Competing Discourses About Education and Accountability for ELLs/Bilingual Learners: Dual Language Educators as Agents for Change

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Vol: 2, Issue: 1

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Rebecca Freeman Field
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This paper situates the contemporary debate about education and accountability for English language learners/bilingual learners within a sociocultural context and suggests ways that dual language educators and researchers can help move this debate forward. I begin with a brief review of competing discourses about bilingualism and education for diverse learners on the national level in the United States. The paper then provides an insider’s perspective on dual language education in three different contexts (Washington, D.C.; Schaumburg, Ill.; Philadelphia, Pa.) at different times (before and after NCLB was passed) to illustrate how these dual language educators hold themselves accountable for student achievement, program effectiveness, and professional learning on the local level. The paper highlights the potential of dual language educators as powerful agents for change.