What is the Hispanic American stand on bilingual education?

There is no single stand on bilingual education for most Hispanic Americans.

Many agree that children who have just immigrated should be allowed to pursue some studies in Spanish until English mastery is achieved.

Children who speak no English cannot reasonably be expected to just pick it up without having their grades suffer.

On the other hand, some Americans, Latinos included, think bilingual education can go too far. They are opposed to creating a separate bilingual track for Hispanic Americans that dooms them to an inferior education.

Other Latinos think bilingual education does not go far enough. Why not require all students to be educated in Spanish language and Latino culture?

Behind the debate on bilingual education is a deeper issue. Many Americans fear that their English-speaking culture is threatened by the growing population of Hispanic Americans. This fear is behind the recent spate of English-only laws that would make English the official language of a given town or state.

According to a 1996 poll, 51 percent of Hispanic American parents said that learning to read, write, and speak English was the most important goal of their children’s education.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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