Home > Bilingual Education > Swimming Against the Tide

Swimming Against the Tide

There are times when I use my blog to have a little mini emotional outburst, such as yesterday. It really is the only thing that I can do to maintain my sanity sometimes. It becomes so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting sometimes when you are constantly swimming against the tide of anti-bilingual education sentiment. Sometimes the process of writing about my frustrations is like a cathartic release.

As bilingual advocates, we are constantly under attack, in a constant defensive posture and it just gets demoralizing at times. You can’t let your guard down for too long, because the political sentiment can turn at any given moment. I’ve long admired the veteran bilingual ed advocates who have fought the fight for years and years and have not given up. I look to them for my strength and wisdom when I am feeling down and I feel like throwing in the towel. They are the shining lights at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I get scared that so many of them are starting to retire.

I’ve written before about how frustrating and depressing it is to me when I see bilingual educators turning on one another or sabotaging bilingual and multilingual programs. We already have a hard enough battle to fight and it is incomprehensible to me that quality bilingual education program can be compromised by the very same people who are working in the trenches. Oh well, what is one to do? I suppose that is why I am here blogging, looking for an online community with the same dedication to bilingual programs that I have.

My post yesterday was due to my frustration regarding the availability of late-exit bilingual programs for Spanish-speaking students. It frustrates me to the tenth degree that only a small percentage of Spanish-speakers have access to late-exit maintenance programs such as Dual Immersion, where students can develop and maintain two languages to a high degree. Instead, many Spanish speakers are placed in early-exit transitional bilingual education programs and are transitioned into all English instruction around the third grade and sometimes even before the third grade. All I’m saying is that I just wish that many more administrators would have the political guts to provide more late-exit maintenance programs.

On a positive note, I am trying to figure out the whole facebook thing, so that I can start to network with people who have similar interests in bilingual and multilingual education. I just created a page for Multilingual Mania, and if you belong to facebook-please join! Once I learn the system I would also like to start using facebook and twitter to meet additional people!

Categories: Bilingual Education
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