Misinterpreting School Reform: The Dissolution of a Dual-Immersion Bilingual Program in an Urban New England Elementary School

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Warhol, Larisa; Mayer, Aynsia
Bilingual Research Journal
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01-16-2015 2:55 PM
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This article explores local state bilingual-education policy vis-A- -vis pervasive dominant-language ideologies about language-education policy and practice. State-level language-education policy, especially for English Language Learners (ELs), spans a wide range, from states that through policy legally require some form of bilingual education to states that have made bilingual education virtually impossible in lieu of English-language immersion. This research is part of an ongoing ethnographic case study of a large urban elementary school in Connecticut that explores the dissolution of a dual-language immersion program due to a school reconstitution, despite the state policy requiring bilingual education. This article examines the interwoven contexts of Connecticut bilingual-education policies, the language-education policies of the school, and how they are interpreted and enacted by teachers. They find on the one hand, official state policy calls for transitional bilingual education in specific EL contexts; on the other, the teachers within the school exhibit deficit perspectives toward bilingual education and develop erroneous perceptions about how to implement that policy, including their use of languages other than English in their classrooms.
State Programs
State and Local Policy
ESL Programs
English Learners
English Learners
Dual Language Programs
Case Studies
Bilingual Education