Increasing the Effectiveness of Website Promotion for Heritage Language Bilingual School Programs ROSWITA DRESSLER UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY [email protected] ©2010 Canada’s bilingual programs Provincial legislation in western Canada allows bilingual programs in which 50% of instruction is conducted in the non-official language Most programs are found in urban centers Languages - e.g., Arabic, German, Hebrew, Mandarin, Spanish and Ukrainian Curriculum design • “The continuous, concurrent development of first and second language skills, or skills in additional languages, is fostered in bilingual programming. Opportunities for linguistic knowledge and skill development in both languages are maximized.” (Alberta Education, 1999, p. 11) Bilingual education Swain (2000) points out that bilingual education seeks to make “’students proficient in the second language while, at the same time, maintaining and developing their proficiency in the first language and fully guaranteeing their educational development” (Stern, 1972, in Swain, 2000, p. 199) Promoting to Anglophones “The levels presented are designed to represent the progression of knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of students who have had no prior exposure to the specific language upon entry into Kindergarten.” (Alberta Education, 1999, p. 13) Benefits of Bilingual Education Students with four or more years of language study score higher on language sections of the SAT: metalinguistic awareness, higher analogical reasoning and visual spatial skills. Promoting to HLLs • “However, students with prior exposure to the specific language can be challenged within this Framework.” (Alberta Education, 1999, p. 13) • “Well-implemented bilingual programs can promote literacy and subject matter knowledge in the minority language without any negative effects on the child’s development of the majority language.” (Cummins, 2003, p. 63) First language skills • When HLLs enter the school system, they require continued input in their first language in order for their linguistic skills in this language to develop further (Cho, Shin, & Krashen, 2004) First language literacy is a predictor of second or majority language development (Cummins, 2003) Recognizing linguistic diversity In the last decade we have had to let go of the assumption that early immersion classes would be full of homogeneous young Anglophones” (Swain & Lapkin, 2005, 174). Genesee & Gándara (1999) assert that Canada’s Immersion/Bilingual model is “largely ethnocentric” (p. 670), ignoring the reality of linguistic and ethnic diversity in its school population Minority language mainenance • The maintenance and development of minority language linguistic skills is highly influenced by schooling choices (Tse, 2001) • Some parents, often under the advice of teachers, choose to concentrate on their children acquiring the dominant societal (majority) language (Cummins, 2003), • With reduced input, native speakers of a minority language can struggle to maintain their linguistic skills, as manifested by a reduction in oral fluency (performance) (Lynch, 2003) or gaps in acquisition (Montrul, 2002). Website promotion Sarah Elaine Eaton in 101 ways to market your language program: A practical guide for language schools and programs includes: #28 Create an outstanding website “a website is an essential marketing tool. . . This is your sales pitch to the world!” (Eaton, 2002, p. 37) Research questions How do Bilingual School Programs market to Anglophones through their websites? 2. How do Bilingual School Programs market to HLLs through their websites? 3. What features do exemplary Bilingual School Program websites have in common? 1. 10 Western Canadian programs Province School District Schools Manitoba 2 3 Saskatchewan 2 2 Alberta 2 4 British Columbia 1 1 Map of Canada Manitoba School School District Languag e Website http://www.sh.retsd.mb.ca /programs/prog_main.htm Springfield River East Heights Transcona SD Ukranian l Brock http://www.wsd1.org/broc Corydon Winnipeg School kcorydon/ School Division Hebrew Princess http://schools.retsd.mb.ca/ Margaret River East pm/Pages/Welcome.aspx School Transcona SD German Springfield Heights School, Winnipeg, Manitoba Brock Corydon School, Winnipeg, Manitoba Princess Margaret School, Winnipeg, Manitoba Saskatchewan School School District Language Confederation Park Saskatoon Public Schools Cree Athabasca School Regina Public Schools Ukranian Website http://www.spsd.sk.ca/schoo lsPrograms/elementaryschool s/confederationPark/about.h tml http://athabasca.rbe.sk.ca/ Confederation Park School, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Athabasca School, Regina, Saskatchewan Alberta School School District Language Edmonton Public Malmo School Schools Arabic Edmonton Public Schools Talmud Torah Hebrew Edmonton Public Delwood Schools Elementary School Ukranian Website Bowcroft Calgary Board of Elementary School Education http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b1 11/ German http://malmo.epsb.ca/ http://www.talmudtorahso ciety.com/ http://delwood.epsb.ca/ Malmo School, Edmonton, Alberta Talmud Torah School, Edmonton, Alberta . Delwood School, Edmonton, Alberta Bowcroft School, Calgary, Alberta British Columbia (BC) School Dr. Annie B. Jamieson School District Vancouver School Board Language Mandarin Website http://jamieson.vsb.bc.ca/ Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Jamieson School has the only Mandarin Bilingual Program in British Columbia. Entry to the program commences in Grade 4. Discussion Most school websites do little to promote their Bilingual Programs Minority speakers of the target language are seldom addressed Target language rarely appears Most websites appear relatively static What can we learn from exemplary websites? Promote bilingualism Explicitly address HL competence “The Arabic Bilingual Program provides students with opportunities to acquire or maintain proficiency in both Arabic and English and to learn about related cultures.” Programming begins in Kindergarten, although children may also enter Grade 1 without previous knowledge of the language. Later entry is determined on an individual basis. Use the target language Recognize linguistic diversity “We are very fortunate to have teachers on our faculty who represent diverse cultures from throughout the Spanish speaking world. . . we have teachers from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela. Our teachers are bilingual, trilingual, and in some cases quadra-lingual.” Are updated regularly Conclusion: 5 Essential Elements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Elaborate on the benefits of bilingual education Promote the development of heritage language competence Use the target language Recognize linguistic diversity Update regularly References Alberta Education. (1999). Common curricular framework for bilingual programming in international languages, kindergarten to grade 12. Western Canada protocol for collaboration in basic education. Edmonton: Alberta Education. Archibald, J. (2010). Multilingual minds and brains. Paper presented at the CBE Bilingual Teacher Professional Day. Cho, G., Shin, F., & Krashen, S. (2004). What do we know about heritage languages? What do we need to know about them? Multicultural Education, 11(4), 23-26. Corbeil, J.-P., & Blaser, C. (2008). The evolving linguistic portrait, 2006 Census: Sharp increase in population with a mother tongue other than English or French [Electronic Version], from http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/analysis/language/allophone.c fm Cummins, J. (2003). Bilingual education: Basic principles. In J.-M. Dewaele, A. Housen & L. Wei (Eds.), Bilingualism: Beyond basic principles (pp. 5666). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Cummins, J. (2005). A proposal for action: Strategies for recognizing heritage language competence as a learning resource within the mainstream classroom. Modern Language Journal, 89(05), 585592. Eaton, S. E. (2002). 101 ways to market your language program: A practical guide for language schools and programs. Calgary: Eaton International Consulting Inc. Edwards, V., & Newcombe, L. P. (2006). Back to basics: Marketing the benefits of bilingualism to parents. In O. García, T. Skutnabb-Kangas & M. E. Torres-Guzmán (Eds.), Imagining multilingual schools: Languages in education and globalization (pp. 137-149). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Genesee, F. (2003). Rethinking bilingual acquisition. In J.-M. Dewaele, A. Housen & L. Wei (Eds.), Bilingualism: Beyond basic principles (pp. 204-228). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Genesee, F., & Gándara, P. (1999). Bilingual education programs: A cross-national perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 55(4), 665-685. Montecel, M. R. (2002). Successful bilingual education programs: Development and the dissemmination of criteria to identify promising and exemplary practices in bilingual education at the national level. . Bilingual Research Journal, 26(1), 1-21. Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2005). The evolving sociopolitical context of immersion education in Canada: Some implications for program development. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15(2), 169-186. Tse, L. (2001). Resisting and reversing language shift: Heritage language resilience among U.S. native biliterates. Harvard Educational Review, 71(4), 676-708.