University Honors Thesis

A research paper exploring the social and cultural implications of dual language immersion programs on the Chinese-American, African-American and Caucasian groups of San Francisco.


Duration: 1 year.

Main focus: Ethnography, Contextual Inquiry, Interviews, Academic Research.

My role: Author


This is my final paper from my honors research methods class. This is a year-long course that you must qualify to participate in with a GPA above 3.5. In the first semester, we focused on developing a comprehensive understanding of different research methods, and their appropriate applications. The second half of the year is dedicated to a research topic of our choice. I’ve always been interested in the intersections between education, race, language and privilege, and this research paper gave me the chance to explore this topic in more depth. I conducted about ten interviews with students, parents, alumni, school principals, administration and politicians. I created a case study about the first Mandarin dual language public school program in a predominantly African American neighborhood of San Francisco. I also prepared a comprehensive academic literature review to understand the existing discourse on the topic, and what my contribution would be.


In hindsight, I think I could have focused the topic a bit more. When you go into a one year research project, there’s temptation to be ambitious and tackle every possible angle - but sometimes this breadth can weaken your overall contribution to the ongoing academic discourse.


Dual Language Programs in America

Creating an American Identity in a Multilingual Environment








Sophie Chow

May 4, 2009

Undergraduate Senior Thesis

Advisor: Reynaldo Baca


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 3

Introduction 4

Literary Review 6

Chapter 1: Defining Dual Language Education 10

Chapter 2: Parents’ Motivation for Enrollment: Mandarin as Instrumental vs. Integrative Tool 17

The Development of Mandarin Dual Language Education in San Francisco 17

Three Examples of Parents’ Motivations for Enrollment 22

Chapter 3: Race Relations in San Francisco: Starr King Elementary School as a Crossroad for African American and Chinese American History in San Francisco 29

Epilogue 43

Works Cited 46



I want to thank Reynaldo Baca, my faculty advisory for helping me from beginning to end. You always help me keep a level head, and introduced me to innumerable amounts of relevant articles, scholars, theories, music, film and arguments. Thank you Macarena Gomez-Barris and Shana Redmond for teaching the class, and helping me get the work done. I want to thank my fellow classmates, Marisol Siegel, Stephanie Joseph, Travis Silvers, Jordon Congdon and John Stewart for always listening to my various issues inside and outside of class. Thank you Helen Joe-Lew, Wendy Cheong, Leland Yee, Chris Rosenberg, Carlene Mclaughin and Amelia Mclaughlin for your honest and valuable interviews. I could not have completed this thesis without them. Thank you Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider for giving me an advanced copy of their wonderful documentary “Speaking in Tongues”. The film was instrumental to my thesis, and helped give my project a more intimate perspective on dual language education. I want to thank my family and friends. Your positive and negative experiences with education continue to motivate me to study second language acquisition.


Language and multiculturalism are subjects near and dear to my heart. My father was born in Taipei, Taiwan to a Sichuanese family. He immigrated to the United States when he was 14 years old. My mother was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and originally came to the United States on vacation with her sister at the age of 24. My parents met in the Haight Asbury district in the city of San Francisco, where they would later settle and have three children. Despite San Francisco’s long history of immigration, particularly from China, and an abundance of multiracial families, growing up biracial in San Francisco in the early 1990s was a unique experience. I felt particularly different because neither of my parents identified with American culture, or American English. As a young girl, my father often spoke Mandarin with his extended family, and my mother used the Scottish pronunciation of several English words. Growing up, I definitely the benefits of being multicultural and exposed to various languages.

Learning Chinese was a constant struggle for me. I always had the desire to study Mandarin, however, with the demands of regular school and homework, going to Chinese school was a huge time commitment. After my parents’ early failed attempt with a Chinese tutor, I returned to Chinese school my freshman year of high school. I began high school playing on three sports teams, and attending five hours of Chinese class per weekend. Eventually this lessened to just three hours on Sunday, but between the extra homework for Chinese class and my regular homework, I was really unhappy attending Chinese school. I was frustrated by the extra time spent outside of school to learn the language of my family, and eventually I approached the principal of my high school about the issue. After school one day, I went up to him outside of the school building and told him the issues I had with only offering Spanish and French in a city that has a large Asian population. I understood the value of teaching Spanish in San Francisco, but I absolutely could not understand offering French in a city that was 1/3 Asian, and 1/5 Chinese.1 At the time, I felt very resentful and disillusioned with what felt was a pseudo-liberal education – one that still clung to tradition and privileged European languages and history above all others. For this to take place in San Francisco, where white Americans are quickly becoming the minority, just felt wrong. The year after I graduated from high school, the principal began a Mandarin language program. Whether or not our discussion motivated his decision, I will never know – but I like to think it did.

So instead of learning Mandarin, I grew up learning Spanish from 3rd to 12th grade. Learning Spanish has proved very useful in California, and I do not regret investing time in the language. Now at the university level, I am minoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures and am in Advanced Modern Chinese 4, the highest level offered at USC. Not learning Mandarin at an early age has been very detrimental to my ability to absorb Mandarin and speak it fluently, however I am glad I have taken the time to study it. Dr. Ling-Chi Wang, a UC Berkeley professor of Asian American Studies, poses the following predicament in language education in the United States; he says, “I think it is really kind of ironic that in America, in the past, we try everything that we could possibly do through our educational process to purge the linguistic ability of the children of different language backgrounds as they enter into the school district, and then [after] they succeeded in fact in purging, whether it be Spanish, Chinese, or French or whatever language, and then when they get to the college level, then we spend millions in college education, to try to teach some college students the same languages we succeeded in purging out of these children.”2 Wang highlights not only the dilemma for native Chinese speakers, but also for heritage learners like myself. As a child, I did not have the opportunity to study Mandarin, despite Chinese being the largest ethnic group in San Francisco, yet in college I was able to study the language for 8 semesters and was inundated with required classes regarding Chinese as a language and culture, to fulfill the minor.

It seems that American education is at a crossroads, and cannot decide whether or not it promotes or discourages multilingualism. In this significant moment in education, I am interested in finding out why Mandarin dual language immersion programs are developing and the effects they have on the community. The research question driving this project is: How does dual language education affect cultural relationships amongst and between different communities in the San Francisco Bay Area? My sub-questions include: How do dual language programs support, challenge or create an American national identity? How does a student become an American through dual language programs? What does an American identity mean in an educational program that promotes multilingual definitions of Americanness? How do dual language programs develop in relation to American discussions on race, economics and power, and education?

Literary Review

Bilingual education has been a contentious issue in America since German immigrants began bilingual schooling in the 1800s. Bilingual education seemed to threaten the core of what makes a person quintessentially American – language – since this nation was founded on the assumption of mono-lingualism. For my senior thesis, I tie bilingual education to definitions of Americanism and an American identity. My study analyzes the ways in which dual immersion programs (where students become fluent in two languages) affect the relationship between different ethnic communities in San Francisco. Pedagogical literature on various forms of bilingual education is readily available, and literature on Americans’ attitude towards multilingualism is plentiful. However, in this project, I emphasize the connection between the pedagogical support for dual language education and its connection to creating more linguistically and culturally competent Americans. In this section of my thesis proposal, I will review existing literature on my topic.

Authors writing about bilingual and minority education have tried to account for persistent gaps in academic achievement for language minority students (Heath 1986; Krashen 1999; Ray 2008). The same literature largely supports additive bilingual programs like dual immersion (also known as dual language). The key for these programs is that they value multilingualism as an asset and incorporate a student’s literacy level in his native language, ultimately encouraging academic success. At the same time, this literature unanimously condemns subtractive programs that maintain an English-only perspective and treat multilingualism as a deficit. In her article, “A Synthesis of Studies Examining Long-Term Language Minority student Data on Academic Achievement” (1992) Virginia P. Collier found that students who participated in dual language programs resulted in the best academic achievement of all those involved in her four-year study. While her article provides strong support for the existence of dual language programs and their success rates, her rationale focuses on the importance of education, ignoring the larger context of American identity. My study fills this gap by providing social and cultural insight into the ways in which dual language classrooms create encounters between different ethnic communities.

Mariela M. Páes researched test results of 209 nonnative English-speaking students and found that once the tests accounted for the students’ literacy in their native language, their test results dramatically increased. Her study supports the idea that consideration for the native language of an individual is important. However, like Collier’s research, this study limits its discussion within a pedagogical, educational discourse, and does not contribute to a conversation about multiculturalism and Americanism. Stephen Días, Luis C. Moll and Hugh Mehan, in their article, “Sociocultural Resources in Instruction: A Context-Specific Approach” (1986) also take a pedagogical approach to teaching minority language students. Again, they suggest that an achievement gap exists between minority and non-minority students, but they do not make larger claims about the ways in which attitudes towards education affect American identity. Stanley Sue and Amado Padilla in their article, “Ethnic Minority Issues in the United States: Challenges for the Educational System” begin to bring in the idea of an American identity into the discussion of bilingualism. The authors use mostly educational terminology to suggest that being a minority American means coping with the duality of a society sometimes accepts and sometimes rejects difference. This article, though still from a pedagogical perspective, begins to resonate with my thesis because the authors bring in larger themes of assimilation and discrimination into their discussion of education.

In terms of contextualizing my thesis in American Studies, articles on attitudes towards multiculturalism, language and status as they affect American identity often do not directly address language education as a facet of that issue. For instance, in their article, “Explaining Pro-Immigrant Sentiment in the U.S.: Social Class, Cosmopolitanism and Perceptions of Immigrants” (2006) Jeannie Haubert and Elizabeth Fussell explain that the 1996 General Social Survey indicated that half the population had a favorable view of immigrants. The article regards labor market competition, cosmopolitanism and traveling abroad as primary reasons for this change. I was surprised to learn that in 1996, half of Americans believed immigrants were beneficial for this country. However, the authors note that this change seems to only occur among relatively wealthy Americans who can afford to live in cities and travel abroad. Haubert and Fussell overlook the fact that, like Min Zhou states in her study, “The Changing Face of America: Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Social Mobility” (2006), many immigrants tend to live in middle or working class ethnic enclaves, where the American citizens cohabiting the area do not have the means to travel abroad or are not exposed to this cosmopolitanism movement that is beginning to embrace immigrants as a fundamental, though often exploited, part of the economy. So the Americans Haubert and Fussell are referring to are not necessarily the ones immigrants are interacting with.

While Haubert and Fussell provide quantitative evidence for their argument, George J. Sanchez in his article, “Face the Nation: Race, Immigration and the Rise of Nativism in late Twentieth Century America” (1997) contradicts Haubert and Fussells article. Sanchez provides a thoughtful argument with a variety of support. He begins his article with an anecdote from the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and explains the situation as “an anti-immigrant spectacle at its very beginning” (1010). He later critiques the passing of Proposition 187, which he calls “a state initiative intended to punish illegal immigrants” (1012). He brings language into the discussion of race in America and claims a central issue is “extreme antipathy towards non-English languages and a fear that linguistic difference will undermine the American nation” (1020). Sanchez defines a major issue as the fact that some Americans believe that multilingualism will weaken the sense of national identity in America. However, he continues on, explaining that these fears stem from Americans’ own lack of exposure to many languages and persisting monolingualism. Sanchez also highlights the role of race and racism in his argument. He urges his readers to take Omi and Winant’s definition from their 1986 article, “Racial Formation in the United States From the 1960’s to the 1980’s” which treats racism as an institution that “creates or reproduces structures of domination based on essentialist categories of race.” More than just multilingualism weakening the country, he furthers his argument to explain that it is also the nonwhite immigrants coming to America that many white Americans see as undermining America. Sanchez’s article alludes to a fundamental part of my project – the connection between race, language and America. Sanchez does take a stand on language, however he does not speak about American attitudes towards language in education and the ways in which education affects changing perspectives of immigrants.

In “Language Rights and Political Theory”(2003) by Will Kymlicka and Alan Patten, the authors delve deep into normative language rights. They argue that political theorists often ignore the issue of language and are often caught up with “cultural diversity, ethnic, racial and religious pluralism” (3). This article also targets the fundamentals of my thesis project. The authors take a transnational approach to the topic and use several European countries as examples of successful multilingual communities. They also explain that language rights are important because without them, a “linguistic establishment” (10) is created. This article strongly correlates with my project, however my analysis is coming from a much more focused case study of schools in San Francisco, so I will be collecting my own data.

While my literature can provide a political framework from both the education and American Studies academic arenas, fieldwork will largely guide the rest of my research. I will be looking at Starr King Elementary in San Francisco as a case study, along with collecting newspaper articles, and conducting and analyzing interviews with experts in the field. I am not attempting to assess academic success, but instead, my goal is to better understand the ways in which these programs function within the framework of American identity. Larger themes I hope to extrapolate from my research are issues of power, language hierarchies, cultural competency, and economic motives for language acquisition. I will research these themes within the educational field in America. I am filling a gap between the discourse in American Studies involving the cultural aspects of language and the discourse in education that takes a more pedagogical approach to language acquisition.


Chapter 1: Defining Dual Language Education

The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) broadly defines bilingual education as “any use of two languages in school – by teachers or students or both – for a variety of social and pedagogical purposes.”3 Goals and teaching methods vary from program to program, and NABE lists some major goals for bilingual education, which include: teaching English, fostering academic achievement, acculturating immigrants to a new society, preserving a minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage, enabling English speakers to learn a second language, and/or developing national language resources. These goals are met through a variety of models. The main three are transitional, developmental, or two-way bilingual education. These programs differ in the following ways. For transitional programs, the goal is to use a 90:10 ratio of transitioning students from 90% of the time in their native language, and 10% in English, to 10% in their native language and then 90% in English. Timeframes for transitional models are sometimes one to three years, while others are more gradual over five to six years. Developmental bilingual education refers to the breakdown of the ratio of English Language Learners (ELLs) to native English speakers in a classroom. Developmental programs can be composed entirely of ELLs, or include a combination of English speakers and ELLs. Lastly, dual language or two-way models are programs where the students are taught an entire curriculum in their native language and English, compared to programs that only offer tutors, or translators in an English-only setting. Bilingual education for ELLs that focuses on subtractive methods of teaching English (English-only immersion, without regard for the maintenance and development native languages), only focuses on English acquisition. This method is problematic in many ways. It propagates a language hierarchy that holds English above all other languages. It also creates an atmosphere that excludes the use of native languages, which suggests that knowing more than one language, or knowing a language other than English is not an asset, but a deficiency that needs correction. If an institution is suggesting that a particular non-English language is undesirable, it also signifies that the culture following the language is not especially welcome in the classroom. Additive bilingual education, like dual language education, treats bilingual education as an opportunity to add another language without losing the native language of the student. My project focuses on two-way or dual language education because the emphasis is not just for ELLs to learn English, and for other students to learn a language other than English, but dual language education also involves thorough cultural integration of a variety of students into different cultures. In this chapter I will examine the effectiveness of dual language education for second language acquisition.

Dr. Virginia P. Collier, a dual language or two-way immersion specialist, refers to these unique educational programs as having “the demographics to invite native-English-speaking students to join their bilingual and ELL peers in an integrated bilingual classroom. Two-way classes can and should include all students who wish to enroll, including those who have lost their heritage language and speak only English”4. Two-way programs are designed to teach both English and the target language (ie. Spanish, Mandarin, French etc…). Because the goal of the program is bilingualism and biliteracy, dual language programs create a unique atmosphere in the classroom, where a language other than English is valued equally as much as English. Programs differ slightly from school to school, however, bilingualism is always the ultimate goal for dual language programs. Collier explains that an exact 50:50 ratio of native to nonnative speakers is not necessary to classify a program as dual language; however, having balance of speakers is important as it helps the acquisition of a second language. In the San Francisco Unified School District, Wendy Cheong, a bilingual content specialist, explains that the ideal ratio for San Francisco public schools is 30:30:30. The first third represents English Language Learners (ELLs), the second third represents monolingual English speakers, and the last third represents heritage learners. Heritage learners are a group of students that are more proficient in English than their heritage language, so participating in a dual language program is a way of reclaiming their ancestry. For example, a 5th generation Chinese American who cannot speak Mandarin would be an example of a heritage language learner in a Mandarin dual language program.

Dual language programs are particularly important because they give ELL students more confidence in the classroom, as their native language is valued just as equally as English. Cheong points out the distinction between other bilingual education and dual language programs saying, “The main difference is that in a dual language environment, both languages play equal roles of importance and so there is not a better language per se in an immersion program. That’s the objective.” America has a long history and a current continuing tension with the creation of a language hierarchy with English reigning far above any other language. Two-way programs help break down that language hierarchy, where children from a myriad of linguistic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds can come together, learn a language, and ultimately cross cultural boundaries.

California State Senator Leland Yee has worked for years in San Francisco and all over the state serving the ELL community. He believes a central facet of dual language programs, “is to help the kid who happens to be bilingual or happens to speak another language at home – that they know that they’re mother and father’s language is so important that it is also taught in school – that you don’t have to be ashamed, and that it is not any less than English. So when you go home and when you look at your parents, you don’t think that they are somehow less than other parents because they don’t speak the language that is taught in our schools.” Lee highlights social development as an important part of the elementary school process. Elementary school can be a carefree time, but it is also when students begin to develop an awareness of insecurities. Often, insecurities at that time are somewhat trivial, however for a student in a bilingual program that only promotes learning English, insecurities may be heightened by the fact that the institutions he is learning in openly support the purging of his native language. Because this is a language learned from his/her parents, it may also strain a student’s relationship with his/her parents and family members. For example, Jason5 is a student at San Francisco’s Spanish dual language school, Buena Vista Elementary School. His parents are from Mexico, and have had no formal education. His father explains that knowing Spanish is a central part of keeping their family close, and he explains in Spanish that “it would be hard for Maria and I if he lost his Spanish.”6 However, because of the small number of public dual language schools, it is more likely that other students in Jason’s situation would go to a school where English is predominantly used, and attend subtractive bilingual education classes that focus on English acquisition without regard to maintaining the native language. They might continue casual Spanish outside the home, but never experience the opportunity to become academically literate their native language.

State Senator Lee further describes a situation like Jason’s. He explains:

When you go to school it’s not only an educational process, but a social process. You learn if you are a “good” person or a “bad” person. You learn whether you’re valued or not valued. When you continually fail, and when you are constantly seen as deficient, then you’re not going to develop a good self esteem about yourself. As a result, bilingual education is not just about simply learning the content, but also developing good social skills with mental health, and most importantly just remembering who you are and what you are culturally and ethnically.


Again, Lee is emphasizing the importance of cultural confidence, and he believes that successful programs are programs that encourage the maintenance and development of native languages among ELLs. Lee describes the situation beyond just the importance of maintaining languages; he also emphasizes the significance of assuring a student that his language and culture are valid, important, and something to be proud of.

Like State Senatory Lee, those in favor of bilingual education believe that bilingual education is effective and necessary for teaching language minority students English. On the other hand, opponents believe that many ELLs have succeeded without bilingual support in English-only settings. While this is not entirely incorrect, many people who have succeeded in learning English fluently without bilingual education were in situations unlike the majority of ELLs today.7 Bilingual education scholar Stephen Krashen debunks the examples of the two leading opponents of bilingual education who claim they had success learning English in an English-only setting. The first example is Richard Rodriguez, author of the highly acclaimed, and also highly criticized book Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982) where he explains his development as an English speaker without bilingual education. Krashen explains that because Rodriguez lived in a predominantly English-speaking area in Sacramento, California, Rodriguez was exposed to a lot of informal English that supported his English acquisition. However today, many Limited English Proficient (LEP) students live in predominantly non-English settings. Their only exposure to English is in a school setting. Also, Rodriguez became an avid reader, which reflects the availability of books surrounding him. According to Krashen, most LEP children have little access to books, again limiting their exposure to English outside the classroom. The second opponent to bilingual education is author Fernando de la Pena, who came to the US from Mexico at age 9, and claims that after a year in America, he was at the top of his class. However, de la Pena was already literate in Spanish and competent with grade level subject matter. Also, when he came to the US he was pushed back two grades, so he did not simultaneously have to learn new subject matter along with English. He already understood the topics his class was covering, and therefore, could focus his energy on only learning English. Becoming literate and understanding subject matter in one’s native language first is a fundamental part of bilingual education, because fluency and comprehension in one’s native language then promotes fluency in English.8

While people like Rodriguez and de la Pena suggest that English immersion methods are the best way to learn the language, many studies show that these kinds of subtractive programs are ineffective (Heath 1986; Krashen 1999; Collier and Thomas 2004; Ray 2008). Similar to subtractive programs, the current No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) places emphasis on test scores and rewards schools that score high, while penalizing schools that fail to meet the national standards. NCLB includes English-only legislation that claims that ELLs should be at their grade level in English in three years. However, according to Collier, researchers have consistently found that it takes six to eight years for ELLs to arrive at the appropriate grade level English, and that dual language programs are one of the only programs where students have successfully closed the language gap in that time.9 Furthermore, English-only testing undermines the cognitive capabilities of a student, because it does not reflect his/her abilities in his/her native language, and instead constantly reflects ELL students as under achieving.

Bilingual education is a hotly debated issue in America. Opponents believe it is unnecessary, and that English immersion is the most successful method of learning English. Research disproves this argument, and studies conducted all over the nation demonstrate the effectiveness of bilingual education, along with recognizing dual language programs as the most effective method of becoming bilingual. Dual language education not only promotes bilingualism, but also biliteracy, as students learn to speak, read and write fluently in two languages. Dual language programs also incorporate culture as a key element in language acquisition. As a result, students enrolled in these programs develop a sense of multiculturalism beyond the classroom. In the next chapters, I will examine parents’ motivation for enrollment along with race in a dual language classroom.

Chapter 2: Parents’ Motivation for Enrollment: Mandarin as Instrumental vs. Integrative Tool


Today, over 1 billion people world-wide speak Mandarin. Learning Mandarin as a second language has also become increasingly popular. In her article, “Motivation as a Contributing Factor in Second Language Acquisition,” Jacqueline Norris-Holt (2001) explains two central motivations for parents to enroll their children in second language acquisition classes. Her theory identifies two central motivations: integrative or instrumental.10 Integrative motivation applies to people that “speak the language, admire the culture and have a desire to become familiar with or even integrate in to the society in which the language is used.”11 On the other hand, she explains instrumental motivation as “the desire to obtain something practical or concrete from the study of second language.”12 Norris-Holt found that those students who have an integrative motivation are more likely to succeed in learning the language. However, she also acknowledges that the two motivations are not mutually exclusive and that often, students and their parents have a combination of both instrumental and integrative motivation for learning a second language. In this chapter, I will explore the environment in which Mandarin programs develop, and then explain three parents’ motivation for enrolling their children in Mandarin programs.


The Development of Mandarin Dual Language Education in San Francisco

Mandarin programs in San Francisco are fairly new. The nation’s oldest Mandarin immersion program started in San Francisco in 1981 at Chinese American International School (CAIS). On the school’s website, the institution encourages users to explore “how we’re helping students along the path to more fulfilling lives in a new era of global awareness and opportunity.” CAIS subscribes to the notion that Mandarin is not just a language, but it is an instrumental tool that provides students with the opportunity to participate in a community that extends beyond America. Despite the accomplishment of creating the first Mandarin immersion program, CAIS is a private school that according to this year’s website, currently charges $19,900 for grades K-8th in annual tuition.13 In this situation, Mandarin immersion was not readily available to a more economically diverse group of students in San Francisco. While San Francisco was truly at the forefront of multilingual education with CAIS being the first Mandarin immersion school in the nation, the city’s public school system did not develop its first Mandarin dual language program until an astonishing 25 years later. For families interested in public school education, a comprehensive Mandarin program was not available until 2006, when Starr King Elementary began San Francisco’s first Mandarin program.14

San Francisco’s Chinese American population has a long history with some of the first immigrants coming over in the 1840s during the Gold Rush, however many of these early immigrants spoke other dialects of Chinese, like Cantonese. While Cantonese and Mandarin have the same written characters, they are phonetically very different. Today, Cantonese is still the predominant version of Chinese spoken in San Francisco. Beginning in 1988, Alice Fong Yu Alternative School was the nation’s first public Chinese immersion school, teaching its students Cantonese (not the globally, more widely-spoken Mandarin) reflecting the strong Cantonese presence in the city. Mandarin speakers on the other hand, are a minority in San Francisco’s Chinese population. When asked about the Cantonese community’s reaction to the developing Mandarin programs, Wendy Cheong, a multilingual specialist working for the San Francisco Unified School Board explained, “I think it was purely economical…With China coming up to being a superpower and the national language being Pu Tong Hua (普通 Mandarin or “common language”). I think that makes a difference over the years.” Here, Cheong acknowledges the tensions within San Francisco’s Chinese community over language politics. While the majority of the Chinese in San Francisco are Cantonese speakers from southern China, they are still enrolling their children in Mandarin immersion education. Because China is projected to become the next world superpower, and with the national language of China being Mandarin and not Cantonese, the Cantonese population in San Francisco understands and supports the benefits of learning a language that actually may not be their heritage language.

While Chinese language programs are quickly developing in California, with the growing number of Latinos living in California, Spanish dual language programs have also developed all over the state. For example, San Francisco’s Buena Vista Elementary School has been offering Spanish-English dual language education for over 20 years.15 However, Spanish does not seem to hold the same economic weight that learning Mandarin provides for parents and students involved in the programs. Responding to issues between Spanish-English dual language vs. Mandarin-English dual language, Wendy Cheong says, “Learning Mandarin (vs. learning Spanish) will probably give you more tools to learn a third or fourth language.” While Spanish programs are still very popular in San Francisco, according to Cheong, Mandarin programs can help with third and fourth language acquisition because of the complexity of the written and spoken language, and its differences to English. Dual language education is gaining momentum because of parents’ increasing desire for their children to learn second and third languages. However, Mandarin programs in particular are gaining in popularity because of the heightened instrumental appeal and global relevance of learning the language spoken by over 1 billion people. Journalist Sarah Yee wrote about other west coast schools in Seattle, Washington saying, “Recently, its Chinese program surpassed the Spanish program to become the most popular language and many parents' favorite.”16 Despite the fact that that Norris-Holt’s study proves that students who enroll because of integrative motivation (to integrate into the culture of the target language) result in more fluent second language acquisition, parents are finding Mandarin programs more appealing because of their status as an instrumental language, or one that parents see as supporting vocational success and higher pay.

Today, Spanish is an incredibly relevant language in California, however, parents seem to be broadening their horizons beyond the state and even national level, and choosing Mandarin programs based on Mandarin’s international importance. Taryn Zier, director of communications at the Seattle-based school explains, "Because of the hype surrounding Mandarin, and China becoming more economically powerful, the Chinese program is getting more popular. Spanish is more what people have done over the years."17 Learning languages, according to Zier, seems to fundamentally be a popularity contest. Spanish language programs were the pioneers of language teaching in the United States18, and have been consistently popular in the public school systems among both native and nonnative Spanish-speaking families19. Given that tradition, perhaps it is not that Spanish programs are less popular, but instrumental motivation among parents is increasing, and so more and more parents are looking to Mandarin as the newest, most relevant, foreign language.

Many articles theoretically discuss the benefits of learning Mandarin in general, however, is contextualizing Mandarin as a powerful, economic language relevant for a kindergartener or second grader? 20 Young children may not understand the larger, global implications of learning a language that 1 billion people speak. The principal of Starr King Elementary School in San Francisco argues that the elementary students do not quite grasp the larger picture because of their young age. He explains:

Maybe by the time they get through the program, and around fifth grade they will start to grapple with those issues…But they’ve had some neat experiences…[a student] and his mom in kindergarten were shopping at Macy’s. There was a Chinese woman in line with them, and Durrell, a little African American kid with cornrows turned around, and started speaking to them in Mandarin, and their jaws’ dropped. Now what does that mean to him? I don’t entirely know, I haven’t processed that with him, but he’s got to understand “Wow, this is a little bit bigger than just going to school. This means something a little different. I’m doing something kind of unique here.” I don’t think he knows he is breaking down boundaries or opening up cross-cultural conversation, but he has some idea that something different is going on.


To a young, elementary school student, learning Mandarin may or may not stimulate some sort of global awareness. Parents perhaps see dual language education as a future investment, and that later in life, their children will be able to reflect on their dual language education, and will consider becoming bilingual and bicultural a valuable learning experience. However, the fact that these schools are beginning to develop all over the nation represents a change of American attitude towards language acquisition. Today, there are 343 programs in 27 states.21 While the students may not understand the importance of their role in globalization, the existence of these schools demonstrates the increasing desire of many American parents to have their child learn a second language fluently.

While Zier acknowledges the difference in motivation for parents to enroll their child in Spanish language programs vs. Mandarin language programs, journalist Stella Kwoh highlights Mandarin’s contemporary relevance. She writes, “worldwide cultural and economic exchanges between China and the rest of the world make schools and parents more enthusiastic about starting a Chinese program for their students. We can indeed say that this new century is the century for moving Chinese language education from heritage schools to mainstream schools and the society.”22 Kwoh believes that Mandarin will soon diverge from specialized programs like dual language education, and become more widespread. Originally, San Francisco’s Chinese dual language programs were designed to fit the needs of the heritage community that existed in the city, and so they taught Cantonese. However, Kwoh argues that these programs and their curriculum are now reaching beyond heritage communities, and successfully attracting a more mainstream, non-Chinese community. If Mandarin can be successfully incorporated into mainstream American culture on an integrative level, not purely instrumental (as it is now), then perhaps that could dispel stereotypes of Mandarin speakers as perpetual foreigners, and instead integrate Chinese and Chinese Americans as a part of mainstream America.


Three Examples of Parents’ Motivations for Enrollment

Parents tend to have a combination of instrumental and integrative motivation for enrolling their children in dual language education. The principal of Starr King Elementary School explains that dual language programs in San Francisco are heavily populated with Chinese families and white families. For Chinese families, learning Mandarin or Cantonese is a way to preserve culture and maintain language from generation to generation. However, the large amount of white families enrolling their children in Mandarin dual language education highlights Norris-Holt’s instrumental vs. integration motivation theory. According to the experience of Kate Gong, an alumna from a San Francisco’s Cantonese immersion school, Alice Fong Yu Alternative School, there are two types of Caucasian parents that send their children to dual language programs. She explains that both claim to be liberal, cultured individuals; one group sends their child to a language program because they want their kid to be more culturally competent (so their child may go to a Spanish, Cantonese or Mandarin program), while on the other hand, the second group sends their child to a Mandarin program because they foresee economic opportunities for their child. Gong’s experience highlights Norris-Holt’s theory of instrumental vs. integrative motivation. Caucasian families involved in dual language education do not have the same ancestral element that may motivate the Chinese families to enroll their child. At City Terrace Elementary School in Los Angeles, a Caucasian parent explains that sending her son to a Mandarin dual language program is “a wonderful opportunity for him. There’s really nothing like this – we’re coming from Pasadena. So this is the closest program. If you just look at the news, and the world economy, China is the next world power.”23 This parent emphasizes an economic, instrumental motivation for sending her child to a dual language program. For non-Chinese families, learning Mandarin is often a very pragmatic decision. White families are heavily represented in the American population choosing to send their children to dual language schools. Parents submit their children to hours of Chinese homework, yet according to the parents I spoke with, and other experts in the field, parents do not always participate in learning Mandarin themselves. It seems that for some white families in these programs, despite being one of the most widely used languages in the world, Mandarin is exotified as something fundamentally different than English, and therefore really appealing.

While Caucasian families represent a large proportion of families enrolled in dual language education, less research has been conducted on the motivations of non-white, non-Chinese families. Carlene Mclaughlin, a Mexican-American parent of a twins enrolled at Chinese American International School explains her decision to send her children to a two-way immersion program. She says, “I would say what motivated me the most was growing up in California when I did, being Mexican American and having a Hispanic background, my grandmother was more fluent in Spanish than she was in English, and my parents were bilingual, but I as a child was, in the school system, denied access to my heritage.” Carlene continues on to explain that her first grade teacher made her choose between becoming right-handed or changing the spelling of her name, originally spelled Carlin to something that looked more phonetically Anglo-Saxon. She was afraid to be hit by a ruler for being left-handed, so she opted to change the spelling of her name to Carlene. During that time, her grandparents and parents were discouraged from using Spanish in the home in an attempt to assimilate Carlene to the homogenous, white American community. For Carlene, this experience was fundamental in shaping her attitude towards multiculturalism in the classroom, because she began to understand that not being white and knowing different languages was considered a deficit in the American school system. Her culture, inside and outside the classroom, was denied to her.

However, that changed when she was eleven, and her parents moved to Bogotá, Colombia where she attended an international school that taught Spanish, English and French. This transition exposed Carlene to multiple languages and cultures. Carlene explains, “I was in this totally Latin culture and was in an international school, where you had languages. French, Spanish, English were taught. I guess I realized when I had children, this is what I wanted for them. I didn’t want them to be so ethnocentric, and that’s what motivated me, if I was going to be in a private school situation, which I decided, I wanted it to be language-based.” Living in Colombia profoundly affected Carlene’s attitude towards education. Learning multiple languages abroad created a transnational definition of “American” for Carlene. She valued learning languages, and wanted to give her children the opportunity to study different languages. While many non-Chinese families see an economic advantage for learning Mandarin, Carlene, a Mexican American mother, follows Norris-Holt’s integrative motivation theory, and also sees the cultural element as an advantage. She didn’t want her children to be in an environment that denied culture, instead she sent her children to a school that emphasizes an in-depth study of language and culture at CAIS. Her dedication to the cultural element of dual language education is explained in the following passage:

I’ve been a Californian all my life, and had never been a part of the Chinese or Asian culture. I’ve lived in San Francisco for so many years and never felt a connection to them, and I thought maybe now’s a start. I thought of it as an opportunity for my children to learn about a culture which is such a large part of California history and California as a state. I thought maybe this is the way to do it, is through their education. So that’s how we made the decision to get them involved in the program.


For Carlene, the option to send her children to a dual language school was an opportunity to build a cultural connection to a community that has a long history in San Francisco, and California in general.

Jenny24, the Chinese American mother of 6th grader Kelly explains, “I can speak maybe ten words of Chinese, so I really didn’t feel qualified to pass on the language, and I knew by the time they had kids, it would be pretty much lost.” Sending Kelly to a Chinese immersion school was a decision made to preserve her heritage culture. Jenny knew that if she had not given Kelly the opportunity to learn her family’s language, that Kelly’s generation would lose the language. For Kelly, going to a Chinese two-way immersion school is a way of maintaining her family’s culture. The stakes are higher for Chinese heritage learners in dual language education, because they run the risk of permanently losing their heritage language. When Jenny addresses her inability to speak Chinese and hopes that her daughter will not face the same problem she has, she speaks out of personal motivation. She explains, “I have a hard time communicating with my grandmother because of the language barrier. I mean she can’t speak two words of English and I can speak maybe ten words of Chinese. So when I see her, it’s very simplistic in terms of my conversation with her. You know, ‘Hi Grandma, How’s it going? Here’s your grandkids.’ That’s about it; I can’t really talk to her about what it was like when she was young, growing up, or what her experience was.” Because she cannot communicate effectively with her grandmother, Jenny feels like she has lost older generations’ stories, and part of her own personal history. Sending Kelly to an immersion school is a way of reconnecting her family to their past, and giving Kelly a tool to help her communicate with family members. Kelly’s father explains a similar childhood where he lost his ability to speak Chinese. He says, “Today I can’t read or write Chinese.” For Victor, growing up in Redwood City in the 1960s and not having many Chinese friends made him insecure about his identity as a Chinese American. However like his wife Jenny, he too seems to be vicariously reconnecting to his past through enrolling Kelly in a Chinese dual language program. Heritage language learners like Kelly, seem to not quite fit into Norris-Holt’s instrumental vs. integrative motivation model. Kelly’s family is not primarily looking for economic opportunity, or further integration into the culture. Instead, their main motivation is the desire to preserve culture as it is passed on generation to generation.

Ijnanya25, an African American woman with a son enrolled in the dual language program at San Francisco’s Starr King Elementary School explains, “It’s a way out, but also a way in – he’ll have more options.” Ijnanya has a combination of integrative and instrumental motivations encouraging her to enroll her son in dual language programs. Durrell and his mother live in the predominantly African American housing development across the street from Starr King. Ijnanya refers to his Mandarin education as a way out of the low-income housing development while also a way into a different future, and into a Chinese culture. For Ijnanya, enrolling Durrell in the Mandarin program at Starr King has both cultural and economic value. While many students at Starr King reside in the housing development, Durrell is the only student in his Mandarin class from his housing community. Ijnanya comments:

I don’t know why there aren’t any other children from the neighborhood in the program. No one in his class is from the program – no one. I think people are a little skeptical about how it works. People say that if their children are learning 90% in Chinese, how are they going to learn English and who’s going to talk to them, but I’d rather Durrell have something different in his background, rather than just regular kindergarten.


Ijnanya values the Chinese language and culture that Durrell is learning at Starr King. She believes that Mandarin could be a valuable asset for Durrell in his future. However, she also speaks to the skepticism of the African American community towards dual language programs. These programs are often misinterpreted as being implemented to attract Chinese families, but Starr King principal Chris Rosenberg actively recruited African American students. He explains:

One of my goals for this program is, immersion programs throughout the district are typically represented largely by white families, white middle class families, and then there are the target groups. So, in the Spanish immersion you have white middle class families and some Latinos. In the Cantonese, you have white families and the Cantonese families. So my goal was to really aggressively recruit African American families to the program. We have had the highest percentage of African American kids participating in our immersion program of any in the district. So, that’s been really great.


While Ijnanya points out the Durrell is the only boy in his class from his neighborhood, Principal Rosenberg explains that Starr King actually has the highest enrollment of African American students enrolled in Mandarin immersion. Durrell’s class in particular may not have a large representation from the neighborhood, but according to Rosenberg, the Mandarin program as a whole is quite diverse. Rosenberg’s comment explains the demographics traditionally attracted to dual language programs: middle-class white families. However, through actively recruiting African American families, he has attempted to preserve the original population of the school, while also introducing new levels of racial, linguistic and socio-economic diversity. However, the program at Starr King is not an idyllic, melting pot, where everyone always gets along. One scene from the dual language documentary Speaking in Tongues depicts a Parent Teacher Association meeting where an African American facilitator explains to parents, “Having African American kids in a Chinese culture, there are some adjustments and situations that one has to deal with.” For African American families, more than the white middle-class families, there is an element of culture involved in the learning process. However, culture and cultural differences can serve to both bring communities together, but also draw them apart. Rosenberg explains, “I think the Chinese and African American communities have not always had the greatest relationship, so there is some mistrust there…But by in large, this program has provided a vehicle for interacting between those groups.” Rosenberg acknowledges the racial and cultural tension between the African American and Chinese American communities; however, he sees his program as offering an opportunity for conflict resolution. He continues, “we can’t control what people come here with, what we can do is give them an opportunity to collaborate on something which is a kid learning, and that is such a natural thing. Both people want it; the teacher and the parent want that kid to be successful. So it gives us an opportunity to break down some of those cultural barriers, and have the opportunity to engage as just people concerned about an issue which is how we help this kid learn.” For Rosenberg, dual language education has a fundamental cultural and racial element. He has worked hard to make a program that welcomes a variety of families. For Ijnanya, enrolling her son in Starr King’s Mandarin program both serves to give Durrell an instrumental tool for his future, and introduces him to the Chinese culture through various Chinese activities performed at the school.

Parents have a variety of reasons for enrolling students in dual language education. According to dual language scholar Jacqueline Norris-Holt, many parents have a combination of instrumental or integrative motivations. Instrumental motivation refers to learning a language to acquire the economic benefits of being multilingual. On the other hand, integrative motivation applies to people who enroll in language acquisition programs as a means of integrating themselves in that culture. The families represented in this section come from a variety of backgrounds and have a variety of motivating factors for enrolling their child in dual language education. Some of those factors include Norris-Holt’s integrative and instrumental motivations, however, they also include heritage language learner motivations to preserve language from generation to generation. The dual language classroom serves as a meeting place for families from different backgrounds, and different motivations for enrollment, with a common goal of second language acquisition. In the following section, I will address the issue of race in San Francisco’s dual language programs.

Chapter 3: Race Relations in San Francisco: Starr King Elementary School as a Crossroad for African American and Chinese American History in San Francisco


Language and race have a long and complicated history in the United States. While America has not officially recognized English as its national language, many states, including California, were pushed by citizens to declare English as the official language. Language is important, as it seems to reflect a hierarchy of power in the country. In a state where English is the official language, those communities that speak English are recognized as important and influential, while other non-English speaking communities are marginalized and deemed inferior. “Press One for English” by Ron and Kay Rivoli is a pro-English-only song that has become a huge YouTube sensation with almost 1 million views. The following excerpt provides insight into the English-only attitude of the singers: “English is my language, it’s the language of this land and every sign that’s posted here I should understand. I do not live in China, Mexico, no foreign place and English is the language of these United States.” The song and its viewers highlight the popularity of English-only attitudes in America. Instead of seeing multilingualism as a tool or advantage, the song demotes multilingualism as an inconvenience for English speakers. The Rivolis simplify foreign places to just China and Mexico, reinforcing stereotypes of Chinese and Mexican Americans as perpetual foreigners in America. The song not only strongly disapproves of multilingualism, it also isolates the Chinese, Mexicans and arguably all non-English speaking immigrants living in America, as being inferior because they speak a language other than English. Attitudes like the one expressed in “Press One for English” suggest monolingualism is an essential identifier of being American, while also misguidedly suggesting that those that don’t speak English are inherently inferior.

Despite the monolingualism movement, dual language education is still very popular in diverse and majority-minority cities like San Francisco. It provides a multilingual, multicultural environment for students in a country that has been consistently weary of difference and pluralism. However, dual language education has gone through waves of popularity and disapproval from the American public in its 50 years of existence. The first dual language program began in Dade County, Florida in the 1960s by the growing Cuban population. The community was largely composed of political refugees from Cuba. They had money, power, and most importantly, they valued education as an equalizing force in a mostly non-English speaking community.26 Spanish-English dual language programs soon spread throughout the country to Washington DC, Chicago and San Diego. In Southern California, newspapers published articles in support of these programs, and developed interest in local communities. For example, in a Los Angeles Times article from 1970, journalist Richard Vasquez comments that “nearly 400 school districts in California were notified… by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare that the language barrier inhibiting Spanish-speaking children must be removed.” 27 The state government at the time was fighting for educational equality for non-English speaking students. After many minority groups fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Californians’ attitude towards dual language education during the 1970s was split between the negativity from the conservative opponents of the Civil Rights Movement, and positivity from more liberal followers of the movement.28

However in 1974, language and education rights came to the forefront of the equality debate in San Francisco with the Lau vs. Nichols case. The significant case began somewhat unintentionally. When Kam Wai Lau approached civil rights attorney, Edward Steinman with a work complaint, Steinman discovered Lau’s six year-old son, Kinney Lau was struggling in school because like his mother, Kinney could not speak English. After looking into Kinney’s situation, Steinman discovered 1,800 other Chinese students in SFUSD suffering from similar situations, and a school board who acknowledged the issue, yet offered no solution. With six year-old Kinney as the head plaintiff, Steinman decided to file suit. While the case did not fare well in San Francisco, it soon attracted attention from the Superior Court. There, Steinman argued that San Francisco schools were violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “by using federal funding to discriminate against children through language.”29 The Supreme Court unanimously agreed with his standpoint, and Steinman was finally successful. According to Sau-Lim Tsang, the executive director of ARC Associates (a non-profit agency devoted to educational excellence and equity), “The Lau decision of 1974 ushered in an abundance of new programs, teaching approaches, frameworks, legislation and government agencies—all designed to redress fundamental inequities in the educational opportunities available to language minority students”30. The Lau Decision was essential in redefining the attitude of the San Francisco school board. San Francisco became a pioneer for supporting multilingualism and language-minority students. However, despite the fact that San Francisco is one of the most diverse cities in the world with over 36% of the population as foreign born, and almost half the city speaking a language other than English in the home31, the English-only debate is still relevant. Helen Joe-Lew, a multilingual specialist for the San Francisco Unified School District states,

I started in bilingual [education], and it was an interesting ride because we were building the plane as we were flying. There was a lot of support; there was a lot of federal money. There were Lau centers that had been set up. In those days, for bilingual education, the idea was that everyone would get language [education]. Then in our classroom composition we had children that were English learners, we had kids that were dominant in English that could be bilingual, and kids that were English only and they would learn Spanish, Filipino, Chinese, they would learn Samoan. We had all sorts of languages. It was a very interesting time. Then, kind of fast-forward to politics and anti-immigrant feelings in the passage of 209, and passage then of 227. We kept thinking, ‘You can’t do that. This is California.’


Joe-Lew speaks to the flip-flopping nature of Californians’ attitude toward multilingualism. She began working for bilingual education in the 1970s, and explains the productivity of teachers and administration when equality and civil rights were on the minds of Americans. Then, Joe-Lew returns to the current state of equal education and explains that Californians have returned to an anti-immigrant, English-only attitude. It seems that Californians cannot decide whether or not they support a multicultural framework for America or an assimilationist one that assumes that all immigrants should sacrifice their own cultural practices for those of a more homogenized America. In a city as diverse as San Francisco, this constantly changing attitude towards multiculturalism profoundly affects the ability of immigrant groups and multilingual, multicultural Americans to be included in mainstream society.

Despite assimilationist pressure from the more conservative parts of the nation, San Francisco has maintained the strong immigrant presence in the city. 36% of all San Francisco residents are immigrants, compared to the 26% of the California population, and 12% of the overall US population. Also, 45% of San Franciscans speak a language other than English at home.32 56% percent of San Franciscans identify as being racial minorities, making San Francisco a majority-minority city. 7% of the city is African American, 30% of the city is Asian American and 14% of the city is Hispanic (with the last 5% being composed of Native American, multiracial or other).33 San Francisco is divided into several neighborhoods. In many other metropolitan cities, the central, inner city is inhabited with racial minorities; however in San Francisco, Noe Valley and the Castro are central neighborhoods with predominantly white residents. Many of San Francisco’s racial minorities reside on the outer areas of the city. African Americans heavily populate the more industrial south/southwest corner of the city in the Oceanview, Visitation Valley, Bayview/Hunters Point, Potrero Hill neighborhoods, with a small stronghold in the Western Addition and South of Market neighborhoods. The Asian American community, composing 30% of the city’s population is 30% or more of the following neighborhoods, Chinatown, Excelsior, Oceanview, Portola and Visitation Valley. They predominantly reside in the south and east parts of the city, with an enclave in Chinatown. Chinatown, the oldest area in San Francisco, was originally developed as a ghetto for Chinese immigrants, houses many Chinese families that have lived in San Francisco for generations, while also supporting San Francisco’s tourist economy, attracting more people annually than the Golden Gate Bridge.34 The Latino American community resides in the south central areas of Bernal Heights, the Excelsior and the Mission.35 The Mission neighborhood is predominantly Mexican and Central American; however, it is quickly becoming gentrified by young, urban professionals. The Mission is also where Mission Dolores, both the oldest intact Mission in California and the oldest building in San Francisco stands.36

Racial and ethnic tension exists in several major cities in the United States with San Francisco as no exception. However, because San Francisco is relatively small, only 46 square miles, (a tenth of the size of Los Angeles) it is easier for people from different neighborhoods to interact with each other. Neighborhoods are not exclusively one race or another, and because San Francisco, for cities with populations above 200,000 ranks second to New York City in density37, people from different backgrounds have to interact with each other.

While the small size of San Francisco facilitates interaction between different racial and ethnic groups, San Francisco is not an idyllic euphoria for everyone. San Francisco’s African American community has decreased by nearly half their population size in the past three decades. African Americans in San Francisco have a long history of experiencing racism and discrimination from wealthy, white San Franciscans. Consequently, the Bay Area was the birthplace of revolutionary black movements like the Black Panther Party. While San Francisco is often hailed as one of the more liberal, diverse cities in the nation, the experiences of black Americans in the city does not always reflect that positive reputation. Before 1940, there were only 15,000 African Americans in San Francisco Bay Area.38 During World War II, 40,000 African Americans left the South and came to San Francisco. They were looking for work in the war industries, and ended up in the Fillmore district, replacing the recently interned Japanese population. 20 years later, there were 237,000 African Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area.39 Despite their growing population, African Americans experienced police brutality, discrimination in employment, education, and the housing market. African Americans were prohibited from living in wealthier, whiter areas, and were segregated to the outskirts of the city. During WWII, San Francisco also began building housing developments (Westside Courts, Holly Courts, Potrero Terrace, Sunnydale, and Valencia Gardens). Westside Courts was the only development that had African American tenants, and the San Francisco Housing Authority admitted to essentially matching racial groups with the existing racial make-up of the residents of the neighborhood. Later this was declared discriminatory and in 1990, all of the housing developments built during WWII would predominantly house African Americans.40 While racism was subtler in San Francisco than in the South, it still profoundly affected the attitudes of people living in the city. In 1958, the Major League Baseball team, the Giants, moved to San Francisco. At the time, Willie Mayes, an African American player, was a star player on the team. Unfortunately, white neighbors would not allow Mayes to purchase a home in the affluent area of Forest Hill. Eventually, with the support of the mayor, Mayes was able to purchase his home. However, this instance speaks to the attitudes of many white, wealthy conservative San Franciscans at the time. For decades to come, African Americans would continue to experience segregation and discrimination.

Because African Americans had once been a small, easily maneuvered minority in San Francisco, white San Franciscans were especially resistant to their calls for equality and justice. With the influx of African Americans and several other minority groups during World War II, there was no strictly black neighborhood in San Francisco, and African Americans, Chinese, Irish, West Indians, Germans, Mexicans, Italians and whites cohabited the city without clear lines of division.41 When white men returned from war, racial tensions came to an all time high. African Americans not only lost their jobs, but also faced an increasingly inflexible, racist housing market. During this time many African American-led community centers and resources developed, as black San Franciscans felt that white social workers were ineffective and biased. In 1966, a white police officer shot a 16 year-old African American boy as he ran away from a stolen car. This incident outraged the African American community, particularly those located in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood. The community organized demonstrations against the actions of the officer, and demanded that he be charged with murder. City officials warned protestors to disband; however they did not. Over the course of the next three days, the police fired several shots in the direction of the neighborhood’s community center, only to find African American children huddled in a corner hiding. This drastically changed the mood of the demonstrators, as it became clear that the police officers were misguidedly using race to distinguish a threat from a non-threat. The police officers’ actions emphasized the racialized nature of the situation, as an attack on a community center that served African Americans was an attack on African Americans. The riot subsided, however mistrust of police, segregation and marginalization still remain prevalent in San Francisco.42 In the same year as the Hunters Point uprising, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale created the Black Panther Party in Oakland, ten miles away from San Francisco. African Americans in northern California adopted a more revolutionary stance on race relations, deserting the nonviolent rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the time. While older generations clung to more traditional forms of activism, the younger, more militant generation was frustrated with the lack of urgency displayed by previous attempts at social equality. Established organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) focused on larger institutional issues, while the organizations in the Bay Area, such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Black Panther Party (BPP) focused on solutions to more immediate issues. Despite the radical efforts of African Americans during the 1960s, by the 1970s, the movement lost momentum as many of its leaders were imprisoned, on the run or dead.43 Because of the lack of space and increasing cost of housing in San Francisco, the African American population has declined by half its population in the past 30 years.

While African Americans’ major migration was during World War II, the first wave of Chinese in San Francisco came over a century before, during the Gold Rush of 1849. At the same time in China, the Taiping Heavenly Army was rebelling against the Qing Dynasty for social reform in China. The entire Taiping Rebellion lasted from 1851 to 1864, during which 20 million people lost their lives.44 The Chinese faced a dangerous situation remaining in China, and the prospect of success and gold in California was very appealing. At the beginning of 1849, there were only 54 Chinese men living in the state, however in 1876 that number would jump to 151,000 Chinese people living in the United States, with 116,000 residing in California, largely because of the Gold Rush and labor demands for building the transcontinental railroads.45 Originally, Californians welcomed the inexpensive and efficient Chinese workers. In a 1924 account of the original reactions of Americans to Chinese immigrants, Henry Kittredge Norton writes, “the Californians of those days appreciated the touch of color which [Chinese] gave to the life of the country.”46 However, this appreciation for labor would soon change to mistrust and disdain. By 1873, many white Californians felt competition from Chinese laborers and the threat of unemployment, and feeling the pressure from the people, the federal government imposed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited Chinese immigration to the US, along with the naturalization of Chinese immigrants already in the country. In San Francisco, the Chinese residents faced strong opposition. The city government squared off an area, now referred to as “Chinatown,” which originally was essentially a ghetto47, and the only place in the city where Chinese people could live. Chinese-only schools were created, that were eventually expanded to Oriental schools to include Japanese and Koreans, as well as Chinese. However, segregation also resulted in cementing a sense of community in Chinatown. “Benevolent organizations” or organizations created to represent the rights of the Chinese living in San Francisco were also developed during the late 1800s in response to anti-Chinese violence. Angel Island, an island off the shore of San Francisco, was created as a detainment center for Chinese trying to immigrate to the San Francisco. 30% of Chinese were sent back to China, while others were kept for weeks or months while interrogated by immigration officials. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese immigration to the US until 1943 when 105 Chinese per year were allowed to immigrate. Large-scale immigration from China did not happen until the Immigration Act of 1965 which removed national-origin quotas that were deemed racist.48 Because the Chinese population was physically segregated in Chinatown, and new Chinese immigrants were unable to come to San Francisco, the Chinese population’s alienation from mainstream society was particularly prolonged compared to the experience of other, European immigrants. However, this separation and lack of assimilation resulted in preserving the organizations and history of Chinatown and Chinese in San Francisco.49

In 2006, when the school district decided to begin the first Mandarin dual language program at Starr King Elementary School, a school that mostly serves the low-income, African American community of the Portrero Hill housing development, San Francisco’s very separate African American and Chinese American communities were brought together in the classroom. Before the Mandarin dual language program began at Starr King, the school’s population was mostly African American and Latino. The school district pushed to create the Mandarin program at Starr King to diversify the school and lure families from all over San Francisco. When the program began, long-standing principal Chris Rosenberg knew it would attract many Chinese and white middle-class families. Having studied African American History in college, Rosenberg developed a sense of obligation to work for social justice, and was well equipped to handle the changing demographic of his school. Rosenberg valued the diversity that the new families brought to the program, however, he wanted to maintain the notion that Starr King still serves the local community. That meant actively recruiting families to the program, so that it didn’t become dominated by middle class families from other parts of the city. He explains, “We are pretty committed to having it be an opportunity for any group. There’s no reason why a poor African American kid living across the street shouldn’t learn to speak Mandarin, just like a white middle class kid coming from Nob Hill.” For Rosenberg, including the local community in Starr King’s developing dual language program was of utmost importance. As a principal, he valued the relationship between the families living in public housing and the school – he didn’t want the new program to make those families feel that their neighborhood school was no longer for them.

Rosenberg has been working at Starr King for 13 years and has worked hard to gain the trust and support of his neighborhood. So, one might wonder how they would react to creating a Mandarin dual language program at Starr King; after Rosenberg worked incessantly to create a strong, positive relationship between the school and the neighborhood, could creating a Mandarin program, attracting families from various other parts of the city, jeopardize his hard-earned relationship with the community? Rosenberg responded, “We went out and we aggressively recruited African American kids from the hill and told them about it. Some families said, ‘Heck no. I want my kid learning English,’ but some said ‘Hey that sounds really great. What a good idea.’” The idea of actively recruiting children from the neighborhood reflects the risk that, initially, the program may not appeal to the community, however, Rosenberg was dedicated to making sure the families living in the housing development were given the same opportunity to participate in the program as families who were commuting from other areas of the city. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Rosenberg states, “‘I wanted to make it known to my (Potrero Hill) families that it's a program for everyone," Rosenberg said. And that meant actively recruiting black and Latino families who would perhaps never have considered an immersion program. ‘If you don't actively work against that, the status quo will settle in,’ Rosenberg said.”50 For Rosenberg, the status quo refers to the changed demographics at other dual language schools, where white middle class families, along with the target language families (from Spanish or Chinese speaking backgrounds) become the majority of a classroom. Rosenberg believed that the Mandarin program at Starr King was an opportunity to bridge a gap between different racial and ethnic groups in San Francisco.

When Rosenberg began working at Starr King 13 years ago, it was the lowest performing schools in all of San Francisco’s Unified School District. Since then, Starr King has doubled its API (Academic Performance Index) from 389 to over 700. Recently, Rosenberg explains that the school’s API has plateaued in the 700s, and he realized, “unless [they] were able to support families in crisis, so that they could support their kids [they] would never get over that next hump.” Starr King is across the street from San Francisco’s Potrero Hill public housing development, where residents are predominantly working-class African American families. Rosenberg and the school have a very close-knit relationship with the community, and believes that strong family support is crucial to academic success. Because of his commitment to equal educational opportunity, Rosenberg began righting grant proposals, and eventually they built a Wellness System of Care, the first and only at the elementary school level, where families from the community could get support for anything from dealing with immigration raids, to housing, to drug treatment programs. Rosenberg explains, “Because if we don’t help the families get well there’s absolutely no way that their kids are going to be able to be academically successful. So our relationship with the community is really strong because we provide all of those services to the families, and I think that they know they can come up and get their needs met.” Rosenberg is committed to making sure the community at the Potrero Hill Housing Development knows that Starr King is there to serve their needs, educational and beyond.

To maintain a network of trust, Rosenberg often walks down the hill to visit his families living in the development, along with many alumni. He describes his experience as sometimes quite sad: “frequently when I walk down the hill and I’m visiting…I’ll hear a bunch of people say ‘hey Mr. Principal’ and I see all my former students there because I taught half of the kids on the hill myself. What’s sad is then I’ll see a parent or two that doesn’t know me, and they’ll say, ‘What are you doing here? I didn’t know principals came up on the hill.’ You just start hearing wow, no one ever does outreach to these families. No one goes out and says how’s it going.” Here, Rosenberg explains the isolation experienced by families living in these housing developments. It seems like families living there fall through the cracks of San Francisco’s networks of support, and they are marginalized, living on the outskirts of San Francisco with little resources. Rosenberg continues, “Those are families, just like anybody else and you got to go and meet them where they are and give them what they need to be successful. They made some mistakes, so do white middle class families, so do middle class Chinese families. Everybody makes mistakes.” The community living in the Potrero Hill housing development lacks the resources to succeed, however, Rosenberg reminds us that everyone is capable of ending up in tough situations like these families. For instance, ten minutes away are Chinese populated housing development in Chinatown. Rosenberg demystifyies residents of housing developments and argues that it is possible for anyone to end up in that situation, regardless of race or family background.

Today, Starr King is the most diverse school in all of SFUSD. Rosenberg explains, “We have had the highest percentage of African American kids participating in our immersion program of any in the district. So, that’s been really great.” Rosenberg continues, “In addition, we have Samoan, Filipino, and Latinos as well as Caucasians in the program. Now, I’m not pretending that any of those groups are the majority. The majority are split between white and Chinese, but then that only makes 60% or so percent, the other 40% are Latino, Samoan, Pacific Islander, and African American. So we have decent representation of all those groups and I think that is one of the bedrocks of our program.” Through hard work and dedication, Rosenberg seems to have reached his goal of creating a program that is inviting to all families, regardless of race. The program has brought racial diversity to the school, but it has also brought socio-economic diversity as middle class families join a parent population that was traditionally low income. All of this has been facilitated by the linguistic diversity. Today, Mandarin, Spanish and English are all valued languages on campus, and Rosenberg labels this “America’s ideal melting pot.” He continues, “Even though I know that that term has lots of challenges. So in a lot of way this is a test of the American Dream. Can you have all these different groups together, comingling, being successful in an educational environment? And my hope is yes.” To test the American Dream of true racial, socio-economic and linguistic integration, it took creating a Mandarin dual language program at previously one of the lowest performing schools in the city.


My research question for this thesis is: How does dual language education affect cultural relationships amongst and between different communities in the San Francisco Bay Area? From my interviews and secondary research, I found that students and families involved in dual language education have a better vocabulary for discussing race, culture and identity. During the interview process, I spoke with an 8th grader at Chinese American International School. She explained:

Definitely going to a Chinese school has kind of changed me in a way. It’s not like I think of myself as Asian because I’ve learned Chinese and been around so many Asians. It’s just kind of a part of me. So sometimes I feel kind of Asian, even though I’m not at all…It’s become such a big part of me, I never really noticed it completely. But when I was going for high school shadows and was at different schools, with so many people who were white. I just felt so out of place. Because I was like ‘Wait a minute, so these people are my race but I just don’t feel like I’m really a part of [it]…’ So I guess I still think of myself as an American. I don’t really see the difference. But learning a different language and being multicultural, because I’m also Mexican, so learning Spanish [at home] and being in a Chinese school – it kind of makes me feel a lot different.


For Amelia, being an American has an extensive and inclusive definition. Being in a dual language program has helped her explore her own racial, cultural and linguistic identity. She identifies as a multiracial Mexican and Caucasian person, who speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin. Amelia and her peers challenge conventional notions of Americanness. She recognizes the ambiguity of her own ethnicity and the complexity of it, however she also admits “I never really noticed it” and “I don’t really see the difference.” It seems that Amelia is comfortable with her complex identity. Perhaps being educated in a system that promotes different cultures and languages has helped Amelia understand her own racial identity as biracial, along with her national identity as an American. Like the Statue of Liberty reads, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Americans pride themselves in their ability to open their hearts and arms to outsiders, but as expressed in political legislatures that reflect attitudes of the country’s citizens, for many Americans this open-hearted, open-minded attitude is unfortunately not reality. However, it seems like Amelia and her peers through their education have truly embraced this American ideal of “lifting a lamp beside the golden door” and becoming the bridge between the foreign and the local and ultimately pioneering new, transnational definitions of Americans.

Not only do students like Amelia, a native English speaker, feel the social and academic benefits of learning another language, but dual language education also provides English Language Learners (ELLs) with a more inclusive learning experience. From my research, I found that the dual language model of bilingual education helps place other, foreign languages in the same position of power as English in a classroom. In a school that predominantly uses English, Limited English Proficient (LEP) students are often isolated on campus in separate English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.51 In dual language education, not only is there no separation of ELLs and native English speakers, the two groups both experience sometimes being a leader and sometimes being a learner in the classroom. When the class is using English, native English speakers become the leader, and ELLs the learner. When the students are using the target language, ELLs become the leader, with English speakers learning from their example. As a result of this exchanging of leadership positions, dual language education also serves to connect people from linguistically diverse backgrounds. Because ELLs are not separated, students do not internalize negative stereotypes about foreigners or foreign languages from the school environment, and instead value their presence in the classroom.

From the example of Starr King Elementary School, I found that the San Francisco school board’s decision to create a Mandarin dual language program encouraged relationships between populations in San Francisco that would not otherwise interact, like the African American, Chinese American and Caucasian populations. Again, dual language education served to bring together a diverse group of students and families in San Francisco. However, Principal Rosenberg admits that there are racial issues that arise, and his school is a test of Martin Luther King Jr.’s racially, linguistically and socio-economically-integrated American Dream. If I had more time in the future to revisit to this project, I would want to return to Starr King and interview Principal Rosenberg again. I would be interested to see if African American students are still enrolled in the Mandarin program. Also, I would ask about whether or not relations between the African American and Chinese American communities at Starr King have become more or less strained.

If I had a bigger budget and more time, I would have liked to interview more people in the field. Each interview I conducted provided me with a unique perspective on dual language education in America, and wish I could have included more voices in my thesis. If I were to expand my project in the future, I would examine the development of dual language programs outside of California. For this project, I had to narrow my focus because of the time allotted to write my thesis. In the future, I think it would be interesting to see the dynamic of a Mandarin dual language school in the Midwest. I am particularly interested in why a Mandarin dual language program, for example, would develop in a predominantly white environment, and how school districts would attract Chinese families.

Exploring dual language education in America was a positive experience for me because I learned about my own interests and investment in language minority students’ rights in the classroom. Preparing research, an interview schedule, and compiling a number of different studies to make my own argument has been an invaluable experience. I hope my project can help provide insight into a unique model of education where faculty and administration strive to educate students from diverse backgrounds, and give them the tools to be both successful and inter-culturally competent.








Works Cited




ARC Associates, “Revisiting the Lau Decision: 20 Years After”, Proceedings of a national commemorative symposium in San Francisco. ARC Associates: Oakland, 1994.


Crowe, Daniel, Prophets of Rage: The Black Freedom Struggle in San Francisco, 1945-1969 New York: 2000, p. 2.


Loo Chalsa M., Chinatown : Most Time, Hard Time New York: Praeger, 1991. Pg. 39.


Norton, Henry K., “The Chinese: The Story of California From the Earliest Days to the Present” 7th ed., Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1924, pp. 283-296.


Reilly, Thomas H., The Taiping heavenly kingdom: rebellion and the blasphemy of empire Washington: University of Washington Press, 2004, p. 3.


Time Out San Francisco, 3rd Edition, Penguin Books:New York, 2000, pg. 12.


Barron, Rebecca, “Bilingual education began as a popular idea” Contra Costa Times, May 24, 1998.


Chin, Gabriel and Hrishi Karthikeyan, "Preserving Racial Identity: Population Patterns and the Application of Anti-Miscegenation Statutes to Asian Americans, 1910-1950"Asian Law Journal vol. 9, 2002.


Collier, Virginia P. and Wayne P. Thomas, “The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All” NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2:1, 2004, pg. 3.


Coulter, Cathy and Mary Lee Smith, “English Language Learners in a Comprehensive High School” Bilingual Research Journal, 30:2, 2006.


Krashen, Stephen D., “Why Bilingual Education?” ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, West Virginia, Jan. 1997.


Kwoh, Stella, “Mainstreaming and Professionalizing Chinese-Language Education: A New Mission for a New Century”, Chinese America : History and Perspectives, 2007, pg. 261.


Norris-Holt, Jacqueline, “Motivation as a Contributing Factor in Second Language Acquisition,” The Internet TESL Journal, 3:6, June 2001.


Trundle, Jessica, “History of Bilingual Education in the United States” Unpublished paper from George Washington University. Accessed November 2008.


Tucker, Jill, “Kindergarten Students Learning Mandarin Fast in Immersion Class, Speechless as School Began, They're Now Amazingly Proficient” San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 2007 <>.


Vasquez, Richard, “End Language Barrier, HEW Urges Schools :Overcoming of English Deficiency Among Spanish-Speaking Pupils Called Concern”. Los Angeles Times, May 27th, 1970.


Yee, Sarah, “Children at Sponge School Soaking in the Chinese Culture” Northwest Asian Weekly. Washington: June 2008, pg. 4.

Internet Sources:

“2000 Census: US Municipalities Over 50,000: Ranked by 2000 Density” Illinois: Wendell Cox Consultancy, 2001, <>.


“African American Ezine”, Shaping San Francisco May 12th, 2005, <>.


“Channel LA18 Story About the Program at City Terrace” City Terrace Elementary School <>.


“Directory of Two Way Bilingual Immersion Programs in the US” Center for Applied Linguistics, accessed April 8th, 2009, <>. “Hunter’s Point Riot of 1966” Shaping San Francisco, May 12th, 2005, <>.


“Mandarin Immersion” Starr King Elementary School, accessed March 3rd, 2009, <>.Mayor’s Office of Community Development, “San Francisco Demographic Profile, 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan”, accessed April 2nd, 2009, “Mission Dolores” accessed April 2nd, 2009, <


“San Francisco: Chinatown” San Francisco Chronicle, accessed April 2nd, 2009, <>.


“Tuition, Fees and Assistance” Chinese American International School, accessed March 3rd, 2009, <>.


US Census Bureau, San Francisco County, California Quick Facts, <>.


“What is Bilingual Education?” National Association of Bilingual Education, 2004 <>.


US Census Bureau, “2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates”.


US Census Bureau, “ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2005-2007,” San Francisco City, California, <>.




“Speaking in Tongues”, produced by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider of PatchWorks Films (, 2009.


1 US Census Bureau, “ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2005-2007,” San Francisco City, California, <>.

2 From “Speaking in Tongues”, produced by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider of PatchWorks Films (, 2009.

3 “What is Bilingual Education?” National Association of Bilingual Education, 2004 <>.

4 Virginia P. Collier and Wayne P. Thomas, “The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All” NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2:1, 2004, pg. 3.

5 Jason’s experience comes from the documentary “Speaking in Tongues”

6 “Speaking in Tongues”

7 Stephen D. Krashen, “Why Bilingual Education?” ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, West Virginia, Jan. 1997.

8 Krashen, 3.

9 Collier, p. 5.


10 Jacqueline Norris-Holt, “Motivation as a Contributing Factor in Second Language Acquisition,” The Internet TESL Journal, 3:6, June 2001.

11 Holt, 2.

12 Holt, 3.

13 “Tuition, Fees and Assistance” Chinese American International School, accessed March 3rd, 2009, <>.

14 “Mandarin Immersion” Starr King Elementary School, accessed March 3rd, 2009, <>.

15 Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, “Speaking in Tongues” synopsis, accessed March 15th, 2009, <>.

16 Sarah Yee, “Children at Sponge School Soaking in the Chinese Culture” Northwest Asian Weekly. Washington: June 2008, pg. 4.

17 Yee.

18 Jessica Trundle, “History of Bilingual Education in the United States” Unpublished paper from George Washington University. Accessed November 2008.

19 According to my interview with Wendy Cheong.

20 As the oldest public school Mandarin program in San Francisco is only 3 years old.

21 “Directory of Two Way Bilingual Immersion Programs in the US” Center for Applied Linguistics, accessed April 8th, 2009, <>.

22 Stella Kwoh, “Mainstreaming and Professionalizing Chinese-Language Education: A New Mission for a New Century”, Chinese America : History and Perspectives, 2007, pg. 261.

23 “Channel LA18 Story About the Program” City Terrace Elementary School <>.

24 Her story comes from the documentary “Speaking in Tongues”

25 Ijnanya’s comments come from the film “Speaking in Tongues”

26 Trundle.

27 Richard Vasquez, “End Language Barrier, HEW Urges Schools :Overcoming of English Deficiency Among Spanish-Speaking Pupils Called Concern”. Los Angeles Times, May 27th, 1970.

28 According to my interview with LAUSD administrator Anne Kim.

29 Rebecca Barron, “Bilingual education began as a popular idea” Contra Costa Times, May 24, 1998.

30 ARC Associates, “Revisiting the Lau Decision: 20 Years After”, Proceedings of a national commemorative symposium in San Francisco. ARC Associates: Oakland, 1994.

31 US Census Bureau, San Francisco County, California Quick Facts, <>.

32 US Census Bureau, “2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates”.

33Mayor’s Office of Community Development, “San Francisco Demographic Profile, 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan”, accessed April 2nd, 2009, <>.

34 “San Francisco: Chinatown” San Francisco Chronicle, accessed April 2nd, 2009, <>.

35 “San Francisco Demographic Profile, 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan”

36 “Mission Dolores” accessed April 2nd, 2009, <

37 “2000 Census: US Municipalities Over 50,000: Ranked by 2000 Density” Illinois: Wendell Cox Consultancy, 2001, <>

38 Daniel Crowe, Prophets of Rage: The Black Freedom Struggle in San Francisco, 1945-1969 New York: 2000, p. 2.

39 Ibid.

40 “African American Ezine”, Shaping San Francisco May 12th, 2005, <>.

41 Crowe, 17.

42 “Hunter’s Point Riot of 1966” Shaping San Francisco, May 12th, 2005, <>.

43 Time Out San Francisco, 3rd Edition, Penguin Books:New York, 2000, pg. 12.

44 Thomas H. Reilly, The Taiping heavenly kingdom: rebellion and the blasphemy of empire Washingtong: University of Washington Press, 2004, p. 3.

45 Henry K. Norton, “The Chinese: The Story of California From the Earliest Days to the Present” 7th ed., Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1924, pp. 283-296.

46 Norton.

47 Chalsa M Loo, Chinatown : Most Time, Hard Time New York: Praeger, 1991. Pg. 39.

48 Gabriel Chin and Hrishi Karthikeyan, "Preserving Racial Identity: Population Patterns and the Application of Anti-Miscegenation Statutes to Asian Americans, 1910-1950"Asian Law Journal vol. 9, 2002.

49 much of the timeline is based on facts from <>

50 Jill Tucker “Kindergarten Students Learning Mandarin Fast in Immersion Class, Speechless as School Began, They're Now Amazingly Proficient” San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 2007 <>.


51 Cathy Coulter and Mary Lee Smith, “English Language Learners in a Comprehensive High School” Bilingual Research Journal, 30:2, 2006.