Essay about English Immersion

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English Immersion

The issue of immigration has been a hot topic in the United States for much of its history. Recently the point of conflict has risen over the issue of bilingual education in public schools. Many people have become opposed to this form of learning and propose a speedy immersion program. Others cling steadfastly to the norm of bilingual education proclaiming that immigrant children would be lost if thrown into mainstream classrooms. Still, some have found middle ground through what have been termed dual immersion programs. Although it is somewhat difficult and complicated to sort through the different perspectives it is necessary; what is decided on this issue will effect the education of thousands of children for
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By January of 1999, just six months after the program began, immigrant children appeared to be absorbing English at a astonishing pace (Sahagun). Sylvia Harris, a teacher in South Central stated, "'the kids are doing very well....We're very happy campers'" (Sahagun). At this same time, some teachers worried that their children might simply be imitating them rather than thinking in English or that many were falling behind in their studies. Still other "teachers lament having to water down core subjects such as science and social studies for students who are just beginning to read and write in English" and "regretted having to teach their English learners at a slower pace than they would have liked" (Sahagun). One year after the programs implementation, in August 1999, test scores appeared to have soared for immigrant students; "scores of English learners rose 18 percent in reading, 21 percent in mathematics, 15 percent in language, 21 percent in spelling and 19 percent overall" (Geyer). By August of 2000, even more evidence showed the success of English immersion. Test scores continued to rise dramatically in districts that implemented the program in a speedy fashion, where areas test scores remained stagnant in districts that refused to put the program into practice (Chavez). Suni Fernandez, a second grade teacher in Oceanside, explained that thirteen of her eighteen students were rated fluent by the state LAS

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