Chinese bilingual education in California : an examination of two representative current programs

This paper focuses on the bilingual education for Chinese in California. It begins with an historical, chronological overview of the education of the Chinese from the mid 1800's to the present time. It concludes with an up-to-date examination of two current major bilingual-bicultural programs in California, situated in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The examination is based on the identification of two existing types of program models. The programs at Castelar Elementary School (Los Angeles) and Commodore Stockton Elementary School (San Francisco) represent two different approaches and emphases; of which the former represents a traditional model; and the latter a language maintenance model. A comparison of both programs is made in the areas of goals, setting, historical background, staff, instructional plan, student grouping, curriculum materials, parent and community role, and evaluation. This comparison is made possible through an in-depth study of program proposals and evaluation reports, review of printed literature, interviews with individuals associated with the programs, and on-site visitations. The evaluations of both programs substantiate the effectiveness of bilingual-bicultural education with both the Chinese--dominant and English--dominant students making positive gains in academic skills. The present needs are discussed. Recommendations are made for implementation of future bilingual programs