Advocating for English Learners: Selected Essays (Bilingual by James Crawford

By James Crawford

A set of 18 essays addressing the coverage and politics of training English language inexperienced persons. matters contain demographic swap and its academic implications, American responses to language variety, public controversies over bilingual schooling, high-stakes checking out and its influence on English language beginners, and the precarious prestige of language rights within the united states.

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Extra info for Advocating for English Learners: Selected Essays (Bilingual Education & Bilingualism)

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This spring, when I faced off against him in a debate in Santa Rosa, I practically chanted a mantra of ‘No evidence. No evidence. ’ Yet it made no difference. The local journalists covering the event failed to mention that point or, indeed, much else that I had to say during this two-and-a-half hour session. They preferred cheap dramatics over substance; their message was: Ron Unz Faces Down Hostile Crowd. Many reporters obviously saw Unz as good copy, a personality who was always available with an incendiary quote when they needed one.

Late in the campaign, opponents argued that the state’s newspapers could perform a public service by publishing the full text of ballot measure rather than just the sanitized official summary, but to no avail. Letting One Side Define the Issues The news media framed the debate as Unz framed it: a referendum on bilingual education. In a rational world, I believe that this would have been a referendum on Proposition 227: the specific proposal that was being voted on, the measure that has now been written into the state code of California.

Anecdotal Arguments Throughout the campaign, there was a heavy reliance on humaninterest stories rather than objective evidence. Obviously, journalists need these kinds of narratives to make their stories compelling. But policymaking by anecdote is irresponsible unless one can be confident that (1) the anecdote is true and (2) it is representative of some larger truth. Both of these points can be hard to determine. To illustrate, let me belabor a story that every reporter who covered the 49 W:\Clients\MLM\Crawford\ Crawford Proof 3 27 February 2008 17:00:34 Color profile: Disabled Composite Default screen Advocating for English Learners 48 campaign will recall.

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