Is Dual-language Education Always the Best Course for English Learners?

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Media Outlet: The Hechinger Report

Janie T. Carnock wrote for the Hechinger Report about the quality and feasibility of dual-language education:

Nearly 12 million children in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. Across the country, public schools play a critical role in integrating them into American society and setting them up for long-term success: by equipping them with English mastery.

As public leaders seek to educate these students equitably, a lively debate has ensued over how to best instruct them.

Much of the disagreement centers on whether to fully immerse students in English in school or to supplement English with instruction in their home language. Forward-thinking reform for English learners increasingly goes hand-in-hand with a push for the latter approach: expanding bilingual education.


Janie Tankard Carnock is a policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the Dual Language Learner National Work Group. Her work addresses policies and practices related to bilingual education, English language proficiency, and educational equity.