Anyone who felt the ice was thinning regarding the controversial nature of bilingualism education took it on the chin after the fallout from Coke’s recent Super Bowl commercial featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in eight languages. Yeah, there are still plenty of myopic folks who simply believe, “Either speak English or leave.”
The anti-bilingual wall
Still, there are cracks in the anti-bilingual wall in terms of K-12 education with California legislators currently debating the elimination of Prop 227, which in 1998 effectively ended bilingual education in that state.
Florida International University Assistant Professor of Linguistics Phillip M. Carter told VOXXI the irony is the smoking gun in favor of bilingual education is tied directly to Prop 227’s effect in Northern California, where such programs were allowed if more than 50 percent of parents signed waivers.
“There are very successful bilingual education programs in San Francisco City Schools for languages like Mandarin and Japanese,” Carter said. “The data from those programs is very, very good. Those students do better than their peers in non-bilingual programs within the same district.”