the Spanish language, provides content-area learning to students in their stronger language, holds parent-staff meetings that emphasize the importance of having a firm base in one's first language, has increased the budget for Spanish-language literature, and hires teaches who reflect this philosophy.
In the second case study, a school district paid for fifty existing elementary-school teachers to become certified in ESL after an elementary school's population increased from 10% to 40% Hispanic. Peer tutoring and student collaboration occurs in the strongest common language. The goals of the school's district are clearly stated.
Attributes of the middle school in the third case study included multicultural-extracurricular events, increased staff development, and Spanish language and culture books in the library.
The fourth case study of a 4000-student high school in which 50% of the students are recently-arrived immigrants isolates students for core courses in Spanish and mainstreams them for non-core courses in English. The authors conclude that the essential elements of successful bilingual programs are leadership support, community commitment, parental participation, and patience.
Garcia, E. (1988). Attributes of effective schools for language minority students. Education and Urban Society, 20(4), 387-398.
The article reviews the literature on effective education of language minority students. Garcia groups the characteristics of schools into program and instructional attributes. Schools with effective programs produce a school social climate that promotes positive outcomes. Characteristics crucial to an effective program are: a safe and orderly environment, positive leadership, a strong academic orientation resulting from clearly stated academic goals and well-organized classrooms, and well-functioning methods to monitor school inputs and student outputs. Other essential features include: high expectations of students and the instructional program, a strong demand for academic performance, denial of the cultural-deprivation argument, and high staff morale. Numerous instructional attributes are listed. They relate to incorporation of students' languages and cultures in the curriculum, the teaching of English and content area, as well as specific instructional strategies.
Garcia, E. (1991). Effective instruction for language minority students: The teacher. Journal of Education, 173(2), 130-142.
When evaluating the efficiency of bilingual education researchers focus in the assessment of bilingual education programs, and they overlook the contribution that bilingual education teachers do to the programs. Garcia explains some characteristics and teaching strategies that effective Spanish bilingual education teachers have and the contribution that they make to the program.
Garcia points out that effective bilingual education teachers are highly proficient in English and in Spanish. Teachers use both languages for instruction, switching from one language to another to achieve clarity in instruction. These teachers use instructional strategies that match the cultural and social patterns of their students, in order to promote student involvement and create a safe classroom environment. Small group instruction, active learning and student-to-student interaction discourse are among the strategies illustrated in this article.
Effective bilingual education teachers are consistent between their instructional philosophies and their teaching practice. They contribute to the efficiency of the bilingual programs by sharing with parents, supervisors and students their educational views. They understand the cultural and social patterns of the community they serve; and they incorporate cultural attributes into the curriculum. They use active teaching methods to promote student involvement and collaborative/cooperative learning. They give equal importance to norms and values from home and school.
Gersten, R. (1985). Structured immersion for language minority students: Results of a longitudinal evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 7 (3), 187-196.
A structured immersion program, coupled with an effective curriculum and empirically validated teaching procedure, was offered to elementary Asian students entering a California school. In this structured immersion model most of the lesson is conducted in English at a level that LEP students can understand. Teachers use a controlled vocabulary and there are always bilingual instructors in the class who can provide explanations in the childs native language when necessary. This approach appeared to have significantly better results for two different cohorts of students than their contemporary bilingual programs, and its effects were maintained for up to two years after completion.
Goldenberg, C. & Sullivan, Jessie (1994). Making change happen in a language minority school: A search for coherence. Educational Practice Report, 13, Santa Cruz, CA: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
This paper reports on a project aimed at improving academic achievement at a predominantly Latino elementary school in the metropolitan Los Angeles area. This school provides a transitional bilingual program for Spanish-speaking LEP students. Project activities were guided by a school change model that helped provide a coherent, sustained focus over a period of several years. The model suggests four elements that can be used to produce changes in teaching and learning: goals that are set and shared; indicators that measure success; assistance by capable others; and leadership that supports and pressures. Administration and faculty at the school, aided by University of California, Los Angeles researchers, made substantial improvements in teacher expectations, teaching, school climate, and student achievement.
Student achievement outcomes at this school were measured by informal, school-adopted assessments and by English and Spanish reading and writing standardized test scores during baseline years and again after three years of school reform. Over the three years the school improved in all assessments. Before the reform this school scored lower than both the district and state means on all standardized tests. Three years later, it scored higher than the district mean on all tests but lower than the state mean on English tests.
Holms, A. & Holms, W. (1990). Rock Point, a Navajo way to go to school: A valediction. Annals, AAPSS, 508, 170-184.
This article traces the evolution of a community-controlled day school with joint funding from the Bureau of Indian affairs and the Office of Economic Opportunity, and demonstrates how the commitment of the Navajo community of Rock Point provides children with better education. The school's program includes instruction in both Navajo and English. Students are taught to read first in Navajo, with English reading added in the second grade. Math is taught in both languages. In the third through sixth grade, students take most subjects in English except for Navajo literacy, social studies, and science.
Each year at the junior high school, students take a "science-in-Navajo" course. At the high-school level, students are expected to take the Navajo Social Studies component each year, consisting of courses in Navajo history, Navajo social problems, Navajo government, and Navajo economic development. Part of the academic program is an ongoing assessment of the students' learning in both Navajo and English. The authors attribute the success of the Rock Point program to low student-teacher ratios, expectations of high academic achievement, and the empowerment of the community-based Board, the Navajo and English-teaching staff, parents, and students.
Lambert, W. & Cazabon, M. (1994). Students' views of the Amigos Program. Research Report, 11, Santa Cruz, CA: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning
This report describes a pilot study of the attitudes and personal estimates of progress of students who have spent 4 or more years in the Amigos two-way bilingual program in Cambridge, Massachusetts (see also Cazabon, Lambert & Hall 1993). The program currently enrolls about 300 students: 50% native Spanish speakers and 50% native English speakers, approximately half of whom are African American. For half the day Spanish is the medium of instruction and English is used for the other half. A 25-questions survey was administered to Grade 4, 5, and 6 Amigo students designed to sound out their perceptions of the two-way language learning experience and the social world it provides.
Results showed that both English- and Spanish-Amigos are aware of their progress in acquiring skills in both Spanish and English; that both groups have confidence in their potential as teachers of these languages; and that both are sensitive to cultural norms governing language use outside of school. Results also showed that the majority of Amigo students are basically satisfied with the program; that they want to continue in it and in their own bilingual/bicultural development; and that they do not believe the program has jeopardized their academic progress nor their command of their first language. The study investigators believe that these perceptions and opinions of students are essential to the evaluation of the program's effectiveness and to the program's amelioration. Appended to the report are the responses displayed in tabular form by grade following each of the 25 questions. A brief second table gives data on average Spanish and English reading scores of the Spanish Amigos.
Lucas, T., Henze, R., & Donato, R. (1990). Promoting the success of Latino language-minority students: An exploratory study of six high schools. Harvard Educational Review, 60, 315-340.
The authors illustrate successful high-school bilingual programs using six longitudinal studies to provide educators with ideas and encourage them to have high expectations for language-minority students. Data collection for the studies occurred through questionnaires and interviews of administrators, program directors, and students. Additional means of data collection occurred through classroom and school-wide observations, and examination of student transcripts. Latino students were found to be from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds.
Factors found to be of importance for high achievement by language-minority students include placing high value on students' languages and cultures and seeing the students as individuals; hiring minority staff; encouraging and then recognizing achievement in students; providing staff development in such topics as cross-cultural communication, second-language acquisition, and the cultural/linguistic backgrounds of the students; establishing active leadership; offering courses for minority students which do not limit achievement; providing well-trained counselors; encouraging parental involvement; and making a commitment to empower language-minority students through education. Two tables provide outlines of features that promote achievement in academic courses, support programs, and extracurricular activities for language-minority students at the six high schools.
Mace-Matluck, B., Alexander-Kasparik, R. & Queen, R. (1998). Through the Golden Door: Educational Approaches for Immigrant Adolescents with Limited Schooling. McHenry, IL: Delta Systems & Center for Applied Linguistics.
This book focuses on a relatively undiscussed student population in the US and programs which have helped these students achieve their goals. Many of the secondary bilingual students, enter American schools with little or no previous schooling. For these students, there are additional challenges in an academic environment. Historically, they have low graduation rates and limited success in schools. The authors developed questionnaires and completed site visits to assess the components of four programs which have been successful with this student group.
Chapter three discusses the programs. Falls Church Transitional High School in Falls Church, VA and International Newcomer Academy in Ft. Worth, TX are ESL programs that provide sheltered instruction in the content areas. Elgin High School Bilingual Program in Elgin, IL and Español Aumentativo!, Spring Branch Independent School District, Houston, TX are Spanish bilingual programs. The descriptions focus on community characteristics, distinguishing features of these successful programs, student and faculty characteristics, program curriculum, and available materials. The authors also consider how students enroll in the program and the possibilities for accumulating credit, professional development opportunities for teachers, and the unique approaches to mainstreaming for students enrolled in the programs. For each of the four programs highlighted, the chapter includes information on these topics as well as a materials list and a contact person in the programs.
Through the Golden Door provides a window into the lives of students and teachers who are working to develop successful programs which meet the needs of limited schooling secondary students. It also provides the reader with a synthesis of important features of programs for student with limited schooling and the tools to gather additional information in this area.
McLeod, B. (1996). School Reform and Student Diversity: Exemplary Schooling for Language Minority Students. Washington, D.C. National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education.
This article synthesizes the findings of a study of four elementary and four middle schools with exemplary programs for language minority students. The schools do not represent one model program, but rather are characterized by resourceful and creative attempts to respond to the needs of their diverse populations. They share such features as inclusion, enriched curriculum and instruction, flexibility, coordination and strong drive.
In section one, the report describes how each program creates an exemplary environment for learning. High standards and goals were identified as contributing to the success of this effort. These goals include fostering mature English literacy, using native language literacy development as support; ensuring bilingual students equal access to challenging content courses through interdisciplinary and process approaches; organizing instruction through flexible grouping and team-teaching; prioritizing instruction time through creative scheduling; extending teachers roles and responsibilities to include curricular planning and staff development; promoting effective pedagogical methods; supporting students socially and emotionally; sensitively encouraging parental involvement; and maximizing the use and identification of resources.
Section two describes the various ways each program manages the issue of assessment. The report does not measure changes in student achievement as a result of program implementation. An appendix is included with descriptions of all eight schools. Seven of the schools have bilingual education programs: Del Norte Heights, El Paso; Hollibrook Elementary, Houston; Inter-American Elementary, Chicago; Graham and Parks School, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Horace Mann Academic Middle School, San Francisco; while some include sheltered instruction for low incidence students: Linda Vista Elementary, San Diego and Evelyn Hanshaw Middle School, Modesto USD, California. One school, Harold Wiggs Middle School in El Paso, offers only sheltered instruction in English.
Morison, Sidney (1990). A Spanish-English dual-language program in New York City. AAPSS Annals, 508, 160-169.
The dual-language program at Public School 84 provides immersion settings in Spanish and English, on an alternate-day basis, for classes containing both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children of varying degrees of language dominance. Teachers carefully avoid concurrent mixing of languages as they develop curriculum. Language itself is not taught; rather, it is learned through use in informal classroom structures that encourage social interaction. Bilingualism and biliteracy are expected outcomes by grade six but are secondary to the goal of academic growth. The dual-language program is an enrichment program that grew out of the schools earlier bilingual program, which was started in 1970 and rooted in the principles of heterogeneity and inclusion of childrens cultural backgrounds. It has been a collaborative effort of staff, parents and administration, with technical support from Professor Ricardo Otheguy of City College, New York.
This article is the school principals report of this program. It does not include any cited references.
Nelson, B. (1996). Learning English: How school reform fosters language acquisition and development for limited English proficient elementary school students. Santa Cruz, CA: The National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
This book describes a study of four elementary schools with outstanding language arts programs. the schools described are: Del Norte Heights in El Paso, Hollibrook in Houston, Linda Vista in San Diego, and Inter-American in Chicago. These four schools were chosen on the basis of three criteria: (1) high quality language arts programs for bilingual students, (2) significant school restructuring, and (3) successful and creative English acquisition programs.
There are three distinctive common characteristics among the four schools. First, their school wide vision for change included all students regardless of their English proficiency. The four schools restructured their organization through a bottom-up approach involving teachers and parents. Changes included non-traditional grade level assignments for teachers and students; organization of time to provide large blocks of instruction, teacher planning, and extended learning time; and strategies to increase parental involvement.
The second common characteristic was language acquisition and development. In three out of four schools, the bilingual students came from a Spanish-speaking background and those schools had either transitional or two-way bilingual programs. The bilingual students at the fourth school, which consisted of a variety of language backgrounds, were taught through sheltered instruction with some support in the native language.
The third characteristic that the researchers studied was the language arts curriculum. Teachers applied and adapted instructional strategies usually used with monolingual English speakers to improve bilingual students' speaking, writing, and reading skills. Teachers integrated these skills through programs such as Writer's Workshop, Reader's Workshop, and Accelerated Reading and by using Cooperative Learning Strategies.
Tikunoff, W. & Vazquez-Faria, J. (1982). Successful instruction for bilingual schooling. Peabody Journal of Education, 59, 234-271.
The author uses these findings to make policy recommendations regarding Title VII funds, including the use of funds to support research that can be used to develop bilingual education theory, rather than comparing competing program models. Research needs are noted.
Troike, R. (1978). Research evidence for the effectiveness of bilingual education. Arlington, VA: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education.
Despite limited research due to lack of funding and inadequate program evaluations, enough evidence has accumulated to indicate that quality bilingual programs can meet the goal of providing equal educational opportunity for students from non-English speaking backgrounds. A review of existing research supports this statement. In almost all cases, children in the bilingual programs performed as well as or significantly better than those in the control group. One carefully conducted longitudinal study showed mixed results, possibly because students in the bilingual program were introduced to reading in Spanish and English at the same time.
A recent study by Finnish researchers on the achievement of Finnish immigrant children in Sweden may have revolutionary significance for the education of linguistic minorities. Their evidence suggests that if children are submersed in instruction in another language before the age of ten, this exerts a destabilizing effect on the development of their native language as a tool for cognitive organization, especially if the children are members of a minority group. At a more fundamental level, the issue may be one of the relative social and cultural status of groups in the community. These issues, vital to the success of bilingual education, can be resolved only by continued research.
Watahomigie, L.J. & McCarty, T.L. (1994). Bilingual/bicultural education at Peach Springs: A Hualapai way of schooling. Peabody Journal of Education, 69 (2), 26-42.
This article discusses the Hualapai Bilingual Academic Excellence Program, including its development in 1975, its attributes, and its challenges. Hualapai is an indigenous language spoken by people in the southwestern region of the United States. However, most tribal members are now centered in Peach Springs, Arizona.
Hualapai is an unwritten language used extensively in social situations, hence young children are familiar with it. As of 1994, 50% of the Hualapai population of 1700 were of school age. There is one school of 220, of which 65% of the 99% Native American children are Hualapai. The purpose of the bilingual/bicultural program is to use the children's native language to encourage fluency in both that language and English. The staff of the program developed an orthography, a dictionary, a grammar, instructional materials, and social studies and language arts curriculum guides.
The curriculum is based on locally relevant topics, but makes extensive use of video and computers. Staff workshops, community awareness programs, and community needs assessments supplement the program. Challenges the program faces include the influence of popular media and mobility associated with employment and HUD housing. The authors conclude that the program's success is due to its local development, the originality of the curriculum (i.e. the instructional materials are not a translation of English materials), community-based leadership, community support, consistent funding, and a strong commitment to bilingual education.