In the same way that
bilingualism is a simple label for a complex phenomenon (Cazden &
Snow 1990), so is bilingual education.
To cite Baker (1996, p173):
"At the outset, a
distinction needs making between education that uses and promotes two languages and
education for language minority children. This is a difference between a classroom where
formal instruction is to foster bilingualism and a classroom where bilingual children are
present, but bilingualism is not fostered in the curriculum. The umbrella term,
bilingual education, refers to both situations leaving the term ambiguous and imprecise.
Precision can be attempted by specifying the major types of bilingual education."
One way of discriminating
between the different types of bilingual education is to look at the different objectives
that these programmes aim to achieve.
aim to shift the child from the home minority language to the dominant majority language.
In which case, the pupils might either lose their first language whilst acquiring their
second and main language; or never fully develop their minority mother tongue.
Maintenance programmes attempt
to foster the minority language of the childs ethnic group and promotes bilingualism
and biculturalism in the pupils.
Enrichment programmes aim at
promoting a second or a foreign language and, depending on the context, aim at fully
developed bilingualism or merely at working competence in the foreign language.
Please refer to the Bibliography for more information. In particular, Ferguson, Houghton & Wells (1977) for their
classification of the various aims of bilingual education programmes.
here for more information about Bilingual Education Programmes in specific countries