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Bilingual Education

Bilingual education programs in schools aim to teach students to listen, comprehend, speak, read, and write in a language other than their native tongue. This is done most effectively when use of their primary language is encouraged as well. Students in bilingual classes acquire greater skills and acquire them more quickly when they continue to practice both languages. This also increases their effectiveness in the other core classroom subjects and helps them to develop social competencies. A language may be acquired by being in the environment where the language is spoken and participating in that cultural setting, or it may be learned in a classroom with field techniques that allow practice in the new language. Therefore, one goal of bilingual education is to create an environment where students and their cultures are fully supported.


Baker, Colin. A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism. Clevedon, Eng.: Multilingual Matters, 2000.

Baker, Colin. Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Clevedon, Eng.: Multilingual Matters, 1997.

Baker, Colin, and Sylvia Prys Jones. Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Clevedon, Eng.: Multilingual Matters, 1998.

Valdes, Guadalupe, and Richard Figueroa. Bilingualism and Testing:A Special Case of Bias. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1994.

Deana Reimer

David Nelson

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 1