Thursday, 28 March 2013

How Bilingual Education works, some practical examples of minority language revitalizing and the reality of Cham Bilingual Education

PhD Can Quang
Bilingual Education and language maintenance approaches
1/. Bilingual education
Bilingual education (BE) involves teaching all subjects in school through two different languages and the practice of teaching students in their native language. Instruction occurs in the national/majority language, (regional/international language), and a minority language (Baker, 2006) with varying amounts of each respective language used in with the specific program purposes, types, forms, and models.
BE is the concept widely used in multilingual countries. However, they express this concept with different terms and goals. Some of those programs are Mother (Tongue) Language Teaching in Singapore (Singapore Education, 2003), BE, or minority language education for some ethnic groups in Vietnam (Donald, 1998-2003), and foreign language immersion program (or heritage language immersion program) offering for minority and indigenous students in the US (Lenker & Rhodes, 2007). Sometimes Mother Language Teaching in Singapore was named BE in majority languages, meaning English plus one of the national languages (Baker, 2006). 
Actually, in most of the nations, accompanied with national language education, there are two main language programs, foreign language teaching for the sake of national development, and minority (heritage) language teaching for the sake of national heritage preservation. However the terms BE and mother-tongue teaching program sometimes are used more often in some research in developing nations referring to a minority language teaching program (MLTP) in which ethnic minority/indigenous languages are taught as a subject among other compulsory subjects in majority language, the national language immersion. The term mentions to all native languages. They are other than the instruction (in national official language), taking place in general nationwide schools, which is the Kinh language in Vietnam and English in the United States.
2/. Theoretical Framework
2.1/. For students entering school speaking the ML (Bilingual education program). Framework of BE - Language Skills Transfer Theories.
Part of the debate related to educational language models concerns our understanding of the transfer of language skills: Research has confirmed that academic and linguistic skills in a minority language transfer rather easily to the second language (Baker, 2006; Lanauze & Snow, 1989). But this finding is qualified by the caveat that “Depending on language development in both languages, the cognitive functioning of an individual can be viewed as integrated, with easy transfer of concepts and knowledge between languages” (Baker, 2006, p. 185). Moreover research has also shown that literacy, others skills, concepts, and knowledge transfer across languages even though languages use different alphabetic system (Goldenberg, 2008). Finally, ample research has confirmed that mother tongue promotion in the school helps develop both the mother tongue and children’s abilities in the majority school language (Cummins, 2001; Goldenberg, 2008). Based on this research, it is expected that circumstantial bilinguals’ learning their mother tongue would be better equipped to acquire the mainstream language and learn the content of the academic subject areas covered in the curriculum. The researchers denoted that the use of the students’ home language, serving as a bridge on learning, helps keep them from falling behind their fellow students while learning national language immersion (mainstream education) nurturing bilingualism and bi-literacy. This also helps ML students maintain their language heritage.
2.2/. For dominant language of the school and society (Submersion, ESL, and sheltered instruction program). Framework for the national language immersion- “sink or swim” theory (method).
All students of different ethnicities attend the National language immersion. In case some students are limited proficiency of the national language, there are some extra special programs to help them catch up with proficiency level of their peers. The purposes of this program are teaching national language, fostering academic achievement, acculturating immigrants to a new society.
The well-known example is Immersion programs in the US which are encouraged in several states by state adoption of English-only legislation. Gersten (1985) claimed that all-English immersion was better than BE. In this model, the instruction and related texts are primarily in English. Children with very low English proficiency are put in English language learner ELL/ Limited English proficiency LEP or English as second language ESL classes (Gersten, 1985; Rossell & Baker, 1996).
There are two kinds of immersion programs: "submersion" or "structured". The first kind is also called "sink or swim" because it does not provide any kind of aid for the children to learn English. Structured English immersion helps the students with better-planed classes focusing on building their vocabulary. It also uses direct and intense instructions to help them learn the language faster and be able to join the regular classes.
The approach, which gained instant popularity, has been applied throughout many countries such as Vietnam, Canada, and has become a model for other countries. I.e. In Vietnam, there is mainly Vietnamese instruction and textbooks for mainstream education (Vietnamese submersion program), no program for non-Vietnamese students to learn Vietnamese as a second language. Canadian total French immersion, in Montreal, Canada, instructs in French to English-speaking, middle-class children. Under this program, native-English speakers start school entirely in French. By the end of elementary school, most students become fluent in French, and do well academically.
3/. Practical frameworks of Bilingual education
3.1/. Goals of bilingual education. Goals of BE program are generally to promote academic performance and mother language literacy, some actual programs focus on only the first, or the second or both. BE goals can be interpreted in more details: teaching national language, fostering academic performance, acculturating immigrants to a new society, preserving a minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage, enabling native speakers to learn another second language, developing national language resources, or any combination of the above (Baker, 2006).
3.2/. Types of bilingual education. There are two basic types of BE:
- Teach the students’ native tongue (minority language) with a little instruction in English (national language), as a means of protecting and maintaining minority/indigenous native language and culture ("native language instruction").
- Intensively teach national language (English in America, Vietnamese in Vietnam) with assistance of student home languages when the student cannot understand, as a means of moving the child into mainstream classes taught in English as quickly as possible ("ESL" or "English as a Second Language" programs). (Hardy, 1997)
In typical developed nations such as the US, the following are several different subtypes of BE program models existing without clearly distinctive boundaries:
1. Transitional BE or Early-Exit. This includes education in a child's native language, typically for less than three years, to ensure that students do not fall behind in content areas like math, science, and social studies while they are learning English. The goal is to help student transition to mainstream, English-only classrooms as soon as possible. The overwhelming majority of bilingual programs in the U.S. are transitional.
2. Developmental (maintenance) BE or Late-Exit. Education is in the child's native language for an extended duration until the fifth or sixth grade or longer, accompanied by education in English. The goal is to develop bilingualism and biliteracy in both languages, therefore the students continue receiving part of their instruction in the native language even after they become proficient in English and completely transfer into submersion education.
3. Bilingual Immersion Education/ foreign (heritage) language immersion program
3a. Partial immersion programs: These programs provide ESL instruction, and a small amount of time (e.g., one hour each day or some hours each week) may be set aside temporarily for instruction in a native language, but the goal is to gain an understanding of and respecting for other cultures and to move to mainstream, English as quickly as possible. This can be considered as transitional BE.
3b. Two-Way immersion programs or Dual Language BE: These programs are less commonly permitted in the US schools, though research indicates they are extremely effective in helping students learn English well. The ratio of the use of the two languages in the program is about 50/50. The goal is to help native and non-native English speakers become bilingual and bi-literate. As in 2009, there are more than 343 two-way immersion programs in 27 States in the US (Center for applied linguistics, 2009).
3c. Total immersion programs or immersion programs: almost 100% of class time is spent in the native language. Subject matter taught in native language and language learning by itself is combined throughout the curriculum. Even in total immersion, the language of the curriculum may revert to English language after years. The goals are to become functionally proficient in the native language, to master subject content taught in the native languages, and to gain an understanding of and respecting for other cultures.
In typical developing nations, as Vietnam, the language programs in education must be multilingual education viewed in general, BE viewed in specific language program with the Vietnamese language. English is compulsory subject taught from secondary to college. French, Russian, and Chinese are optional subjects from high school to college. Minority languages are taught optionally at elementary level in request of communities such as, Chinese and Khmer (in 9 years from grade 1 to 9), Cham (in 5 years from grade 1 to 5), Ede, Jarai, Bahna, and Hmong (in 5 years, from grade 1 to 3 total minority immersion program, from grade 4 to 5, minority language as an optional subject). Minority language teaching programs use minority languages from 10 to 20% of curriculum, which is equal to 2 to 4 periods[1] a week (Circular 01, 1997; Vietbao VNN, 2004, Quang, 2005).
3.3/. Bilingual Education Forms. There is another criteria mentioned in research to describe the effectiveness of BE in terms of maintenance of ML. They are BE forms conceived in this paper again based on the work of Baker (2006) who noted that: “Research generally supports ‘strong’ forms of BE where student’s home language is cultivated by the school. ‘Weak’ form of BE where the student’s second language is replaced for educational purposes by a second majority language.”(p. 288).
However, May (2008) approaches BE forms in a broader sense and presents three common programs used in the US and abroad: non-bilingual, weak, and strong.
- Non-bilingual programs include Submersion, ESL and Sheltered Instruction programs. These all represent subtractive models in which the home language is replaced by the learning of the second, mainstream language. The majority language is the only one to be learned by students and the only one used in class. Rarely can be seen these programs nowadays in the world though most of schools in the U.S. are non-bilingual, English only by literal and figurative senses.
- Weak bilingual programs include Transitional BE. This is still considered a subtractive model in that the use of the L1 is allowed only as a springboard for the learning of the majority language. It aims to transition students from their L1 to the L2 while allowing some learning of subject areas in the L1. 
- Strong bilingual programs include Maintenance Bilingual Programs, Immersion[2] and Heritage programs. These are additive models that aim to maintain and develop the home language while the second language is being learned. The outcomes of these models are to develop bilingualism and biliteracy.
3.4/. Language policy and planning. Language policy refers to “the decision on rights and access to languages and on the roles and functions of particular languages and varieties of language in given polity” (Phillipson & Skutnabb-Kangas, p. 434). Language policy dealing with language issues at the collective level and is guided by overall policy deliberations. The practical and operational concerns for the formulation and implementation of a language policy are major tasks of language planning.
Language planning[3], which is government-level activity, conventionally consists of three types: corpus, status, and acquisition planning. Status planning deals with the relationships between languages; corpus planning concerns the changes within the language itself; and acquisition planning is concerned with the users of language (Fishman, 1994a; Ricento & Hornberger, 1996). Language planning officially concerns the selection and promotion of a unified administrative language or languages. It interprets a coherent attempt by individuals, groups, or organizations to influence language use and development (Baker, 2006). Language policy and planning should be stable and reasonable to propose the success of BE programs and build a healthy environment for ML maintenance and development.
4/. World Models of Mother Language Education (Bilingual Education)
There have been diversified models and purposes of mother language education in the world as some typical programs presented in the paper. Those are presented for the broadened tendency,
As examples of weak form and for the purpose of improving academic performance in Britain, the mother tongue is normally used to refer to the first language acquired by children. It relates to native languages other than English (national language), which may be taught as a school subject accompanied by content-based subjects in English (national language) (Martin-Jones, 1984). The concept of mother-tongue education, or the use of minority students’ native languages as a means of instruction, is widely considered to be valuable for students (Tollefson, 1991). Tollefson argues that children who have not learned English might be seriously disadvantaged by having to learn in English-medium classes. Therefore the principle of equality means that the government needs to provide mother-tongue classes until students are able to participate equitably in English-medium classes. This has led to several research projects and several important reports. Alan Bullock’s (1975) examination of all aspects of English teaching (i.e., the relationship between speaking and listening and reading and writing, handwriting and spelling, and children with special reading difficulties) resulted in a unified national policy on language and mother tongue education.
Examples of strong form and for the promotion of bilingualism and multilingualism, the European Communities Directive on the Education of Children of Migrant Workers (European Communities, 1977) supported policies to improve the education of linguistic minorities. The most important government document on education of ethnic minority children in Britain is Education for All (Swan, 1985). In the final report, the committee commissioned studies, which reviewed research on pupils of South Asian origin (Taylor, 1985), Chinese origin (Taylor, 1987b), and Vietnamese, Cypriot, Italian, and Ukrainian origin, as well as Romanies and Liverpool Blacks (Taylor, 1987a). The debate over mother-tongue education in Britain has continued with intensity. The British government has clearly allied itself with the view that mother tongues are appropriate as school subjects only, and should not be supported as part of a commitment to a genuinely pluralist society in which linguistic diversity is maintained (Tollefson, 1991).
Another view of MLTP is its forms, in which strong or weak clearly revealed by the span of time that students learn the language. Strong from, which mother language was taught up to the last grade of high school is a rather popular strategy in language and education policies of various multicultural and multilingual nations. Examples of bilingual teaching in which minority languages are taught as a second school language up to the last grade of high school are abundant, as shown next. In Brunei, the Dwibahasa (two languages) school system operates through Malay (Bahasa Melayu) and English (Jones et al., 1993, Baetens, 1999). In Nigeria, BE is present, particularly at the secondary school level, in English plus one of the national languages of Nigeria Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba (Afolayan, 1995). In Germany, German is paired with French, English, Spanish, and Dutch to create a ‘German model’ of European multicultural and BE (Masch, 1994). In New Zealand, the Kohanga Reo (language nests) movement provides a grassroots from instituted immersion pre-school for the Maori people (May, 1996). In Singapore, English plus Mandarin, Malay or Tamil (The four officials of the country) create BE (Pakir, 1994).
4.1/. Mother language education in the US. Example of the unstable language policy and planning. The BE in the US, that is a plethora of existing typologies in various models for specific goals in theory and practice and always a controversy topic, represents an unstable language policy (May, 2008).  In 1959, the National Defense and Educational Act was passed, promoting foreign language learning in elementary schools, high schools, and universities. It was the first federal legislation to promote foreign language learning. Later on, the Immigration Act of 1965, the Bilingual Education Act of 1968, (Crawford, 1999), the 1975 Lau Remedies[4] (Ovando & Collier, 1998) were issued. And then, Native American Language Act of 1990 was passed by the US Federal and States government (Recento & Wright, 2008). Those marked the starting of a policy of promoting minority languages, which were implemented rather early in a multi-culture, multi-lingual and English native nation. The permanent “melting pot” idea, English “only”, used to be the mandatory language of over 500 different ethnic groups in America for nation’s unity goal then turned to English plus. Meaning some American realized that unity in diversity better than unity through English only. From this time, mother languages had the right to be taught in American schools and handed down to the younger generations. There have been various names, goals and models of mother language teaching programs in US, such as five main performances, transitional and developmental BE, partial, two-way, and total immersion programs (Ovando, 2003).
After June 2001, No Child Left Behind passed. Bilingual Education Act was officially inactive, starting another “English only” cycle, English Language Learner (ELL) instead of Limited English Proficiency (LEP. Federal and more than 15 states stopped funding the BE and transferred to the ELL programs. Fortunately, new term has currently been used for bilingual/immersion programs, which are considered as foreign language immersion programs offering for minority and even indigenous students in the U.S. (Lenker & Rhodes, 2007). They are able to serve well The National Security Language Initiative, which called for action in increasing the availability and quality of long-term foreign language programs to aid in global awareness, national security, and economic competitiveness of the U. S. (U.S. Department of Education, 2006). Even with these current policies the limiting the use and learning of languages other than English in schools still exists. There are, for the sake of reality –national security- currently 343 immersion programs in 27 states in the USA, providing instruction in 10 languages (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2009). Moreover, in adult schools, there have been providing nationwide free ML classes. Those above are irreversible tendencies and good examples for Cham program insiders to study and apply in their specific context.
4.2/. Mother tongue teaching in Singapore. Example of the stable and proper language policy and planning. BE in Singapore has been taking a very crucial role in the national unity and development of that country and insisting on a stable language policy. The Singapore government has standing worries that Singapore, a tiny predominantly Chinese ethnic country with no natural resources and a dominant Islamic faith, may face significant challenges to sustain its national unity and socio-economic development. The ethnic and linguistic diversity of Singapore’s Chinese, Malay, and Indian population is also seen as a potentially explosive threat to its national survival, stability, and development (Singapore Education, 2003). However, bilingual policy, implemented in the form of English with Malay or Mandarin or Tamil, has served as sustainable foundation to develop the nation towards a pluralistic and tolerant society. English is seen as being “ethnic-neutral” and the language of the global economy, so Singapore has made English the pragmatic language of choice to be declared as the co-official language, for both political stability and economic success purposes (Ho & Alsagoff, 1998; Bokhorst-Heng, 1999).  This has made the MTTP in Singapore unique in that it is the first country that has consistently used the MTTP approach as a general means of nation development.
BE in Singapore is implemented with English as a medium of instruction across the curriculum and first school language (EL1) with language lessons in second language school, Chinese (CL2), Malay (ML2), and Tamil (TL2) (Pakir, 2008). Mother tongue teaching has been one of the compulsory subjects taught in primary schools (for six years) since 1966, in secondary schools (for four years) since 1969, and in Junior College/ Pre-University (for two years) afterward (Man-Fat, 2005). Based on students’ ethnicities, each student chooses Malay, Mandarin or Tamil as their mother tongue to learn in schools. This bilingual policy has truly contributed to the unique and distinct Singaporean identity. That is in the ways Singaporean people use their languages, their mother tongues and English. The policy has been regarded as the cornerstone of Singapore’s economic, political, and national successes (Pakir, 2008).
Underlying the government’s promotion of English for pragmatic purposes, Singapore’s other three official languages (Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil) are meanwhile assigned the functions of conveying culture and serving as a means of intra-ethnic communication. Singapore’s bilingual policy in education was instituted soon after independence in 1965 and has been in place for almost fifty years. While many changes have taken place in the education system, including policies, education structure and curriculum, this policy has remained largely unchanged in its essence to this day. To my view (and that of other researchers), that is the definition of bilingual success: attaining proficiency in English and in one’s ‘ethnic mother tongue’ (Pang, 2009).
4.3/. Mother Language Education in Vietnam. Before 1975: BE was not paid much attention since the central and local government were occupied with other emergent problems of the wartime, the ideology war between the North communist and the South democratic. Even though there were many good directions in the field, the then BE were implemented interruptedly, formally and just for teaching revolutionary songs in ethnic minority languages in guerilla bases such as, Raglai, Katu, Bru- Van Kieu and Ta-oi areas or in Northern border regions of Hmong, Tay, and Nung in Viet Bac and Tay Bac autonomous regions from 1956 to 1975 (Duiker, 2000). The songs were written in minority languages, which were transcribed in Latin scripts. This encouraged the then ethnic people who didn’t know much Vietnamese to unite in a fight for reunification of the nation. There is little information left on the minority language teaching in Viet Bac and Tay Bac autonomous regions from 1956 to 1975, Cham language teaching program in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan (Pangduranga area) from 1954 to 1975 (Quang, 2005b).
After 1975: The real change happened visibly in the field right after the Directive 23-CT/TW on 11/15/1977 issued by the Secretary of the Central Communist Party Committee about the policies to southern ethnic minorities, and their languages. Based on the guideline of the decree, in 1978 the Cham Textbooks Compiling Committee (CTCC) in Ninh Thuan province was established by the local government. Some provinces in Mekong Delta also prepared the textbooks and teachers for Khmer language teaching program. The Council of Ministers’ directives require Khmer (1981) and Cham (1982) provinces to strictly follow the policy on teaching ethnic writing together with the national language. To fulfill this brand new task, the officials had to compiled textbooks from grade 1 to grade 5, to train teachers, to set up experimental classes as models then extending in other schools. There were supervision system and update every year. Then the support from Ministry Of Education and Training (MOET) to teach ethnic minority writing, draws up curriculums, publishes teaching manuals and textbooks, trains teachers, and directs the plans and teaching methodology for different languages make the programs closer to the practical requirement.
Recently, some collaborative projects with foreign organizations in the field happened help BE in Vietnam to develop at a new level. In January 1996, a workshop was conducted with American experts and key teachers from four ethnic minority groups to produce bilingual curriculum materials and accompanying teacher education modules for using in the Multigrade and Bilingual Education Project. This workshop resulted in the production of bilingual, localized literacy materials in the form of Big Books in Bhanar, Khmer, Cham and Hmong as a kind of pilot experiment with the aim at developing an appropriate model for further expansion in the whole country where applicable (Marilyn, & Paul, 1996). Also In 1996, MOET extended the Multigrade and Bilingual Education Project into “Minority Education Project”, with the cooperation of foreign experts from Australia, the sponsored from UNICEF (The Universal Primary Education for Ethnic Minority Children Project - a UNICEF project) and World Bank. This project set up 3 Centers for Compiling Minority Textbooks at 3 regions or wrote and rewrote textbooks for Khmer, Cham, Hmong, Ede, Jarai, and Bhanar and took experiment on new textbooks in 5 years. The project will be concluded in summer 2005 (Circular 01, 1997).
Ethnic issues in Vietnam has shown extremely sensitive, such as recent conflicts related to the Montagnard in the Central Highland of Vietnam asking for free religion and ownership of their ancestor land in 2001 and 2004, and the Hmong getting together in Muong Nhe district, Dien Bien province in 2011 making claims of religious freedom and established its own kingdom. (BBC, 2011). From the reality of Khmer and Cham language teaching programs, the implementation of the decree 23, 1977, MLTP has definite effect on the success of education of minority students, minority language revival. More than that the potential unstableness of current social and political issues of the areas was not only terminated but also facilitated the social development peacefully and sustainably. There has been no conflict happened between communities with local governments as in other minority areas without MLTP. Recognizing the crucial role of MLTP on the success of education of minority students and minority language maintenance, the important foundation for sustainable development of the nation, the prime minister of Vietnam government has signed and passed the Decree 82/2010/ND-CP stipulating the teaching - learning of spoken and written languages ​​of ethnic minorities in schools and continuing education centers (Vietnamese Decree, 2010).
Under this Decree, minority languages will be taught as a subject in schools when they meet all the following conditions: (1) Ethnic minority has aspirations and needs of learning and maintaining their own mother tongue; (2) The minority languages to be taught and learned in school are the traditional forms popularly used by the community, which have been approved by the specialized agencies or the determination letter by competent authorities; (3) Programs and textbooks in the minority language teaching are compiled and assessed under the provisions of the Minister of Education and Training; (4) Teachers of minority language subjects must be qualified by proper training, at a teacher training college, or a pedagogy university; (5) Facilities and teaching facilities in minority language subjects are prescribed by the Minister of Education and Training.Về hình thức tổ chức dạy học: tiếng dân tộc thiểu số là một môn học trong các cơ sở giáo dục phổ thông và trung tâm giáo dục thường xuyên. On the form of teaching: the minority languages are taught as optional subjects in schools and continuing education centers (adult schools).Người hoàn thành chương trình học tiếng dân tộc thiểu số được cấp chứng chỉ theo quy định của Bộ trưởng Bộ Giáo dục và Đào tạo. The completion of minority language programs ​​is certified in accordance with the Minister of Education and Training. The decree also stipulates the fund for minority language programs, teachers and encouraging the minority students with the state provision of textbooks and reference books.Nghị định này có hiệu lực thi hành kể từ ngày 31/8/2010. This Decree took effect from the date 08.31.2010 and broadens the MLTP to about 30 minority languages that already had written forms and others in Vietnam. In school year 2008-2009, there were 10 minority languages taught in 646 schools, including 4,518 classes, with 105,638 students and 1,223 teachers (Vu, 2010). It is too early to say that with this powerful guideline, Vietnam can be one of the leading nations with the good models in teaching minority languages unless Vietnam consistently implements language policy and plan as stated in the decree 82 and other legal documents.
5/. Bilingual education frameworks relate to the Cham MLTP in Vietnam
5.1/. The Cham MLTP.  The program started in 1978 in two experimental first grade classes in two elementary schools and covered and was extended to all grade levels in most elementary schools in 1985. In 1995 the program was extended to all elementary schools in the Cham Ninh Thuan province, and to some in the Binh Thuan province. The MLTP teachers have to follow a specific syllabus that is arranged in the Cham language textbook as stipulated by the CCTC, which uses the Cham traditional script, referred to as Akhar Thrah. In the current implementation of the MLTP, Cham is taught 2 to 4 periods a week from grades one to five.  In this model, Cham is considered an optional subject that is added to the other 9 compulsory subjects taught in mainstream elementary schools. The official purpose of the MLTP program is for students to achieve literacy in the Cham language and improve their academic performance in all the mainstream subject areas. In the Ninh Thuan province, the program attendance has been persistently high, with the highest attendance rate during the school year of 2001-2002, when about 10,000 students and 300 teachers participated in the program. Using financial hardship as a reason the local government decided in the 2002-2003 academic year to cut class time from 4 periods per week to only 2 periods a week. As a result, now there are only 50 teachers in the program, a sixth of number of teachers it used to employ, and therefore the teacher to student ratio has exponentially decreased so that fewer teachers have to teach a much larger number of students.  Consequently, the instruction suffered and student final score has visibly decreased in the last few years (Trai, 2008a).
5.2/. The MLTP related issues. After more than 30 years of development of the MLTP, there is substantial controversy in the community about its value and effectiveness in terms of its success regarding Cham language revitalization and the academic performance improvement of the Cham students. For a long time, the only comments available concerning the program were made by parents, community members, and government officials through annually school year-end reports. Traditionally, there has been a very limited association between the program insiders and worldwide BE and language immersion literatures. This changed in 2006, when a seminar on "History of Language and Cham script” took place in Malaysia.  Since then, a few Cham researchers have focused their attention on the MLTP program. They have done their research on the program and arrived to generally negative conclusions about three syllables used in MLTP textbooks as the MLTP phonics principle- one symbol has only one correspondent sound (Dharma, 2006).
6/. The Cham MLTP program within the theoretical and practical frameworks
The mentioned all above of BE in Asia and in the world, is a brief review of diverse linguistic programs that are highly related to the goals of the MLTP program that has been implemented in Vietnam. My aim in reviewing these programs is to extract the applicable lessons for Cham language program as following:
Cham language program is a strong form theoretical and practical. The current limit of class-time and span of the program are not enough to build Cham literacy and proficiency as respected. Two periods weekly until fifth grade as it was is too little or all school hour as in language immersion program in the U.S. is too much for its real function in communication. Two to five periods a week and span from beginning of school grade to the end of high school is the better option for the Cham language program. Especially, at elementary level, textbooks were designed for four period structures; therefore class-time must be four periods weekly.
Each Cham teacher had better teach only his or her own MLTP class at elementary schools. The numbers of Cham teachers in some schools are very small limited in sharing teaching knowledge and experience for supporting effective bilingual classes and effective bilingual schools. As mentioned above, since 2001, by excused of the financial reason, the class-time of Cham language classes were cut short into 2 period a week and the Cham teachers had to teach more than their own classes (Trai, 2008a). This discouraged the competition and interchange of teaching knowledge and experience among teachers, which are important to build a strong MLTP staff in an effective bilingual school, the central role of success of MLTP. It is difficult to advance the effectiveness of BE with very limited financial and material resources.
Moreover, book for reference and reading, teacher training, and official status for Cham language are needed. The time that students contact with Cham language is too small, only two 35 minutes a week for Cham language acquisition process, while majority language overwhelming. They need more time for extra assignment and reading in Cham language. In reality, there are only five big picture books, and about ten extra reading books for five-years of elementary level (Trai, 2008a). Extra reading books, newspapers and magazines in Cham are necessary for students and non-students to practice their language skills and to maintain the Cham educational achievement. Some Cham teachers took only short training class before serving class (personal communication, 2011). Though in decree 82 training teachers is clearly stipulated, there are few no official trained teachers teaching mother language classes in reality. This needs urgent adjustment. Though there is no document to reveal the official status of the Cham language, it was taught in the schools, used in mass media, and public. The minority are happily feeling that their language and their identity are recognized and respected.
Cham language use in community, family and home should be promoted and encouraged. Cham corresponding among Cham people nowadays usually in Vietnamese needs to reverse to Cham, because this lead to less proficiency in written Cham language in the community. The revitalization of the Cham language cannot occur solely through the schools, but as the result of the mutual reinforcement of the efforts of schools, families and the community. This is also considered as the four level[5] of effectiveness of BE, beyond school environment (Baker, 1998).
Cham language should be used in other necessary supported institutions such as in mass media, the Internet, and other modern forms of communication. In the Internet era, the most powerful of communicative forms to spread the information to largest receivers at a shortest time, if the Cham leaders and teachers can exploit these forms to spread their language and culture, their traditional value have more chance to live longer and develop with the modern world.
7/. The gaps between existing literature and the Cham MLTP context
7.1/. Language attitude and language pride (Textbook content). Bilingual education is intercultural education. BE programs in the world usually practice the same curriculum from the mainstream education such as Hawaiian language immersion; translate the material from mainstream textbooks. The language is only the container of the culture and traditional values (Fishman, 1994b; Graddol, 1997). Language lives in the culture environment, through traditional materials. Words should be appeared in minority literature and arts. Make the language has the spirit of the culture (Graddol, 1997). Such as Cham MLTP, teachers use traditional song and dance to teach lively language. The Cham traditional literature is used in the textbooks. They nurture the pride of their language encourage them to use it in their daily contexts. This in turn encourages Cham students practice intergenerational transmission and language transmission in the family (Baker, 2006). “Family language reproduction”, which is direct and essential factor of language maintenance, was encouraged by the language pride (Baker, 2006, p. 52). Is this why the Cham language is alive after 180 years living in Vietnamese nation, while in the US, it may disappear after about 30 years (three generation).
7.2/. Weak form or strong form (class time and span of the MLTP). The proper instructional time and models help BE develop. Heritage immersion is usually total immersion program. Schools are typical society the preparation for kids to enter the real society successfully. The MLTP for Cham students can be considered as what is in between the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ forms of BE aiming at assimilation and monolingual. Because, even though the constitution and the government discourse has stated that “Ethnic minorities have the right to receive compulsory and free primary and lower-secondary education in their languages, use their own languages and scripts, maintain and develop their good traditions, practices, custom and culture” (Vietnam constitution, 1992; Circular 01, 1997), the real discourse for the accomplishment of said goal in terms of resources, time, and finances has persistently been insufficient to meet the requirement for the maintenance of mother language proficiency (Trai, 2008a). The strong form examples confirmed that minority language programs should last up to the last grade of high school. It allowed the learners endorse the chance for full biliteracy (Schwinge, 2008). Whatever they learn in class can be used in their real daily life. The percentage of ML class time should be respective with its function in their daily life. Cham MLTP classes should be 4 periods a week and last until the last grade of high school. This should be addressed in further research to get better solution.
Why some BEs in the world the US could not develop as it should be? Is it lack of language pride, or cultural contents, or improper class time? Further research need to be done.

Afolayan, A. (1995). Aspects of bilingual education in Nigeria. In B. M. Jones & P. Ghuman (Eds.), Bilingual education and identity. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Baetens, B. H. (1999). Language policy and bilingual education in Brunei Darussalam. Bulletin des Séances (Academic Royale Des Sciences D’Outre-Mer), 45(4), 507-523.
Baker, C. (2006). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism. (4th Ed.). N. H. Hornberger (Ed.). Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. New York: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Baker, C., & Jones, S. P. (1998). Bilingual education. Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
BBC. (2011). Hmong People in Muong Nhe District “Violence”.
Bogdan, R., & Biklen, S. K. (1992). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods (2nd Ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Bokhorst-Heng, W. (1999). Language is more than a language (CAS Research Paper Series No. 6). Singapore: National University of Singapore, Centre for Advanced Studies.
Bui, T. N. D., & Dao, N. S. (2000). Report of Research Center for Ethnic Minority Education at the HEDO Seminar on 28th March 2000.
Bullock, A. (1975). A language for life: Report of the Committee of Inquiry. HMSO, London.
Center for Applied Linguistics. (2009). Directory of Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Programs in the U.S. Retrieved from
Circular 01. (1997). Guideline on teaching-learning oral and written minority languages.
Chap, H. C., The, I., & Thomas, A. (2003). Bilingual Education in Cambodia. Presented at Conference on Language development, Language Revitalization and Multilingual Education in Minority Communities in Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, 6-8 November 2003, from
Conference on Champa. (2007). Socio-cultural issues of Champa 175 years after its disappearance (1832-2007). Organized by Champa communities in America.
Crawford, J. (1999). Bilingual education: History, politics, theory and practice (4th Ed.). Los Angeles: Bilingual Education Services.
Cummins, J. (2001, February). Tosprogede borns modersmal: Hvad er vigtigt I deres uddannelse? (Bilingual children's mother tongue: Why is it important for education?). Sprogforum, (Denmark). Also published in English and French versions of the special issue of the journal focusing on Multilingual Denmark and Le Danemark plurilingue.
Dharma, P. (2006). Cham language and writing in the process of history. Retreived from
Donald, A. (2003). An Evaluation of the Multigrade and Bilingual Education Project in Vietnam, Human Rights Education in Asian Schools, 5, 101- 114.
Duiker, W. J. (2000). Ho Chi Minh: A life. New York.
European Communities. (1977). Council directive on the education of children of migrant workers. (Directive 77/486/EEC). DES, London.
Fishman, J. (1994a). Critique of language planning: A minority language perspective. Journal of multilingual & multicultural development, 15(2), 91-99.
Fishman, J. (1994b). “What Do You Lose When You Lose Your Language.” Stabilizing Indigenous Languages (p. 71-81). stabilize/ iii-families/lose.htm (22 March 2004).
Graddol, D. (1997). The future of English? A guide to forecasting the popularity of the English language in the 21st century. The British Council: The English-Company (UK) Ltd.
Gersten, R. (1985). Structured immersion for language minority students: Results of a longitudinal evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 7(3), 187-196.
Goldenberg, C. (2008). Teaching English language learners: What the research does – and does not – say. American educator, pp. 8-111, 14-16, 17-19, 22-23, 42-43.
Hardy, T. (1997). LAUSD Plays At Teaching, Los Angeles Daily News.
Ho, C. L. & Alsagoff, L. (1998). English as the common language in multicultural Singapore. In J.A. Foley et al. (Eds.), English in new cultural contexts: Reflections from Singapore (pp. 201-217). Singapore: Oxford University Press.
Jones, G. M., Martin, P. W., & Ozog, A. C. K. (1993). Multilingualism and bilingual education in Brunei Darussalam. In G. M. Jones, & A. C. K. Ozog (Eds.), Bilingualism and national development. Clevedon: Multilingual matters.
Lanauze, M., & Snow, C. (1989). The relation between first- and second-language writing skills. Linguistic and education, 1, 323- 339.
Lenker, A., & Rhodes, N. (2007). Foreign language immersion programs, features and trends over 35 years. CAL digest Retrieved from
Lewis, M. P.  (2009). Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version:
Man-Fat, M. W. (2005). A critical evaluation of Singapore's language policy and its implications for English teaching. Karen’s Linguistics issues. Retrieved from
Marilyn, W., & Paul, M. (1996). Teacher education partnerships in Vietnam, Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, University of Melbourne.
Martin-Jones, M. (1984). The sociolinguistic status of minority languages in England. University of London Institute of Education, London (Linguistic Minority Project Working Paper).
Masch, N. (1994). The German model of bilingual education. In R. Khoo, U. Kreher, & R. Wong (Eds.), Towards global multilingualism: European models and Asian realities. Clevedon: Multilingual matters.
May, S. (1996). Indigenous language rights and education. In C. Modgil, S. Modgil, & J. Lynch (Eds), Education and development: Tradition and innovation, 1. London: Cassell.
May, S. (2008). Bilingual/immersion education: What the research tells us. In J. Cummins & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education, 5, 19-34.
Ovando, C. J. (2003). Bilingual education in the United States: Historical development and current issues. Bilingual research journal, 27 (1), 1- 24 spring 2003. Arizona State University. From website
Ovando, C. J., & Collier, V. (1998). Bilingual and ESL classrooms: Teaching in multicultural contexts (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Pakir, A. (1994). Making bilingualism work: Development in bilingual education in Asian. In R. Khoo, U. Kreher, & R. Wong (Eds.), Towards global multilingualism: European models and Asian realities. Clevedon: Multilingual matters.
Pakir, A. (2008). Bilingual education in Singapore. In J. Cummins & N., H., Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education, 5, 191-203.
Pang, E. S. (2009). Report on Language and Language-in-Education Policies and their Implementation. Presented at Workshop on Using the mother tongues as bridge language of instruction in Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, 24-26 February 2009, from:
Personal Communication. 2011. Talking about the current needs of the MLTP program.
Phan, T. (2008). Conservation and development heritage Cham culture in Vietnam: Case study of Akhar Thrah script of the Cham. Presented at the Conference on the Report of social science research, Vietnam academy of social science, HoChiMinh City.
Phillipson, R., & Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (1996). English only worldwide or language ecology? TESOL Quarterly, 30(3), 429-452.
Quang, C. D. (2005a). Language policies and the reality of bilingual education for ethnic minorities in Vietnam. Presented in the 30 years beyond the war: Vietnamese, Southeast Asian, and Asian/American Studies at University of California- Riverside in April 2005.
Quang C. D. (2005b). The impact of mother tongue teaching on educational development in ethnic minority areas in Vietnam. M.Ed. thesis at Educational Colledge, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Ricento, T., & Hornberger, N. (1996). Unpeeling the onion: language planning and policy and the ELT professional. TESOL Quaterly, 30(3), 401-427.
Recento, T., & Wright, W. (2008). Language policy and education in the United States. In J. Cummins & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education, 1, 285-300.
Rossell, C.H. & Baker, K. (1996). The effectiveness of bilingual education. Research in the Teaching of English, 30, 7-74.
Schwinge, D. (2008). Conceptualizing biliteracy within bilingual programs. In J. Cummins & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education, 5, 51-63.
Singapore Education. (2003). Singapore education branch. Singapore tourist board. Retrieved from
Swan, M. (1985). Education for all: The report of the Committee of inquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups. HMSO. London.
Taylor, M. J. (1985). The best of both worlds...?: A review of research into the education of pupils of West Indian origin. NFER-Nelson, Windsor.
Taylor, M. J. (1987a). Britain’s other ethnic minority pupils: A review of research into their education. NFER-Nelson, Windsor.
Taylor, M. J. (1987b). Chinese pupils in Britain: A review of research into the education of pupils of Chinese origin. NFER-Nelson, Windsor.
The, B. K. (2003). Multilingual education in the community of minority peoples of Vietnam. Presented at Conference on Language development, language revitalization and multilingual education in minority community in Asian, 6- 8th November 2003, Bangkok, Thailand.
Thomas, W. & Collier, V. (2002). A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students’ Long-Term Academic Achievement, Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE), Santa Cruz CA.
Tollefson, J. W. (1991). Planning language, planning inequality language policy in the community. Longman London and New York.
Trai, L. M. (2008a). The teaching and learning of Cham language art in Ninh Thuan province.
Trai, L. M. (2008b). Report at The 30th year anniversary of Cham Compiling Textbooks Committee, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam 1978-2008.
U. S. Department of education. (2006). Archived: Teaching language for national security and American competitiveness.
Vietbao VNN. (2004). Teaching seven minority languages in elementary schools. Retrieved from
Vietnamese Constitution. (1992). The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, The Constitution 1992, Chapter I, Article 5.
Vietnamese Decree. (2010). Stipulating the teaching - learning of spoken and written languages ​​of ethnic minorities in schools and continuing education centers (Decree 82/2010/ND-CP). From
Vu, B. T. (2010). Teaching learning minority languages effectively. Journal of Ethnicity No. 118/2010

[1] Each period is 35 minutes for elementary and 45 minutes for secondary and high school.
[2] These programs have been named one-way, two-way (dual language) bilingual education and partial immersion programs, based on the level of immersion in the minority or target language and the related timing or balance of instruction in the majority language. (Thomas & Collier, 2002)
[3] Language planning includes, status: institutionalization (e.g. use in local and national government and organization), modernity (e.g. use on television), social networks, and workplace; acquisition: family language reproduction, bilingual education from pre-school to university, adult language learning; corpus: linguistic standardization (i.e. by dictionaries, school, and TV) (Baker, 2006).
[4] According to the Lau Remedies, bilingual education should be implemented in all school districts with at least 20 ELLs who represent the same language.
[5] Baker examined the effectiveness of BE at four levels, individual level, classroom level, school level, and beyond the school level (can be aggregations of schools into different types of program or into different geographical regions.

1 comment:

Priya Kannan said...

I just see the post i am so happy the post of information's.So I have really enjoyed and reading your blogs for these posts.Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
R Language Training in Chennai