A friend of yours wants to learn a foreign language quickly. He shows you a commercial for Rosetta Stone, a language learning software. The commercial promises the following:
Thanks to our software, learning a new language is incredibly easy and fast. Speak like a native speaker in a matter of months!
Knowing that you have been studying bilingualism, your friend asks for your advice.
Based on what you have learned in this course, write a detailed response to Rosetta Stone’s promise.
Recently, a Connecticut university professor posted the following message on a professional listserve:
I am in need of some help thinking about a condition I am facing in my state. Connecticut has a legislative mandate for bilingual education programming. But, since 1999 the state has limited the students time in such programs to 30 months (or 3 school years). Consequently, our bilingual education programs have been forced into transitional programs, as opposed to maintenance programs.
A number of the larger districts have just reported that after 3 years in bilingual education programs, the students are performing more poorly on the standardized test (in English) than those students who declined bilingual education and enrolled in pull-out ESL and mainstream classes for the same 3 years.
I dont know how to talk to the Connecticut residents about the ultimate value of bilingual education when the legislators are claiming that their data proves otherwise at the end of 3 years.
Share your own thoughts, hypotheses, and advice with the author of this message about the situation she describes. What is your explanation for the test results? What should the state do, in your view?