A Quick Word on English-only Policies

Well, spring 2017 is behind us and I’m about to board a plane back the U.S. to spend my summer with my spouse and dog. It’s great to be able to get back to reading and writing in earnest. I started my summer read-a-thon with a revisiting of Auerbach (1993), which I discussed in passing in this post. Auerbach is a staunch advocate for the abolition of English-only educational policies. If you haven’t read it yet, and you work on the teaching or administrative ends, you simply must read it. She deftly points out the flawed foundations of English-only ed. policies. She follows this up by pointing to some early research showing that the L1 isn’t detrimental to L2 language acquisition. I believe that Auerbach is an important read for any language educator that is critical about their practice. To add an updated angle to Auerbach’s work, Minneapolis Public Radio recently ran an article on the benefits of home language education on English language acquisition for K-12 students. It’s also a good read, and a quick one since it steers away from too much specialist language (link in the sources, below).

Source Articles

Auerbach, E.R., (1993). Reexamining English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarternly, 27(1), 1-18.

Wastvedt, S. (2016, June 1). Path to mastering English? Schools say home language is key. Minneapolis Public Radio News. Retrieved from: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/06/01/minn-schools-heritage-language-classes-improve-english.

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