BILINGUALISM AND BILINGUAL EDUCATION: A GUEST EDITORIAL*

Authors

  • Donald D. Walsh

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      Donald D. WALSH (S.B., Harvard Univ.) is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. He taught Spanish at and was the Director of Studies for the Choate School from 1928 to 1953 and from 1955 to 1959. He was the Assistant Director of the Foreign Language Program of the MLA from 1953 to 1955 and Director from 1959 to 1965. He is a member of AATSP (Editor of Hispania, 1949-57; President, 1959), NEMLA (President, 1950), and ACTFL. Recently he received the honorary degree of L.H.D. from Middlebury College. His publications include: Introductory Spanish, Repaso, What's What, and A Handbook for Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.


  • *

    A slight revision of the Commencement Address at the Middlebury College Summer Language Schools, 13 August 1968. The author acknowledges gratefully the critical assistance received from A. Bruce Gaarder of the U. S. Office of Education.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Peoples who speak a minority language are less and less willing to give up their mother tongues as the price of citizenship in the lands of their birth or adoption. We foreign language teachers must interest ourselves actively in the proper education of U. S. children who lack sufficient command of English to enable them to succeed in school. A child in any country or culture must (1) become literate in his own home language, (2) have all his common learnings in this language, (3) study English as a second language until his command of English is strong enough to allow English to be the medium for some of his instruction, the rest being conducted in the child's home language. Our aim must be to make the child bilingual in English and his own language and to make him equally proud of his progress in each. The products of such bilingual education prove to be brighter, more tolerant, and more perceptive about their own and the other culture than are otherwise comparable monolingual children.

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