The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewRon Unz Archive
Support English Immersion Instead
Letter to the Editor
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

I agree with the general sentiments of “Repairing Bilingual Education” (editorial, Dec. 22), but you are wrong to recommend reforming the system in New York City rather than replacing it with English immersion.

English immersion is not “sink or swim” — that would be submersion. Instead, sheltered English immersion provides special classes in which English learners are taught English (together with academic subjects) as rapidly as possible, then mainstreamed once they have learned the language.

You are correct that English immersion works best with younger children — that is why the California and Arizona initiatives I sponsored were focused on immigrant students under age 10. However, the vast majority of the limited-English students in New York City and elsewhere enter school when they are quite young. Over half are American born, and most of the rest arrive before the age of 7. Older students who don’t know English have usually spent years in American schools, but in so-called bilingual programs that do not teach English.

I hope that you will re-examine the details of bilingual education and come around to endorsing efforts to replace that remarkably misguided program.

Ron Unz, Chairman
English for the Children
Palo Alto, CA, Dec. 22, 2000

(Republished from The New York Times (Letters) by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Bilingual Education 
Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Ron Unz Comments via RSS