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Bilingual Education Hangs in the Balance

April 15, 2002

"Bilingual Charter School Hopes to Be a Model, in Any Language" (April 9) states that in kindergarten and first grade at the LAUSD Multicultural Learning Center, students are immersed in Spanish-only instruction about 90% of the day. But why don't the Spanish-speaking children and their families feel proud about their ability to learn and speak perfect English? That's the goal for students from Russia or Eastern Europe. They learn to speak English, and they can still feel proud of their backgrounds.

Why not teach English 90% of the day and Spanish 10%, while the children are young enough to pick up English more easily? They return to their homes and speak in Spanish, for the most part, so they get little or no English reinforcement at home. Without excellent English skills, we are ensuring that they will have difficulty competing for well-paying jobs in the future.

Andrea Nachenberg

Northridge

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