I would like to add a different point of view to the article by Papadakis.
I, too, am concerned about the little Spanish-speakers that come to my second-grade classroom. So much so, that, seven years ago, I volunteered to teach in the bilingual education program that was being initiated at my school.
My motivation was simple. I was frustrated with my inability to help the little 7- and 8-year-olds from Mexico. I would watch them as they slipped farther and farther behind their English-speaking peers, because they lacked the language that was in use in the classroom. They could neither read, write, speak, nor understand what was going on around the.
Day by day, the hope of learning faded from their eyes. The bilingual program held out a hope that the Spanish-speakers could keep up with new concepts (taught to them in Spanish) while they learned to speak and use English.