Daily VideoJuly 19, 2013
Bilingual Classrooms Turn English-Only in Effort to Improve Test scores
Watch Should Spanish-Speaking Students Be Taught in English Only? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Faculty at DiLoreto School in New Britain, Conn., are facing push-back from their community after deciding to switch from a dual-language school to English-only classrooms.
The kindergarten to eighth grade school specialized in a dual language approach to teaching in which students were taught in English one week and Spanish the next. The goal was that all students would graduate fully bilingual. However, recent test scores showed that the school was struggling. Seventy percent of all students and 85 percent of those learning to speak English were failing Connecticut’s reading test.
To help boost test scores, Superintendent Kelt Cooper decided to transition to English-only instruction. Teaching students should help English language learners understand syntax rules and the way sentences form so that they can write correctly. With improved writing comes improved reading.
Those who oppose the switch are concerned that the school is sending the message that it does not value a student’s first language and culture. Research strongly suggests that students learn better in their native language. Despite the concern of many community members, the school continues to only teach in English. The school will soon get an early look at whether its recent switch is making a difference.
Results from the latest state test will be released this July.
“The proof is in the pudding. It’s very clear that the ones that have gone through these programs have a better articulation of the English language, better understanding of the English language, understand the grammar rules and are much more proficient in English than their native English counterparts in the mainstream.” – Kelt Cooper, New Britain Public Schools.
1. What does it mean to be “bilingual”?
2. How do you define success in education?
1. What are some challenges foreign-language speakers may face when attempting to learn a new language?
2. What is the importance of having a dual-language school in an urban area?
3. How do you think this change may affect retention rates for schools?
– Compiled by Carrie Waltemeyer for NewsHour Extra
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
An attack on a major international airport in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday night left more than 40 dead and upwards of 200 injured. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on Thursday, shocking the rest of the world and leading to the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
A sit-in led by Democratic members of the House of Representatives began on the House floor Wednesday as they called for Republican colleagues to allow a vote on gun control legislation. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Democrats once again attempted to push forward gun control legislation this week following last week’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The man accused of murdering a British member of parliament last Thursday made his first court appearance in London on Saturday. Authorities believe Thomas Mair shot and stabbed Jo Cox to death on a street in broad daylight, because of her position to keep the U.K. in the European Union. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld