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2 Chapter Two: Bilingual programmes and their effectiveness

2.5 May and Hill typology

2.5.2 Level 2: Model

The second level of the May and Hill diagram above describes specific models. This level is explained by Freeman (1998, p. 3) as being focussed on schools’ “language-planning goals and ideological orientations toward linguistic and cultural diversity.” There are three simple programme models that many commentators recognise: transitional programmes, maintenance programmes, and enrichment programmes. To these, the model adds a fourth, heritage model to better reflect the situation of indigenous Māori-medium programmes in Aotearoa/New Zealand. These various models will now be discussed. Transitional bilingual programmes

A transitional model of bilingual education uses the L1 of minority language students in the early stages of schooling but aims to shift students away from the use of their L1 as quickly as possible towards the greater use of the dominant language (English language, in the context with which we are concerned) in order to cope academically in English-medium or general education (de Mejia, 2002; Otheguy & Otto, 1980). In other words, the L1 is used only to the extent that it facilitates the transition of the minority language speaker to the majority language (L2). Accordingly, most transitional programmes are also ‘early-exit’ programmes, where the L1 is used for only 1-2 years, before being replaced by the L2.

vision as additive programmes do, but originate in already heteroglossic languaging practices.

Transitional bilingual programmes (TBE) acknowledge the significance of the interdependence of languages (see 1.9.2), along with the benefits of using L1 as a bridge to the acquisition of L2. Despite this, however, TBE also clearly holds to a subtractive view of individual and societal bilingualism. In assuming that the (minority) L1 will eventually be replaced by an (majority) L2, bilingualism is not in itself regarded as necessarily beneficial, either to the individual or to society as a whole. This in turn suggests that the eventual atrophy of minority languages, or the aim of moving eventually from bilingualism to monolingualism in the majority language, remains a central objective of transitional bilingualism programmes.

Transitional bilingual programmes have not been implemented in Aotearoa/New Zealand, except at the localised school level. This is in marked contrast to the USA, for example, where transitional programmes were developed widely for Spanish (L1) speakers from the 1970s onwards. The principal reason for their lack of implementation in Aotearoa/New Zealand has been a long-standing (and ongoing) preference for English-only educational approaches for ethnolinguistic minority students in general education, supplemented with ESL support, and an intolerance of linguistic diversity in schools. Maintenance models

A maintenance model to bilingual education, on the other hand, differs fundamentally from a transitional model because it aims to maintain the minority language of the students, strengthen their sense of cultural and linguistic identity, and affirm their individual and collective rights. There are many types of bilingual programme that can be said to fit into this model. However, the typical participant in a maintenance bilingual programme will be a minority group member (e.g., Welsh in Britain, Catalan in Spain, French Canadian in Canada, Spanish in the United States) whose L1 is already developed to an age-appropriate level. The language of instruction will be predominantly the L1.

This is because the aim of such programmes, as their designation suggests, is to maintain the L1 for a sufficient amount of time so that a high level of language proficiency in the L1 is achieved. This is turn facilitates the acquisition of literacy in an L2, on the basis of the developmental interdependence principle (see 1.9.2). Consequently, the most common

programmes in a maintenance bilingual model are late-exit programmes, that is, the use of L1 as an instructional language continues for at least four years.13 Enrichment programmes

Closely related to maintenance bilingual programmes are enrichment programmes, a term first coined by Fishman (Fishman, 1976). If the former are geared towards maintaining the L1 of minority language students, the latter are generally, but not exclusively, associated with teaching majority language students a minority target language. French immersion in Canada, where many of the students come from middle-class L1 English-speaking homes, is perhaps the most often cited example of an enrichment bilingual programme here. Welsh-medium schools, which also include many middle-class L1 English speakers, are another example (see May, 2000). Elite bilingual programmes such as the European Schools movement are also widely regarded as enrichment programmes (Skutnabb-Kangas, 1981; Valdés & Figueroa, 1994).

As with maintenance programmes, the emphasis in enrichment programmes is not just on achieving bilingualism and biliteracy for individual students, but also on the ongoing maintenance of the minority language(s) in the wider community. As Hornberger argues, the enrichment model “encompasses all those bilingual education programme types which aim toward not only maintenance but development and extension of the minority languages, cultural pluralism, and an integrated national society based on autonomy of cultural groups” (Hornberger, 1991, p. 222). Linking the individual and the social context directly in this way emphasises that maintaining a minority language is not only an individual right of its (minority) speakers but also a potential resource for all speakers.

Accordingly, Hornberger (1991) argues that this type of programme has the greatest potential to educate students successfully in bilingual programmes, given its strong additive bilingual basis. It is also the programme most likely to reduce the educational and wider social and linguistic inequalities experienced by minority language speakers.

13 Not all late-exit programmes are maintenance bilingual programmes. There are some late-exit transitional programmes as well. However, the majority of transitional education programmes are early-exit, and the majority of maintenance bilingual programmes are either late-exit, or non-exit (i.e.,, the whole of schooling is conducted via the bilingual programme. This approach is particularly evident in the European context.) Heritage models

A final model at this level, and an addition to Hornberger’s (1991) framework, is the heritage model. Elsewhere, heritage models have been used to describe bilingual programmes for first nations groups, whose L1 is their indigenous language; and who are therefore taught through their L1 (e.g., Navajo; Hualapai in the USA; Inuit in Nunavut, Canada; Sámi in Finnmark, Norway). In many typologies, such indigenous heritage programmes have been equated, or more often simply elided, with maintenance bilingual programmes (see Baker, 2001).

The problem with this is that while some of these indigenous language programmes are clearly aimed at students who still speak the indigenous language as an L1 and may therefore be regarded as L1 maintenance bilingual programmes, others do not. Many also cater for students with a mix of L1/L2 speakers of the language (e.g., Hawaiian), and some have only L2 speakers of the language (e.g., the Master/Apprentice programme developed for the now largely moribund indigenous languages of California) and are therefore closer to the enrichment end of the continuum.

Certainly, many heritage programmes, with Māori-medium programmes being a key example, have an increasing preponderance of L2 speakers of the target language, the result in turn of ongoing language shift among indigenous peoples (see Holm & Holm, 1995; McCarty, 2002 for discussion regarding Navajo). As such, the pedagogical approach is closer to an immersion or enrichment bilingual model. Where heritage programmes differ from immersion programmes internationally, however, is that the wider social status of the language and the learners is not so high. In other words, they more closely represent a maintenance programme approach in terms of the low status usually ascribed the minority or target language in the wider society, in contrast to enrichment programmes where the languages being taught are often high status (see below for further discussion of immersion education).

A redefinition of heritage programmes in this research therefore creates a special position for indigenous students who have experienced generational language shift and who now need to learn their mother tongue as a second language. These changing language patterns for indigenous language speakers have much to do, in turn, with the rapidly increasing influence of English as a global language, along with the long history of subtractive

bilingualism discussed earlier (see May, 2001; Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000), and imposed by colonising powers. They certainly make the maintenance of indigenous languages considerably more difficult. Given this, it is crucial that both the international and national research literature begin to address more clearly the specific consequences of the increase in L2 speakers in many heritage language programmes.

In particular, we need to distinguish, and if necessary differentiate, between the specific language and learning needs of L1 and L2 speakers or learners of the target minority language within these programmes. This can be accomplished in ways that will further enhance the developmental and educational outcomes of all the students involved, but only if these issues are directly addressed. At this time, the increasing presence of L2 speakers continues to be either ignored, or their needs subsumed within those of the L1 group, even though the educational circumstances and learning needs of these groups may differ markedly. Baker’s (2001) typology of heritage language education, for example, did not distinguish between these groups or their different characteristics, and this is typical of the literature more generally, although Baker (2006) has subsequently modified his analysis to address this issue. Much the same can be said for the research literature on Māori-medium education, at least until recently (see Chapter Three).