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Letters: Bring back bilingual education

April 30, 2013

Re "Lawsuit: State fails some English learners," April 25

The article does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support.

One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 more than a decade ago. Research has shown that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not result in improved English proficiency.

Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English-language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers. California English learners, however, have a hard time finding books: California ranks near the bottom of the country in school library quality and is dead last in the ratio of school librarians per student.

Lawsuits should include restoring bilingual education and investing more in libraries and librarians.

Stephen Krashen

Los Angeles

The writer is a professor emeritus of education at USC.

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