Latino Parents Decry Bilingual Programs

Miriam E Ebsworth mee1 at
Tue Jul 20 13:01:20 UTC 2004

Here's a personal addition. Like many children who attended a Yeshiva, I had a bilingual education. We used the 50/50 model- 1/2 day in English  and 1/2 day in Hebrew. Most of my Hebrew teachers were non-native speakers. There were very limited materials and resources, the teachers were largely untrained, and the building was falling apart. My family and community were very supportive. We all emerged bilingual and biliterate.

I've done a fair amount of work in New York City public Schools. There are some excellent bilingual programs and some poor ones. One of the biggest challenges in addition to the scarcity of resources already mentioned is that in many programs one teacher is expected to deliver both languages.  But there are not enough individuals who are truly bilingual in CALP AND want to be NYC teachers. It wouldn't cost a penny more to have bilingual teams of teachers, 1/2 English dominant, 1/2 X dominant, who switch classes mid-day or alternate days.

Miriam Eisenstein Ebsworth

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