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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Bilingual Education: Is It Really Working?
Program #
Politics, Society

Richard Goodman
, Richard Goodman
Dec 1, 1976

Bilingual Education: Is It Really Working?

Host Richard Goodman discusses the origins development and future of Bilingual educational programs for Mexican Americans.

Bilingual programs, which aim to help children function in two languages, are securing a solid place within the Texas school system. The Texas Education Agency has developed a manual for implementing such programs, which teach basic concepts in the first language, then proceed to instruct language development and other subjects in both the first and second languages. The manual emphasizes the development of a positive self-image for the student—a critical dimension for Mexican Americans, who have experienced severe discrimination for speaking Spanish. Because many Americans associate speaking a second language with lower class status, the TEA manual suggests that schools develop programs that teach the history and culture associated with Spanish. For years, Mexican Americans have used similar concepts in informal schools to teach English to children or help preserve the use of Spanish in their communities.

Today’s bilingual programs have been plagued by various problems, including the lack of trained teachers. Moreover, a vocal opposition mistakenly believes bilingual education wants to teach all children Spanish. Goodman explains that in reality, the program seeks to help children learn in the easiest way for each child.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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