Bilingual Education and the English-only Movement: A Critical Race Theory Perspective.
- Debates surrounding bilingual education, race, and the English-only movement are once again taking center stage with the passage of California's Proposition 227, Arizona's Proposition 203 and Massachusetts Question 2 - all of which virtually outlaw the use of an English language learner's primary language in the classroom in favor of a structured English immersion (SEI) model. Collectively known ... read moreas the Unz Initiatives, this movement towards English-only is changing the shape of bilingual education in the U.S. This study is both a critique of the history of bilingual education policy and an ethnography of the complex relationships among language, race, and knowledge in one SEI classroom. I utilize a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework, specifically applying the concepts of Whiteness as property (Harris), critiquing Colorblindness (Gotanda), and interest convergence (Bell). Based on ethnographic data gathered through classroom observations and interviews with students and teachers, I argue that language is tied to race and thus policy regarding language is in fact race-conscious. The case study determines that the implementation of English-only policy perpetuates and privileges dominant White ideas of language.read less