Bilingual Development and the Education of Bilingual Children during Early Childhood Author(s): Eugene E.

Garcia Source: American Journal of Education, Vol. 95, No. 1, The Education of Hispanic Americans: A Challenge for the Future (Nov., 1986), pp. 96-121 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: Accessed: 06/01/2010 18:47
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Bilingual Development and the Education of Bilingual Children during Early Childhood
EUGENE E. GARCIA Arizona State University studentshas consideredlinguistic, Earlyeducationof language-minority cognitive, and social attributesof children and schooling contexts. The bilingualnatureof the student and the instructionprovidedthat student have receivedconsiderableeducationalresearchattention.Bilingualism, once considered an educational liability,has recently been placed into new theoreticaland educationalperspectives.At the same time, research related to the effective instruction of language-minoritystudents has education emerged.Althoughfarfromcomprehensive, language-minority has a broadertheoreticaland empiricalfoundation from which present educationalpracticecan bejudged and future researchcan be designed. Introduction The issues surrounding bilingualism are of specific interest to a large bilingual segment of this nation's population and to scholars studying the general phenomenon of language acquisition (McNeil 1986). Other reviews of bilingualism and second-language acquisition have dealt with the definition of bilingualism, linguistic overlap, linguistic "interference," cognitive interaction, and theoretical issues related to each of these areas (see MacNamara 1967; McLaughlin 1984, 1985; Hakuta 1985). The purpose of the present review is to discuss some of these same issues in light of more recent research specific to bilingual development in young children in the United States. Therefore, this review (1) provides some functional information related to the social, linguistic, and psychological character of bilingual children, (2) analyzes what is known about how bilingual programs are being operated, and

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American Journal of Education

The remainder of this paper attempts to address issues related to the social context in which the development occurs. and the possible educational implications related to schooling. The above definition stresses the importance of the acquisition of two languages within social contexts during a very significant cognitive development period.Garcia (3) offers certain recommendations related to the education of bilingual students. the cognitive consequences of the development. particularly at early education levels. Early Childhood Bilingualism Defined The term bilingualism here suggests the acquisition of two languages during the first five years of life. after mastery of that language. however. For purposes of discussion social. Such an interactive framework best characterizes the complexity of bilingual development and the education of bilingual children during early childhood. His most recent volume is Advancesin Bilingual EducationResearch(University of Arizona Press. these processes are interactive in nature. He has published extensively in the areas of language acquisition. any specific EUGENE E. 1985). who. begins on a course of second-language acquisition. This definition includes the following conditions: 1. Furthermore. This is contrasted with the case of a native speaker of one language. In many cases this exposure comes from within a nuclear and extended family network. The simultaneous character of development must be apparent in both languages. Children are exposed "naturally" to the two systems of languages as they are used in the form of social interaction during early childhood. and the education of minority students. the character of that development. This condition requires a substantive bilingual environment. 3. bilingual development. linguistic. Children are able to comprehend and produce linguistic aspects of two languages. November 1986 97 . 2. but this need not be the case (visitors and extended visits to foreign countries are examples of alternative environments). and cognitive attributes of bilingualism will be separated. GARCIA is director of the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Education and professor of education at Arizona State University.

Kuo (1974) reports that the differential use of language by Chinese-American children is related to age and other socialization variables. in a study of Spanish maintenance among Mexican-Americans. the extent of bilingualism would be directly related to the proportion of language information made available. a child from a Mexican-American or Native American family will not necessarily talk about the same things-or use language to accomplish the same functions-as a child from an urban black or 98 American Journal of Education . One might tie the acquisition of either language to the general theoretical notion of "degree of linguistic input. McLaughlin 1984. Social Context As Reigel (1968) suggests. although both young and old alike used Spanish a substantial proportion of the time. If one considers the eventual bilingual character of the child. This is particularly the case for bilingual children. For example. neighborhood. Hakuta 1985)." Mathematically. it seems appropriate to suggest that some percentage of the child's linguistic information is in one language and some other percentage is in a second language. This simple relationship must be qualified because of several theoretical and empirical considerations. and children coming from different cultures will use language in ways that reflect their different cultures. some cautious notions of bilingual input seem justifiable. Skrabanek (1970). Although these data are not all-encompassing. church) that the children were asked to describe. Fortunately. any chronological record of the child's linguistic output coupled with linguistic-input information would allow an important correlational analysis of language development. found that the use of Spanish differed as a function of the age of the speaker: older subjects spoke more often in Spanish.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education educational intervention or analysis of such an intervention must consider this interactive framework. Language is learned within a child's culture. home. Although such extensive information remains unavailable. children for whom social functioning takes place in two languages. Edelman (1969) reports the differential use of Spanish and English vocabularies in Puerto Rican children on a word-naming task as a function of the different contexts (school. some systematic semblance of this type of data has become available for monolingual English-speaking children. some information of this caliber is becoming available for young bilingual children (Garcia 1983.

and yet their silences or "don't know" answers are interpreted as evidence of cognitive or language delay. as well as others. More than a decade ago. Labov (1970. I will protect myself by not answering until I know more about what's going on here. grammar. Duran (1981) and Garcia (1983). gives further weight to Labov's example. She reports that what seemed at first glance to be a disturbed language-switching situation became a systematic interactional discourse strategy that maximized communication. November 1986 99 . Functional conflicts of standard and nonstandard English: interference with the desire to learn standard English. For example. The key term here is "language use. Structural conflicts of standard and nonstandard English: interference with learning ability stemming from a mismatch of linguistic structures. "What's this?" is likely to get either no response or the answer "I don't know. An adult. and vocabulary) has been the traditional focus of language intervention for children. 2. Labov's research focused on both of these issues. Therefore.Garcia Anglo family. She points out that the children in her study switched languages (from English to Spanish or vice versa) depending on their own impressions of the listener's "stronger" language." This protection strategy is frequently employed by urban black children. Language form (phonology. p. 6) identified this duality in his own research and delineated two aspects of the problem: 1." It is impossible to say in this situation whether the child really does not know or is reasoning: "That question is too easy. Unfortunately. Anybody knows what that is. and he identified numerous functional conflicts between the nonstandard English of the urban black children that he studied and the standard English demanded by the school. Geneshi (1981). stemming from a mismatch in the functions that standard and nonstandard English perform in a given culture. this willingness to use more than one language in performance situations can cause real problems in traditional testing situations in which there a presumption that there is one "right"language and that the tester knows what it is. holding up a picture of a helicopter and asking a child." It is important to distinguish between the form of a child's language and the function served by that language. syntax. Labov found that many of the children that he studied were unwilling to answer questions that he could correctly answer. in a study of bilingual Mexican-American children in California. There must be some catch to this. curriculum developers and language testers are often slow to take advantage of these results. provide a wealth of similar information on Spanish/Englishbilingual populations.

A functional approach suggests that children concentrate first on what they can do with language. The functionalist approach to language holds that grammar is a secondary or derived system. a functional approach makes us interested in what Hymes (1967) calls the child's "communicative competence"-that is. Given such a perspective. as McNeil (1966) has previously indicated. then we need a nontraditional view of language. cultural diversity in language use becomes increasingly significant. even if we wish to identify and implement instructional procedures related to linguistic competence. If we wish to assist in developing a child's knowledge of constructs beyond subject-verb agreement and past-tense verbs. (3) the specific linguistic and sociolinguistic rules governing code switching. our methods must inherently be concerned with communicative functions." The child's task is one of mapping a diverse set of semantic and pragmatic functions onto a set of grammatical forms. Cazden (1970) refers to a functional view of language-that is. if we want to know whether children can use language functionally in the environment. and (4) the prestige of the language and. the child's knowledge of rules for speaking meaningfully.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education Functional Language A functional approach to language acquisition is not a recent development. the motivation to learn/ maintain or ignore/dissipate language differentially. not by abstract categories. therefore. related to the constraints of the communication task. In other words. for. but by the pragmatic and semantic structure of communications interacting with the performance constraint of the speech channel. Moreover. "The child's acquisition of grammar is guided. they must consider the child's surrounding environment. The key to this approach is the notion that grammatical structure cannot be understood outside the context in which language is used (Bloom 1970). (2) the specific social language use rules for each language. for the environmental context will determine (1) the specific linguistic and metalinguistic information important for the development of each language. but it is also of direct importance to the understanding of language acquisition in general. Useful accounts of early childhood bilingualism must therefore take into consideration more than the child's linguistic ability. This form of analysis is one of the most needed within the bilingual research domain. As Bates (1976) indicates. differential 100 American Journal of Education . It is also one that holds much promise for providing information drawn directly from bilingual acquisition. one that focuses on how the child brings language to bear to meet the demands of the situations in which language is used.

Geissler (1938) reports. this difficulty was most apparent in the language-mixing character of some children's speech. Smith (1935). In the United States. anecdotally. the Tukano tribal language serves as the lingua franca. Braine 1976). Sorenson (1967) describes the acquisition of three to four languages by young children who live in the Northwest Amazon region of South America. in a study of missionary families who spoke English and Chinese. that as a teacher of foreign languages he has observed young children acquire up to four languages simultaneously without apparent difficulty. Skrabanek (1970) reports the continued acquisition and support of both English and Spanish language systems among preschool children of our Southwest. who set out to study the simultaneous acquisition of English and German in his own child. Finding few deleterious effects of bilingual development. and the languages developed simultaneously with minimal confusion. but there continue to exist some 25 clearly distinguishable linguistic groups. Bilingual Development The previous discussion related to language function does not negate the significance of language form development. she seemed to meld both November 1986 101 . Ronjat (1913) reports the development of French and German in his own son when one parent consistently spoke French and the other German. 1949). and other research has employed comparative linguistic analysis with children who are learning different languages (Bowerman 1975. One of the first systematic investigations of bilingual acquisition in young children was reported by Leopold (1947. reports that they encountered difficulty during simultaneous acquisition. A much smaller set of systematic investigations is available regarding children who are simultaneously developing more than one language during the early part of their lives. French and Serbian. These initial descriptive reports indicate that as the subject was exposed to both languages during infancy. he attributed positive outcomes to the separation of the languages.Garcia development of specific language features in the course of bilingual acquisition may very well signal important relationships between that differential development and sociocultural variables. Pavlovitch (1920) also reports the development of two languages. this phenomenon has existed for the past hundred years with no indication that it will be disrupted. Much research has centered on the form of single-language development (Bates 1976). However. in his son: the languages were similarly separated according to the individuals addressed. In this Brazilian-Columbian border region.

New 102 American Journal of Education . Moreover. she reports the significant occurrence of mixedlanguage utterances that made use of both the Spanish and English lexicons as well as both Spanish and English morphologies. (3) Older children scored higher on these measures in both languages (this was the case even though Spanish was not used as a medium of instruction for children who were in educational programs). More recent studies have systematically addressed several issues relevant to bilingual acquisition. found regional differences in the relative occurrence of switched-language utterances. (2) For the bilingual children studied. in a national study of bilingual children 4. acquisition of English was more advanced in both the quantity and quality of obtained morphological and syntactic instances of language production. In all such cases these mixed-linguistic utterances were well formed and communicative. children were heterogeneous. Carrow (1971. and New Mexico showed higher (15 percent to 20 percent) incidences of languageswitched utterances than did children from California. 5. (2) A greater proportion of children scored higher in English than in Spanish. Language production during later periods seemed to indicate that the use of English and German grammatical forms developed independently. whereas others were equal in both. (1981). early language forms were characterized by free mixing. Arizona.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education languages into one system during initial language-production periods. The results of that study can be summarized as follows: (1) Acquisition of both Spanish and English was evident at complex morphological (grammatical) and syntactic levels for Spanish/ English-bilingual 4-year-old children. (3) There was no quantitative or qualitative difference between Spanish/English-bilingual children and matched English-only controls on English-language production. Garcia et al. Huerta (1977) has provided a report of a longitudinal analysis for a Spanish/English-bilingual 2-year-old child. for instance. Garcia (1983) reports developmental data related to the acquisition of Spanish and English for Spanish/English-bilingual preschoolers (3-4 years old) and to the acquisition of English for a group of matched English-only speakers. A comparison of English and Spanish comprehension on comprehension tasks for bilinguals (Carrow 1971) revealed the following: (1) Linguistically. Illinois. Colorado. She reports a similar pattern of continuous Spanish/English development. 1972) restricted her study to the receptive domain of young bilingual Mexican-American children in the Southwest. some scored better in one language than in another. Spanish/Englishbilingual children from Texas. and 6 years of age. although identifiable stages appeared in which development in one language exceeded that in the other. that is.

Given information relating early childhood bilingualism to decreased performance on standardized tests of intelligence. these conclusions are very broad in character. suggested that the intellectual experience of acquiring two languages contributed to an advantageous mental flexibility. Of course. cognitive tasks. Leopold (1949). With the general shift away from standardized measures of intelligence. (3) The acquisition of two languages may very well result in an interlanguage. or Florida. competency in one language may lag. reported a general cognitive plasticity for his young bilingual subject. Although this pervasive negative relationship characterizes much early work (Darcy 1953). These findings suggest that some children may develop an "interlanguage" in addition to acquiring two independent language systems later in development. incorporating the aspects (lexicon. (2) The acquisition of two languages can be parallel. especially at prekindergarten levels. developmentally. or develop equally with that in the other. and Bilingualism Cognitive processes are also related to bilingual acquisition in early childhood. Padilla (1977) reasoned that bilinguals must be cognitively advanced because they are able to process information provided in one language and produce allied information in another November 1986 103 . Peal and Lambert (1962). (4) The acquisition of two languages need not hamper. Intelligence. morphology. a causal statement linking bilingualism to depressed intelligence is tempting. in one of the first investigations of bilingual acquisition in young children. the methodological problem of studies investigating this type of relationship are serious and any conclusions concerning bilingualism and intellectual functioning (as measured by standardized individual or group intelligence tests) must be considered extremely tentative in nature (Darcy 1963). superior concept formation. the acquisition of either language. The above findings on development can be capsulized succinctly (but not without acknowledging their tentative nature) as follows: (1) The acquisition of more than one language during early childhood is a documented phenomenon. that is.Garcia York. in a summary of their work with French/English bilinguals and English monolinguals. He suggested that linguistic flexibility (in the form of bilingualism) generalized to nonlinguistic. The specific nature of bilingual development and its causal links to environmental variables remain unknown. exceed. but need not be. and syntax) of both languages. and a generally diversified set of mental abilities. the information processing of bilingual children as it is related to specific areas of cognitive development has received attention. Cognition.

The first. Results from English and German posttests indicated that the concept was acquired in both languages. The third. required subjects to identify an object (a cup) after its shape had been altered (smashed) in their presence. and switched labels (of the second task) in a sentence describing a relation between the labeled items ("The wug is on the plate"). Results indicated significantly increased cognitive flexibility for bilinguals.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education language. required subjects to use familiar. required subjects to label familiar items with either nonsense words ("wug") or to switch the names of these familiar items (label a cup a "glass" and vice versa).) For example. an object-constancy task. Cummins (1979. and Cummins and Gulatson (1974) have begun to provide relevant evidence in this regard. This interactionist position attempts to account for the success of Canadian-French-immersion bilingual programs for English-speaking children and the failure of English-immersion programs for Spanish-speaking children in the United States. Feldman and Shen (1971) report differential responding between Spanish/English bilinguals and English monolinguals across three separate cognitive tasks. 1963) to considering them as cognitively advantaged-while at the same time continuing to consider the potential negative influence of nonbalanced bilingualism. This formulation presents most directly the shift away from viewing bilinguals as cognitively disadvantaged (Darcy 1953. In an attempt to identify more specifically the relationship between cognition and bilingualism. Feldman and Shen (1971). Carringer (1974). 1981) has proposed an interactive theoretical proposition-that children who achieve "balanced proficiency" in two languages are advantaged cognitively in comparison with monolingual children and that children who do not achieve balanced proficiency in two languages (but who are immersed in a bilingual environment) are cognitively disadvantaged in comparison to monolingual and balanced-proficient bilinguals. nonsense. and produce the answer in a second language. solve that problem. 104 American Journal of Education . Ianco-Worrall (1972). an associative-sentence task. Comparison of scores on these tasks indicated that bilinguals concentrated more on attaching meaning to words than on sounds. This suggests the possible increased flexibility of bilinguals during conceptual acquisition. lancoWorrall (1972) compared matched bilinguals (Afrikaans/English) and monolinguals (either Afrikaans or English) on separation of wordsound and word-meaning tasks. The second. Keats and Keats (1974) report a study in which German/English bilinguals who did not demonstrate the ability to conserve weight in a Piagetian task were trained to conserve in one of the two languages. a nonsenselabeling and switched-name task. (I refer here to the ability of a child to understand a problem statement in one language.

it remains possible that individual differences in intellectual functioning. In sum. in which a premium was put on education and learning a second language was openly rewarded. but it is known that (1) bilingual children score both higher and lower than monolingual children on specific and general measures of cognitive development. 1963. It seems that almost all of the basic linguistic skills (phonology. Cummins 1979). these data must be perceived as tentative and be considered as further evidence of the need for more specific research concerning the relationship between language and cognition. not vice versa. successful subjects came from either majority. Moreover. Like so much of the data in the study of bilingualism. he notes. the data used to support the interactionist position are primarily Canadian. any detailed conclusion concerning the relationship between the bilingual character of children and cognitive functioning must remain tentative. (2) balanced bilinguals have outperformed monolinguals and nonbalanced bilinguals on specific cognitive tasks. and (3) specific hypotheses relating bilingualism to cognitive and intellectual functioning have been advanced (Darcy 1953. morphology. intelligence. syntax) of adult November 1986 105 . it is not necessary to account for differences in bilinguals' (balanced or nonbalanced) and monolinguals' cognitive performances in terms of a cognitively advantaged/cognitively disadvantaged conceptualization. Instead. or high socioeconomic strata. It is likely that only high-achieving and highly intelligent children were selected for inclusion into bilingual education groupings. these same data have previously been criticized from the perspective of a more severe subject-selection criterion. In sum. cognitive advantages that may have existed prior to bilingual instruction may have contributed to the success of bilingual development. Learning a second language under such conditions is quite different from a situation in which doing so is dictated by economic depression as well as by social and psychological repression of a minority language culture.Garcia Garcia (1983) takes issue with this interactionist conceptualization on several grounds. middle. Educational Childhood Implications for Bilingual Education in Early It is almost universally accepted that language and social repertoire have their origins in early childhood years. are the factors responsible for any specific differences in bilinguals' and monolinguals' performance on cognitive measures. combined with the support or nonsupport of the social context in acquiring linguistic and academic skills. First. and school achievement. Therefore. Second.

social interaction styles) are significantly influenced during these years. instruction of bilingual Spanish-dominant preschool children in their native language and English was significantly superior to the education of a matched group of children who received instruction only in English. social identity. Commission on Civil Rights 1974. Youth. bilingual education is a natural extension of the maturing of early childhood education and will hold a prominent position in future years. concept development. psychological. As Williams (1978) concluded. Specifically. the instructional staff must be able to communicate in the child's native language and the instructional curriculum must also significantly reflect the child's native language. staff training.S. on measures that reflected English-language development. Troike (1981) addressed program evaluation concerns and the results of recent bilingual education program evaluations. Consequently. p. resource network development. one motive for early educational intervention has been the potential removal of barriers related to the development of these important linguistic. With respect to early childhood programs for bilinguals. the Administration for Children. the importance of allowing children to use and develop the language they know best becomes obvious" (U. The results of the evaluation of these curriculum development efforts are now available (Sandoval-Martinez 1982). and social attributes. contexts that varied across language of instruction (Spanish/English. In a review of selected bilingual education program data. it would be important to recognize the linguistic and cultural character of these children. the U. bilingual-bicultural programs" (Arenas 1978). Chinese/English.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education language as well as important personal and social attributes (self-concept. and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services initiated a national effort to assist local Head Start centers to "implement and develop. Efforts were aimed at four areas: curriculum development. and as the vehicle for complex thinking. 44). French/English. this review reports positive academic achievement results for bilingual education program students compared to similar regular-program students in several U. Commission on Civil Rights spoke directly to issues of language diversity and education by stressing the importance of early childhood instruction incorporating the native language of the children it serves.S. "When language is recognized as the means for representing thought. and research and evaluation of curriculum development and implementation efforts. In 1974. and Navajo/English). 106 American Journal of Education . and perceptual motor development. In line with the above recommendation. To put the matter directly.S. As this evaluation has reported. An evaluation of bilingual Head Start curriculum effects (Sandoval-Martinez 1982) has indicated that.

5. Wong-Fillmore and Valadez (1985. Instruction in the native language of LEP students allows them to participate in school. Subject matter November 1986 107 . this exposure to English is best when it takes place in settings in which the learners' special linguistic needs help to shape the way the language gets used. Knowledge and skills are more easily acquired by LEP students in their native language. 2. as long as it is appropriately tailored for them. 3. and to acquire the skills and knowledge covered in the curriculum while they are learning English. Program Attributes Research and theoretical contributions related to language-minority education and specific educational initiatives have generated several sets of general assumptions that have guided program development and implementation. Students who are less than fully proficient in the school language will have difficulty deriving academic benefit from their educational experience. 654) have generated an expanded set of assumptions on which much of the language-minority education in the United States presently rests: 1. Students need adequate exposure to the language of school in order to acquire it as a second language. Recently Willig (1985) reported metaanalysis results that suggest overall positive effects for bilingual programs. Conversely. Subject matter instruction which is given in English can provide the exposure that LEP students need.Garcia bilingual instruction was more effective than regular preschool instruction. and to build on those prior assets in school. since the inability to understand the language in which instruction is given precludes comprehension of the content of that instruction. 4. p. It also allows them to make use of skills. they will get little out of their school experience if they are instructed exclusively in that language. It takes LEP students time to acquire the level of proficiency in English that is needed to participate effectively in all-English classes. but computational skills and many literacy skills acquired in the native language can be transferred to the new language once it is mastered. Baker and De Kanter (1983) conclude that no clear evidence for bilingual education effects on English development is available. Hence time spent in learning materials in the native language is not time that is lost with respect to the coverage of subject matter in school. knowledge and experiences they already have. During the time it takes to learn English.

then. Tikunoff (1983) provides a descriptive analysis of 108 American Journal of Education . 2. 654) These extensive guidelines for language-minority program development emphasize several common features related to prominent home/native language use and development.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education instruction in the school language is an essential component of bilingual education. Conversely. whether it is formal or informal. these are the foundations of academic development. their social and cultural experiences. How. The child will not fall far behind in subject matter learning because children learn many things without understanding the medium of instruction. Moreover. and their knowledge of the world are affirmed in school. Survey work by Halcon (1981) and Development Associates (1984) provides some general patterns of language-minority instruction in the United States. (Ruiz 1985. 7. 3. This child should receive as much exposure to English as possible in the early years. Learning English is the key to successful school achievement. The academic potential of all children. guidelines emphasizing minimal or no utilization of the native/home language are also available: 1. 6. is an integral part of American bilingual education programs. since this is the fastest way in which the child will learn English. 100) As is apparent. (Wong-Fillmore and Valadez 1985. the educational debate regarding the identification of the best programs for language-minority students has not been totally resolved. p. ESL. including those served by bilingual programs. have the best chance of being realized when their language skills. p. Formal instruction in English as a second language (ESL) can help students get started learning the language. having identified guidelines from which the ideal might develop does not automatically ensure implementation at the program level. might present educational programs for language-minority students be characterized? What Is Being Done? Previous discussions of models and guiding assumptions related to educational programming for language-minority students remain significant only if some notion of actual program implementation is available.

Somewhat typically. all of that experience had been in the language-minority program (usually in his or her respective district). the director of the program had more than seven years' total experience in education but only five years' experience with the specific language-minority program in his or her district. Instructional aides were omnipresent in these programs and had two to five years' experience. It was used more frequently than the native language in the typical classroom. and (4) linguistic characteristics. ESEA). it appears that segregation of target children may be a typical occurrence in some schools. Less than 20 percent of the students eligible for federal program support were identified as participants in the existent federal programs.-Typically. (3) staff experience. Programs at these levels were designed primarily for students who were both entering at this level and new to the district. The data reveal that English was the language used by the majority of programs. And a more intensive study by WongFillmore et al. (2) enrollment characteristics. Grade levels served. few children were given the opportunity to continue with their bilingual instruction after completion of elementary school. as described in this profile. Enrollment characteristics. Language-use characteristics.-English was the language most widely used in bilingual programs. The average size of the classroom had also increased. in many cases. Moreover. but only two to five years' experience in the languageminority classroom in his or her respective district. in an urban area. The following summary of these characteristics describes the structure of a typical program at the school-site level. ProNovember 1986 109 . The teacher had more than five (but less than seven) years' experience in education. does not place emphasis on native-language instruction. Halcon (1981) sampled some 224 schools throughout the United States that had received three to five years of federal support for the education of language-minority students (under Basic Grants. in a district that was closing schools.-The typical program served either K-grade 6 or K-grade 3. in terms of both the number of its classrooms and the number of clients that it served.-The typical program had grown in the last five years. In summary. With respect to the ethnic makeup of these schools. Staffing. (1985) provides a more focused picture of specific educational program attributes and their effects on language-minority student education. the typical program. The findings of that study were summarized into four categories: (1) grade levels served. The program did not continue into junior high or high school. Title VII. the school that sponsored the program was declining in enrollment.Garcia effective program features. and.

etc. 3-25) recommended caution regarding their estimates. Most administrators (program directors. The estimates were considered conservative because (1) the sampling of the kindergarten and grade 6 LM-LEP (language-minority-limited-English-proficient) populations was statistically restricted.) had less than seven years' experience in education. The number of schools selected in each state was determined by using a probability sampling formula that took into account the proportion of language-minority students in the state. (4) some 20 percent of these students were mainstreamed into all-English medium classrooms during the year. This study utilized both the data of the local school district and its definition of language-minority students. coordinators. The findings of this study suggest that in 1983-84.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education grams at the upper grade levels were intended primarily for students entering and not for those continuing. and (6) in the 10 states that account for more than 80 percent of the U. based on local definitions and information supplied by local district officials. Use of this sampling technique allowed the study to make broader generalizations (weighted estimates) regarding the character of instruction available to language-minority students in the United States. pp. In contrast to Halcon's study of only federal programs serving language-minority students. some 25 percent of schools reported that 11 percent to 20 percent of 110 American Journal of Education . (1) a reported 94 percent of the identified language-minority students were receiving some form of special services.-In estimating the number of language-minority students served. Finally. Development Associates (1984. (2) approximately 76 percent of these students had Spanish as the home/native language. and (3) some teachers reported being aware of students not labeled as LM-LEP who needed LM-LEP services. federal program officers. Staff that implemented programs were relatively inexperienced in the education of language-minority students. Development Associates (1984) analyzed a sample of 335 schools in 191 public school districts representing 19 states that were serving language-minority students (K-grade 5) regardless of funding sources for such programs. (3) sampled schools reported three to four times as many first-grade students as fifth-grade students. instructional aides were utilized extensively for instructional purposes. Relatively few teachers had more than three years' of general educational experience. Half as many had three years' experience in languageminority program classrooms. Gradelevels served. (2) pressures exist in some districts and schools to understate their LM-LEP counts in order to show high percentages of such students being served. language-minority student population.S. (5) schools with smaller enrollments of these students mainstreamed a greater percentage of them.

Staffing. The exact nature of the special treatment remains unclear. O'Malley 1981) regarding (1) the higher proportion of language-minority students in the early grades. (2) the concentration of students in specific states. (3) Only 50 percent of the teachers primarily responsible for language-minority student instruction reported speaking a language other than English. ranging November 1986 111 . In addition. In general. These estimates suggest that in these 10 states.Garcia their student body were LM-LEP and 27 percent reported that their population of LM-LEP students was 21 percent or more. the following salient features were reported: (1) Eight separate treatments regarding the use of the native/home language were identified. (2) Teachers of language-minority students had a medium of 10.-The staffing of language-minority programs reported by Development Associates is highly similar to that reported by Halcon (1981): (1) The school serving language-minority students in grades 1-5 had 4. Halcon (1981) reported that less than 20 percent of eligible language-minority students were receiving treatment provided by federal funds. and 1.1 resource or instructional support staff (paraprofession and/or professional). Language use. professional teachers for these students are less experienced and not likely to have received specific credential-related professional training. For those schools sampled by Developmental Associates (1984). 3. however.-Recall that one of the key issues related to languageminority student treatment relates to a decision regarding the use of the student's native/home language within the instructional intervention.5 paraprofessionals. and (3) the large number of students that move yearly from special programs to mainstream programs. However. this study reports an extremely high (94 percent) special service-provision index for language-minority student populations.0 teachers. This staffing information continues to suggest that paraprofessionals are utilized extensively in instructional programs for language-minority students. The Development Associates (1984) data suggest that resources other than those from the federal government were being utilized for special language-minority student instruction. and more than 50 percent of them are unable to speak the language of the student.8 years of experience teaching language-minority students. and 5. and only 28 percent of these teachers had obtained language-minority education-related credentials. more than 50 percent of these teachers had three or less years' experience in teaching languageminority students. it is significant that districts report such a high incidence of special treatment for language-minority students. These data support other findings (Halcon 1981. more than 50 percent of schools in that state have 10 percent or more language-minority student enrollments.7 years of teaching experience in grades K-6.

Halcon [1981] and Development Associates [1984]) is meant to help delineate the structural characteristics of a typical language-minority education program.. students. The 58 classrooms observed in this study come from six sites and include a variety of non-English languages. The majority (90 percent) of schools in this study report the use of both the native/home language and English during instruction. (3) Sixty percent of the sampled schools reported that both the native/home language and English were used during instruction. A majority (60 percent) of these schools used the native/home language substantially. the teaching behaviors produced rates of academic learning time-a measure of student engagement on academic tasks-as high as or higher than those reported in other research on effective teaching. members of four constituencies-teachers. but not without some concern for the use of the student's native/home language. only 3 percent reported use of English only. (2) Ninety-three percent of the schools sampled reported that use of English was a key ingredient in their programs. a clear majority (93 percent) of these schools reported that the use of English dominated instructional programs. and parents. and is exposed to a classroom environment where English clearly predominates. It is not difficult to surmise that a variety of programs presently exist when it comes to the educational treatment of language-minority students. is served primarily at early entrygrade levels. conversely. The development and elaboration of each of the above salient features of each of these studies (i. Program Attributes of Effective Programs Are there any commonalities in the organization and content of effective programs of classroom instruction for language-minority students? The most systematic attempt to answer that question comes from Tikunoff (1983) in the report of the Significant Bilingual Instructional Features Study (SBIF). 7 percent indicated that use of the native/home language was the key ingredient.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education from only the use of native/home language to total nonuse of the native/home language. whereas a significant minority (30 percent) used it to a lesser degree.e. However. they were nominated by other school personnel. (4) Thirty percent of the sampled schools reported minimal use of the home/native language. is likely to receive instruction from less experienced and paraprofessional staff in schools. second. 112 American Journal of Education . this population of students seems not to be primarily served by federal programs. Regardless of the reported use of the native/home language. All were considered effective on two criteria: first.

An additional significant instructional feature was the particular way November 1986 113 .-An initial set of instructional features identified in the 58 effective classrooms pertains to the communication and organization of instruction: 1. An additional 46 percent of the school day was spent in grouped instruction.-Instructional features unique to language-minority student education included the use of two languages. students were required to cooperate with other students or to work in teams very infrequently. (c) monitoring students' progress. The most common substructure activity across all classes was involvement of more than two-thirds of the students working directly with the teacher in a recitation-like activity. specifying tasks. 3. that is. like effective teachers generally. 5. and instructional practices that took advantage of students' cultural background. 4. Successful teachers of LEP students. and communicating their expectations for students' success in completing instructional tasks. Students worked on instructional tasks independently for more than 90 percent of the average school day. According to the SBIF report. When students worked on instructional tasks that involved the creating of a product. they communicate (a) high expectations for LEP students in terms of learning and (b) a sense of efficacy in terms of their own ability to teach. the form and content of the product was described by the teacher more than 90 percent of the time. special activities for teaching a second language. In addition. Successful teachers of LEP students specify task outcomes and what students must do to accomplish tasks competently. Individualized instruction was very rare. exhibit use of active teaching behaviors that have been found to be related to improved student performance on academic tests of achievement in reading and mathematics. English was used approximately 60 percent of the time. and either the student's native language or a combination of the native language and English was used the rest of the time. promoting involvement. Students were instructed as a single group for slightly more than half of the school day. (b) obtaining and maintaining students' engagement in instructional tasks by pacing instruction appropriately. and (d) providing immediate feedback regarding the students' success whenever required. including (a) communicating clearly when giving directions. and presenting new information. 2. with the percentage of English increasing with grade level. Unique instructionalfeatures.Garcia The SBIF findings can be divided into two parts: instructional features common to bilingual and monolingual education and instructional features unique to bilingual education. 6. Shared instructionalfeatures.

These included creating a non-competitive atmosphere and avoiding bringing attention in any way to individual children. The SBIF study reports that the use of information from the LEP students' home culture can promote engagement in instructional tasks and contribute to a feeling of trust between children and their teachers. The Navajo teacher.and Chinese-background language-minority students.. (Tikunoff 1983. The SBIF researchers found three ways in which home and community culture is incorporated into classroom life: (1) Cultural referents are used to communicate. This integrative approach to developing English-language skills during ongoing instruction in the regular classroom contrasts with the more traditional. instructional and institutional demands. pull-out procedures. in both verbal and nonverbal forms. seemed to have established with the class a set of Navajo-based ground rules. The other teacher who instructed in English exclusively seemed to operate with Anglobased ground rules which were in direct opposition to those established by the Navajo teacher. 17 Hispanic.and Chinese114 American Journal of Education . pushy and aggressive" with their Anglo teacher. In this study. (1985) provide a detailed analysis regarding the influence of classroom practices on the development of oral English in Hispanic. 46) The cultural appropriateness of teaching practices is here identified as being as important as the language of instruction in achieving maximum student attention to the task at hand. alternating between the two languages whenever necessary to ensure clarity of instruction. The teacher accomplished this by not calling students by name.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education in which the two languages were often combined: (1) Successful teachers of LEP students mediated instruction for LEP students by using the students' native language and English for instruction. p.. and (3) values and norms of the native culture are respected equally with those of the school. Oral language development. behavior which was never observed while they were with their Navajo teacher. (2) Students learned the language of instruction when engaged in instructional tasks expressed in that language.. The SBIF report provides a particularexample from a Navajo classroom: One entire group of LEP students was observed as "loud. whether teaching through English or Navajo. (2) instruction is organized to build upon rules of discourse from the native culture. in which LEP students leave the regular instructional setting to receive ESL instruction.-Wong-Fillmore et al. accepting answers which were called out and by not insisting on children raising their hands.

this study identifies the potential importance of peer interaction during English-language acquisition and the influence of initial English-language proficiency levels. Classrooms in which teachers who adjusted the language level of their interaction based on student feedback were more likely to produce English-language gains. classroom observations documented the character of teacher-student and student-student interaction as well as the organizational features of instruction. much like the SBIF study. Chinese-background students seemed to do best under classroom conditions in which they received independent help on English-language learning and in classrooms in which the instructional style was characterized by teacher-directed instruction. However. November 1986 115 . Instructional practices that were related to English-language development were dependent on the student's initial level of English proficiency. In addition. These authors reported a series of potentially significant observations: 1. 2. This report.and Chinese-background language-minority students) as they relate to classroom practices that affect English-language development.versus Chinesebackground students. strongly suggests that teachers can play a significant role in English-language development for language-minority students. These students were in classrooms that either used both the native/home language during instruction or used only English during instruction. Therefore. Allowing and encouraging student participation and calling attention to the structure of language while using it were characteristics that also enhanced this process. these researchers report that growth in English-language production and comprehension was related to several attributes of student-teacher interaction. In addition. The instructional variables that were related to enhanced Englishlanguage development were different for Hispanic. Specific measures of English-language production and comprehension were obtained over an academic-year period. instructional practices such as high levels of teacher and peer interaction were more highly related to enhanced English development for nonproficient speakers of English. Moreover. this study provides a distinct set of observations that indicates the importance of ethnolinguistic student differences (specifically those between Hispanic.Garcia language-minority student classrooms (13 third grade and 4 fourth grade) served as sites. Hispanicbackground students demonstrated enhanced oral English-language development under classroom conditions in which more opportunities to interact with English-speaking peers existed. A companion study directly evaluated the effect of classroom practices on those students who had minimal (from no to one year's) exposure to English.

Cognitively. however: (1) Are these advantages related to bilingualism or to other (potentially cultural) variables associated with bilingualism? (2) Are these advantages related to proficiency 116 American Journal of Education . a bilingual experience in early childhood does not. Unfortunately. Moreover. there is no evidence of advanced linguistic development by bilinguals when compared with matched monolinguals. linguisticand cognitivedevelopment? it seems clear that exposure to two language systems and subsequent proficiency in these two languages does not retard linguistic or cognitive development. Yet. The character of controlled research environments-the uncharacteristic control of intervention-often precludes generalization of findings to real classrooms. to construct more general semantic categories-than do monolingual peers. Critical questions remain. Will bilingual educationeffortsin earlychildhood negativelyaffectchildren's Given the data discussed previously. that is. important questions still remain: (1) How are differences in the qualitative nature of the bilingual experience related to linguistic and cognitive development? (2) How are cognitive process variables related to bilingual development? Do bilingual education effortsin early childhoodpositivelyaffect linguistic and cognitive development?Although there is evidence of the lack of negative effects of bilingual acquisition on general linguistic development. there are some questions specifically related to bilingual education and bilingual research that deserve discussion. These measures tend to be those reflecting the ability to consider properties of the environment in a more flexible manner-that is. Is it possible to answer any bilingual education concerns? With the above caution in mind. within these study environments of controlled experimentation and observation. of itself. Therefore.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education Conclusion It is always difficult to extract from a body of research literature specific implications for an applied teaching technology. that is. bilingual preschool children did not score lower on measures of cognitive development than their matched monolingual English-speaking peers. children who were operating at complex levels in Spanish were not retarded in English compared with matched monolingual English-speaking children. information potentially of relevance to bilingual classrooms has emerged. necessarily retard linguistic or cognitive development. there is evidence that bilinguals score significantly higher on several cognitive measures than do matched monolingual peers. there is no report of bilingual subjects having increased proficiency in either language compared with native monolingual speakers of either language.

And. social.transition. Contradictory research findings have emerged regarding the qualitative nature of bilingual development. bilingual children must be perceived as developing linguistic. Only the Canadian French/English-bilingual programs have provided thorough and comprehensive evaluation information. the results of those evaluations are difficult to relate to ongoing bilingual education programs for minority ethnolinguistic groups in the United States. although this form of research is not new. Formal evaluations of bilingual instruction models have proven to be a difficult and often disappointing enterprise. or maintenance? It seems evident from the foregoing review that many critical issues related to bilingual development and the education of bilingual students remain unresolved.Garcia levels of bilingualism? (3) Are these advantages related to the specific languages involved and to specific cognitive measures (tasks)? Should thefocus of bilingual education effortsbe immersion. socioeconomic. (3) at a time when cognitive and academic growth is most influenced by social milieu. Moreover. Therefore. and social domains. cognitive correlates of bilingualism have only recently begun to receive systematic attention at the empirical level. and sociopolitical differences regarding the context of the Canadian programs. a bilingual child brings to the schooling environment (1) two linguistic systems. It seems reasonable to suggest that it is these differential social milieus that have produced the discrepancies in research outcomes noted above. Besides reemphasizing the need for more and better basic and applied research in the area of bilingualism and bilingual instruction. communication between student and teacher must be November 1986 117 . what recommendations regarding instructional procedures for the education of bilingual students might be made? First. and cognitive attributes interdependently. the previous discussion of research has emphasized the interaction of linguistic. (2) a history of participation within a complex social milieu utilizing those two systems. although it alone is not of independent importance. social. owing to critical ethnolinguistic. Proficiency here is meant to take into consideration the broader definition of communicative competence rather than standard morphological and syntactic competence. How might the classroom serve to enhance that development? Linguistic ability is the first key variable. That is. Unfortunately. cognitive. If effective instruction is to take place in the classrooms. and cognitive development. Recall that bilinguals possess diverse linguistic functioning repertoires: the child may be (1) more proficient in his or her native language than in English (the native language-dominant child) or (2) equally proficient in both (the balanced bilingual child). it will serve either to enhance or to impede continued linguistic. since the classroom is a systematic extension of these patterns of social interaction.

The balanced bilingual presents a different educational challenge. The goal of this form of instruction model would not be to produce proficient bilinguals but to explore. academic instruction should not reflect an English-language emphasis. Bilingual instruction should emphasize the inseparable nature of culture and language. New and The Bates. S. Therefore. with some systematic ESL instruction. culturally and linguistically. Most directly. Washington. Language Context: AcquisitionPragmatics. This student is exceptional and should be considered gifted. instruction for this child should reflect this exceptionality. York:Academic of 118 American Journal of Education .. 1976. it is not only possible but educationally desirable to maintain and further extend the child's bilingual competency. These children bring with them their ethnolinguistic status to the English-language curriculum. But it is consistent with the present knowledge base regarding multilingual acquisition.C. This is not to suggest that bilingual instruction for these students should be unavailable. D.: Office of Planning. With the development of bilingual materials and the training of bilingual personnel within the last decade.Bilingual Developmentand Early Bilingual Education maximized. This is especially true for children from ethnolinguistic minority groups whose educational history has been riddled with neglect and failure. For the nonbalanced English-dominant student. Recall that the above commentary regarding classroom practice is based on a relatively small amount of sound empirical research. Budget and Evaluation. A. K. A. Ten years ago bilingual instruction of balanced bilinguals would have been almost impossible. Psychologically it is important not to negate this ethnolinguistic consciousness. 1981. The commentary is made in regard to early schooling years. a time of critical importance for establishing effective instructional programming."Children Today (July/August 1978): 43-48. this mandates instruction in the child's dominant language.E. the ethnolinguistic heritage of the student in order to maximize the educational influence of the classroom. Department of Education. and A. instruction should reflect this English proficiency.S. "Bilingual/Bicultural Programsfor Preschool Children. U. Press. Bilingual instruction in its various forms holds for these children a promise of educational parity. Effectivenesof Bilingual Education:A Review of theLiterature. Instruction should emphasize both languages whenever possible. Baker. When English is not the student's dominant language. De Kanter. References Arenas.

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