Here is a timely and important book for anyone concerned about the future of bilingual education in North America. Written by Stephen Krashen, the nation's foremost expert on second language acquisition, it disproves many of the false assumptions and outright distortions that led to the passage of Proposition 227 in California. Now, as some of those same arguments proliferate in other states, Krashen explains the bases for five of these key beliefs, and proves, step-by-step, why they are wrong:
- Bilingual education is responsible for the high Hispanic dropout rate. In fact, studies show reduced and even no difference in dropout rates when background factors are controlled.
- Most immigrants succeeded without bilingual education. Krashen argues that many immigrants arrived here having had a de facto bilingual education in their countries of origin; and that until the last half of this century, economic success was not so strongly dependent on school success.
- The United States is the only nation that has bilingual education. There is ample evidence of bilingual programs not only existing, but also succeeding in countries like Norway and the Netherlands.
- Bilingual education failed in California. The author explores flaws in the methods of various studies and counters with other reasons why bilingual education students may not thriveÑincluding widespread poverty and lack of reading materials.
- The public is against bilingual education. This argument, propagated by the media, proves false when one examines the biased language used in survey after survey.
In its careful delineation of the real issues, Condemned Without a Trial
gives educators, administrators, parents, and voters the essential understanding, and evidence, they have heretofore been denied.