Onda Latina

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 / Bicultural Education In The United States.
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Alma Rincones, José Cardenas, Norma Solis, Walter Smith
Feb 10, 1981

Bilingual / Bicultural Education in the United States.

Linda Fregoso examines the history of bilingual/bicultural education and its strategies and goals. Anglo society has been skeptical about the need for bilingual education programs, which Chicanos began to demand in the 1960s. Walter Smith, a professor of bilingual education in San Antonio, discusses the origins of Anglo intolerance to bicultural/ bilingual programs. He explains that his vision of bicultural education would apply to all citizens and teach them to be fluent in other languages and cultures. Fregoso then speaks with Jose Cardenas, a researcher with the Intercultural Development and Research Association, who discusses the history of bilingual education. She also speaks with Norma Solis, a lawyer with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, about the Supreme Court case that mandated bilingual programs for non-English speaking children.

There are two types of bilingual/bicultural education. The first seeks to maintain the children’s first language and culture while teaching the children English, and Smith discusses the ideology behind this approach. The second seeks to transition the students into English speakers, which Smith believes is essentially assimilationist.

Fregoso then visits a bicultural/bilingual classroom in Austin, Texas. She speaks with Alma Rincones, the teacher, who explains how the class works and discusses the children’s progress. Fregoso also speaks with Cardenas about the negative effects of forcing non-English speaking children to learn in English and the feelings of inferiority and rejection it often creates.


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

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