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Bilingual Program Does Offer English

August 06, 1993

* The letter titled "Equal Opportunity to Learn English" (June 19) reflects a certain misunderstanding about the Los Angeles Unified School District's Bilingual Master Plan and its Transitional Bilingual Education Program. While it is true that the district requires that instruction for limited English-proficient students be in their native language, it is entirely not true that the result of this program is "students who speak, read and write only in Spanish." In this program, students participate in a special English program called English as a Second Language. These classes begin at kindergarten and are important in helping non-native English speakers acquire English-language skills.

The Bilingual Master Plan requires that instruction in subjects such as science, social studies and math be taught in the student's native language so that the child's academics don't suffer while developing English proficiency. Students usually begin the transition into classes of English instruction at about the fourth-grade level.

The strength of the LAUSD Transitional Bilingual Education Program is that the students don't miss out on education while learning English and adapting to a new environment.

EDWARD PARADA QUINTERO

Sylmar

Quintero is a bilingual schoolteacher at Dyer Street Elementary School.

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