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[Susan notes: Pleasure reading pays off in learning a second language.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published
04/25/2013

To the editor



Lawsuit: State fails some English learners (April 25) does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support.



One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 over a decade ago. Research

consistently shows that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not improve English proficiency.



Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers. California English learners, however, have a hard time finding books: California ranks near the bottom of the country in school library quality and is dead last in the ratio of school librarians per student.



Lawsuits should include restoring bilingual education and investing more in libraries and librarians.



Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus, USC


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