Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students? – The Washington Post

This is a fantastic article about the two-sided nature of the bilingualism debate. “Desirable bilingualism” involves children who speak the host-country language and another, high-status language. These bilinguals are considered “lucky” to have two languages. On the other side, immigrants and refugee children who speak a lower-status language and are learning the host-country language are labeled as “deficient” (taalachterstand) and pushed at earlier and earlier ages to conform to a monolingual norm in schools. Discrimination and elitism at its most pernicious….

To put it bluntly, bilingualism is often seen as “good” when it’s rich English speakers adding a language as a hobby or another international language, but “bad” when it involves poor, minority, or indigenous groups adding English to their first language, even when the same two languages are involved.

via Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students? – The Washington Post.

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