TEACHER ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PRINCIPLES OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND TOWARD STUDENTS' PARTICIPATION IN BILINGUAL PROGRAMS: SAME OR DIFFERENT? Fay H. Shin California State University, Stanislaus Stephen Krashen University of Southern California
794 elementary and secondary teachers filled out a questionnaire probing attitudes toward bilingual education. While support for the principles underlying bilingual education was strong, support for actual participation by students in bilingual programs was not as strong. Those with more supplementary training in ESL and bilingual education were more supportive of bilingual education.
Porter (1990) reported that in a poll taken of teachers in the Los Angeles USD in 1987 78% voted against bilingual education and in favor of a strong emphasis on English. Not mentioned, however, was why teachers voted against bilingual education. Were they opposed to the theory underlying bilingual education or were there other reasons? The purpose of this study was to investigate how bilingual education is perceived by teachers. We were specifically interested in teachers' understanding and attitudes toward the theoretical underpinnings of bilingual education, and how these attitudes compared
46 BILINGUAL RESEARCH JOURNAL/Winter 1996
to support for participation in bilingual programs. Another goal was to determine what factors influenced teacher attitudes, particularly if years of experience, special training, grade level of students taught, and their school's student population influenced opinions. Methodology Subjects: The sample consisted of 794 K-12 public school teachers from six school districts in central California. The majority (628) came from one school district. Approximately 35% of the students in these districts are limited English proficient. Fifty-six percent of the teachers worked in elementary schools and forty-four percent were...