December 19, 2014 · 27 Kislev

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A few words about Bilingual Education's history and status in the United States.

Bilingual education has a long history in the United States. German-speaking Americans were operating schools in their mother tongue as early as 1694 in Philadelphia. Despite periodic opposition from formidable foes such as Benjamin Franklin, German-language schooling, sometimes bilingual, prevailed until the early twentieth century, notwithstanding periodic attempts to replace it with English as the medium of instruction.

A resurgence of nativism in the late nineteenth century marked the beginning of the gradual decline for bilingual education. As the effort to "Americanize" students took a coercive turn, proficiency in English was increasingly equated with political loyalty; for the first time, an ideological link was forged between speaking English and being a "good American".

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