Bilingual schooling in the United States

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  • 178 REVIEWS

    ohne Taxis, le tableau dont le cadre iladmirait: man braucht nur an die mogliche Sequenz le tableau dont le cadre lui plaisait zu denken, urn einzusehen, da8 der Bruch eines Taxems kein zu hoher Preis fur eine prophylaktische Disambiguierung ist.

    Hier ist nattirlich eine taxematische Kompensation moglich, ja sogar wahrscheinlich: man kann ja sagen: lestyle que le traducteur trahit, so da8 die Syntax die Objektfunktion von que sttitzt, wohingegen diese Syntax bei qui verboten ist, weil eben qui Subjekt ist. Auf den Seiten 378 und 588 wird im iibrigen darauf hingewiesen. Gar nicht zustimmen kann ich der Interpretation von dont und seiner Syntax: die Disambiguierung erfolgt nicht durch den Bruch eines Taxems, sondern durch den Kontext und seine Semantik. Hier wird die Taxematik tiberstrapaziert. Fassen wir zusammen: die Konsultation der Vergleichenden Grammatik war recht miihsam und fur das Relativpronomen wenig ergiebig. Vor allem haben wir zu unseren Problemen: kpouse qui tu voudras (hier liegt im iibrigen eine Neutralisierung von que/qui vor! !) undfais ce qui te plait! nichts erfahren. Ich will nicht verkennen, da8 in der Grammatik viele kluge Beobachtungen und instruktives Material zusammengetragen sind, aber in dieser Form ist das Buch nicht benutzbar.

    Freie Universitat Berlin Fachbereich Neuere Fremdsprachliche Philologien (FB17) Institut fur Romanische Philologie (WE 3) Habelschwerdter Allee 45 D-1000 Berlin 33

    Bernd Kielhofer

    Federal Republic of Germany

    Andersson, Theodore & Boyer, Mildred, Bilingual Schooling in the United States. (Foreword by William F. Mackey). Austin, Tex.: National Educational Laboratory Publishers, 197!Y, 474 pp.

    We would like to join William F. Mackey in his foreword to the present edition in-thanking Theodore Andersson and Mildred Boyerfor giving us this most informative new version (x) of this standard work in a clear and systematic form. It is indeed highly informative in that it gives us a wide range of topics, covering bilingual schooling and detailed information and material on its historical background, evolution and present status. The amount of material collected here on bilingual programs, administration, federal and state legislation, court decisions, public debate and fundamental issues is impressive and makes this book a must for every scholar or researcher interested in bilingual education in America. Though it points out (rightly) some defects in the system, it can genuinely be considered as a firm plea on behalf of bilingual education. The first part of the study is rather theoretical being concerned with: formulating major issues (I), working out a specialized terminological apparatus (II), setting the present state of bilingual schooling in historical perspective (III) and, last but not least, constructing a rationale for bilingual education (IV). The second part is practically oriented in that it presents concrete proposals for bilingual programs and in expanding on the objectives, the methods and materials. It not only concentrates on the child, but also emphasizes the role of the teacher. The important issue of preschool bilingual education is tackled in Chapter VI. The appendices are a worthwhile and valuable addition to the work. They not only give a survey of international bilingual schooling, presenting a wide range of challenging and fascinating comparative studies (Appendix A), but also emphasize the psychological

  • REVIEWS 179

    implications of bilingual education (Appendix B). Appendices C, D, F and G are interesting in that they give a survey of bilingual education legislation, thus offering the scholar the opportunity for more detailed case-studies. Appendices F and M provide basic detailed information on all the important aspects of bilingual education. Appendices H, 1, J are more concerned with the pedagogical aspects. Appendices K, L, which contain some first-hand field material provide a refreshing contrast to the theoretical content of the rest of the book.

    The introduction (I) begins by quoting President L. B. Johnsons rather puzzling interpretation of the Bilingual Education Act : This bill authorizes a new effort to prevent dropouts; new programs for handicapped children; new planning help for rural schools. It also contains a special provision establishing bilingual education programs . .. (3). The order of the policy targets here puts bilingual education in a suspicious light. In view of the importance subsequently attached by sociolinguists to this statement, a further analysis of it would have been appropriate and welcome. The authors are justified in expanding on the complexity of American bilingualism. Beginning with a historical view-point they point out the major socio-cultural and psychological issues; socio-cultural, in that questions such as do other languages form a threat, a nuisance or a resource? are posed, and psychological, in that they emphasize the reading programs connected with (non)-adjustment within a community. When the aims of and justification for bilingual education are formulated, we cannot rid ourselves of the impression that the new revival of second-language learning (as they so well put it) as a result of bilingual education, is not only determined by internal policies, but also by international politics (at least a close reading between the lines strongly suggests such an interpretation). In What is Bilingualism?a tentative definition is formulated on the basis of Einar Haugens, Mackeys and Fishmans notions of language, dialect, correctness and bilingualism. It is a nice synthesis but the authors do not present any clearly defined persona1 view-point. Chapter III deals with the historical perspective. A distinction is made between the period from 1840 to 1920 and the period from 1963 to the present; this amounts to a distinction on the basis of the programmatic aspects of bilingual schooling. The first period, according to the authors failed to provide an authoritative curriculum mode1 for bilingual education (22). Although they refer to Heinz Klosss major contribution, we miss here some more concrete evidence in support of their rather negative views. The recent period is discussed in a much more detailed and extensive way. It is interesting not only for listing the various programs but also for detailing the critical investigations of various leading scholars. Although the authors seem justified in a more positive reaction to the second period, by comparison with the first one, the reader feels rather let down when he reads as a conclusion that: the second period of bilingual schooling has not established a clear trend (46). Chapter IV, in which a four-part rationale is given, serves as an intermediary chapter between theory and practice and can, although it is written in a deliberately neutral tone, be considered as expressing best the underlying views of the authors, who are firm supporters and promoters of bilingual education. In chapters V and Vl a very practically-oriented curriculum is developed in which all the concrete pragmatic situations are taken into account and which is supplemented by a section on Preschool Bilingual Education. All the models presented here have the mother tongue E (English) and a corresponding second language X (mainly French or Spanish, very rarely a language of inferior significance) as their starting point. This restriction to the one-directional approach with regard to the source and target language, makes the elaboration of an effective school program possible and this is one of

  • 180 REVIEWS

    the strong points of Anderssons approach. There are undoubtedly some limitations to the applicability of this program in a European context, the more so in that the bilingual school-system based on the principle of the free alternation (mixed used of two languages), as followed in the Kennedy-school in Berlin, is not feasible in the States. The American bilingual teacher will welcome Anderssons fine bibliographical apparatus as an exhaustive and totally reliable source of information. One thing which makes this standard work particularly attractive to Europeans is that the authors of the present work are rightly more concerned with the problematic aspects of bilingualism thanwith the cultural optimism of certain publications in which bilingualism was seen as a constantly useful and valuable means for the education of children. The textbook would have been more effective and useful if socioeconomic, cultural, political and social facts could have been taken into consideration since methodological and didactic considerations are crucial for the success of a bilingual program. The hope expressed by the authors that a bilingual person would acquire cultural awareness and a sympathetic cross-cultural understanding (167) might then come closer to being realized. In spite of this intercultural idealism we believe that Anderssons contribution cannot be disregarded in future discussions about programming bilingualism on the school level, even if whole sections (such as the additional appendix on Bilingual Schooling: An International Sampling) seem to be inadequate or even superfluous - the reader who prefers visual presentations will find Mackeys graphic presentation (264-283) of the typology of bilingual education more than adequately sufficient for his purpose. The present work is rather to be recommended for the careful and cautious way in which the authors tackle this controversial topic - an approach which we in Europe could certainly also adopt with profit -, for all European countries are after all bi- or multilingual and have to cope with problems caused by minorities: The grim alternative for the minority individual is the risk of losing his soul, for the minority group the risk of losing his culture. The loss of either is as much a loss to the majority group as to the minority, for both are bound together in a common fate (167). Finally we could express the wish that in the future the more traditional concept of bilingualism could also be incorporated in American studies, and with it multilingualism, which admits other varieties of models and programs and in this fashion we might come a step closer to reality.

    Research Center for Multilingualism Vrijheidslaan 17 B- 1080 Brussels Belgium

    M. de Clercq & P . H. Nelde