Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This case study examines changes in bilingual education in California following the implementation of Proposition 227. The proposition attempted to eliminate native language instruction in favor of sheltered English immersion. Some school districts in California have continued modified forms of bilingual education, utilizing the native language within the parameters of the law. This study reports the progress of four kindergarten students in a bilingual alternative class after Proposition 227 was implemented. It assesses the students' academic progress in their native language, which is Spanish, as well as English language acquisition. Parent interviews were used to gauge parental perceptions of bilingual education as well as relevant educational or English language background. The findings were that all four students showed growth in math skills over the course of the year. They also showed notable progress in language arts. All students studied showed advancing fluency in English, with three of the four students demonstrating proficiency two levels higher than their entry-level proficiency (according to the Language Assessment Scales test of English proficiency). Recommendations are to continue providing balanced bilingual programs with some native language instruction and structured English language development opportunities. It is suggested that increasing parent and public awareness of the rationale for bilingual education as well as the class structures used, and the successful development of English language skills possible in such programs is a necessary step to gaining public support.


Thesis (M.A.) Institute for Advanced Studies in Education