Bilingual education, or instruction in more than one language, has occurred throughout history and around the world. A review of that history reveals that practices and beliefs related to languages in education are intricately connected to attitudes toward linguistic and cultural diversity, and especially toward indigenous, ethnic, and foreign groups. Perhaps it is for these reasons that bilingual education inspires controversy and raises questions not only of pedagogy, but also of politics and ideology.

The history of bilingual education is not a steady movement in a single direction; rather, there is a constant flux of policies, practices, and ideology. Proponents of bilingual education stress the academic, cognitive, and cultural advantages that accrue to individuals and to society when children maintain and develop their home language and ...

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