288.  Re: ESL. vs Bilingual EducationI am thinking majoring in multicultural education ("loose terms", my apologies) and have  been researching for months. What do you think is better, to have ESL programs in schools or bilingual education programs? If both is not an option, which is more helpful? I know bilingual ed. programs are more common and better funded for, but which is really the best choice? I have an assignment on this question due by the end of this week (Friday, April 1st) and I would really appreciate having a professional's view on this issue. If you can email me back by then I would appreciate it so much! Any time after (as soon as possible, if you please) is alright, too. I understand if you don't have time to answer my question, but I would appreciate it so much if you could.


THANKS!!! for visiting my Web Sites.   Your question already has an answer in my Web Sites, but I will be glad to help you understand the difference between ESL and BILINGUAL EDUCATION. 

ESL (English-As-A-Second Language, today mostly called English Language Development --ELD-- since many "ESL" students may already speak SEVERAL foreign languages but not English) IS PART OF Bilingual Education.  

In Bilingual Education, by "Compliance" guidelines following Supreme Court decisions concerning "Equal Educational Opportunity" and "Equal Access to the Curriculum" cases, ALL non-English speakers must be provided a program of instruction that leads to mastery of the English language.  So, there is neither better nor worse.  Civil Rights Compliance requires that schools provide ELD or any other type of program that leads to mastery of the English language. 

In ADDITION, ALL non-English-speaking students MUST BE PROVIDED Equal Educational Opportunities and Equal Access to the Curriculum -- especially in the CORE curriculum, but in all aspects of the curriculum, too: curricular and extra-curricular activities.  

If to provide equality of access and opportunity INSTRUCTION MUST BE OFFERED IN THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE OF THE non-English-speaking STUDENTS, then such instruction MUST be provided.   One way to provide such instruction PLUS ELD is a Bilingual Program.  

In a Bilingual Program, Compliance also requires qualified teachers to provide both ELD and PRIMARY LANGUAGE instruction, especially in CORE content subject matters.   AND, CROSS-CULTURAL Programs MUST also be part of the school offerings for non-English-speaking students.   In such programs, the students' positive self image and positive self esteem MUST be promoted. 

So I do NOT need to THINK which one is BETTER.   BOTH, ELD and PRIMARY LANGUAGE instruction by QUALIFIED teachers including Cross-Cultural understanding MUST be offered to non-English speaking students.   There is NO such a thing as one (ESL) or the other (Bilingual Education).   Legal Compliance requires the FOUR components I have mentioned above.  

There is NO CHOICE -- BOTH are needed, one way or the other to fulfill Legal Compliance.     

Be sure to CHECK the many questions and answers on these differences between these programs and you WILL SEE that it is NOT a matter of CHOICE.  

GREAT Performance in your assignment, and GREAT choice of career.   Congratulations!!!!




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


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E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net