WGBH Interview: Rethinking English Immersion For Bay State Students

WGBH Interview: Rethinking English Immersion For Bay State Students

I had the chance to sit down with Tina Martin from WGBH to discuss my legislation, An Act relative to language opportunities for our kids. Listen below:


It's been a long debate, how to best teach children who don't speak English as a first language. Question 2 English immersion measure passed back in 2002. That law mandated that public school teachers shouldn't speak any language other than English in their classrooms for extended periods of time. Opponents of the measure have been fighting it ever since and now for the first time, a bill is before lawmakers that might change it.

Lawmakers are in a last minute scramble to get bills passed before the session ends in July, but state representative Jeff Sanchez of Jamaica Plain has been working for more than a decade on what he calls "The Look Bill" that would modify the current English Immersion Law. He says, "I felt that the premise for that law was incorrect and the data that we have shows that that initiative was absolutely wrong. We've gone through essentially a generation and a half of kids that have been under-performing in school districts across the state."


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