Teacher attitudes toward bilingual education: the power and possibility of a two-way immersion program to effect change
The prevailing attitudes and beliefs teachers have toward bilingual programs can have a strong effect on their success. This study, conducted under the auspices National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State University, tests whether the presence of two-way immersion programs in two elementary schools in Iowa has an effect on teachers' attitudes toward the principles of bilingual education. Effective bilingual programs have a strong impact on student achievement as well as students' staying in school. For programs to be successful, however, teachers must support the underlying principles, philosophies, and approaches that comprise bilingual programs. This study found that teachers in the treatment schools (where two-way immersion programs were implemented) had significantly more positive attitudes toward certain principles of bilingual education at the end of the first year of the programs than at the beginning. Teachers were more positive regarding language-minority students' maintaining their native language while learning English.