So much of the discussion on English language learners in U.S. schools focuses on what they don’t have (for example, academic English) or what they haven’t been able to do (such as graduate in rates comparable to proficient English speakers). Pro-bilingual supporters note that two organizations funded by U.S. English—the Learning English Advocates Drive and Research in English Acquisition and Development—are at the forefront of campaigns seeking to reduce the scope of bilingual education in schools.
Supporters of bilingual education often connect the organization to right-wing politicians, pointing out that it was once headed by Larry Pratt, founder and head of the lobby group Gun Owners of America, who later became adviser to former presidential contender Pat Buchanan.
The first of these areas I would like to discuss is the ability for the bilingual child to outperform his monolingual peers in certain mental abilities such as distilling information; filtering out unimportant information and focusing on the important information.
Basic bilingual education programs, which built on students’ language skills, with daily instruction leading to English acquisition, including structured English language development and primary-language development with basic skills instruction in subject matter content until the transfer to English was made.
At Cahuenga, Spanish speakers can enroll in what is known as a transitional bilingual education program, in which students learn all subjects in their native language beginning in kindergarten, with the goal of transferring to mainstream English classes by fourth grade.