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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Impact of Two-way Bilingual Elementary Programs on Students’ Attitudes Toward School and College


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence that participation in a two-way bilingual elementary program has had on former program participants’ language and achievement outcomes; current schooling path and college plans; and attitudes toward school, self, and others. Study participants were current high school students who were enrolled in a two-way program throughout elementary school. Participants (n=142) were categorized into three ethnic/language groups: Hispanic previous English Language Learning (ELL) students (66%), Hispanic native English speakers (20%), and Euro American students (13%). Results suggest that most students valued their bilingualism and were still using Spanish, had very positive attitudes toward school and attending college, believed they would not drop out of school, and gave very high marks to the two-way program. Few ethnic/language group differences were found, with the exception that the program was evaluated much more favorably in some areas by Hispanic students compared to Euro students, with Hispanic former ELL students typically providing the highest ratings.

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