Bilingual Education Evidence

I’m often contacted for research that proves the benefits of bilingual education, so I decided to add this page to my website – anything underlined is hyperlinked to the research. Please let me know if it’s useful and/or your suggestions.

Resources about the Benefits of Being Bilingual
Research article: Bialystok, E. (2007).  Cognitive effects of bilingualism: How linguistic experience leads to cognitive change.  International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10(3), 210-223.

This 2011 New York Times interview with Bialystok describes her work in a more accessible way than the above article. (Click here for the PDF version)

This 2016 New York Times article highlights new research showing bilingualism is associated with greater social skills. (Click here for the PDF version)

Here is a video about the cognitive benefits of bilingualism

News Articles about Bilingual Education
This 2015 news article examines the popularity of dual language bilingual programs in New York and elsewhere for both English monolingual families and families of emergent bilinguals. Dual-Language Programs Are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers. New York Times, 10/5/15. (Click here for the PDF version)

2015 Atlantic article about dual language bilingual education called “The Costs of English-Only Education: A Growing Movement to Teach ELL Students in Their Native Languages”. (Click here for the PDF version)

This is an op-ed written in Spanish in support of bilingual education, particularly for parents in New York: García, O. (2014). Ser bilingüe vale por dos. Op Ed, El Diario 1/29/14. (Click here for the PDF version)   

Research Syntheses that Support Bilingual Education over English-Only Instruction
Goldenberg, C. & Wagner, K. (2015, Fall). Bilingual education: Reviving an American traditionAmerican Educator, Fall 2015.

Goldenberg, C. (2008, Summer). Teaching English language learners: What the research does—and does not—say. American Educator, Summer 2008, 8-44. (Click here for the full issue online).

*Krashen, S., & McField, G. (2005, November/December). What works? Reviewing the latest evidence on bilingual education. Language Learner, 1(2), 7-10, 34. (Click here for the PDF version)

*Rolstad, K., Mahoney, K. & Glass, G. (2005). The big picture: A meta-analysis of program effectiveness research on English language learners. Educational Policy, 19(4), 572-594. (Click here for the PDF version)

Thomas, W., & Collier V. (2002). A national study of school effectiveness for language minority students’ long term academic achievement: Final report. Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE).

This older (1997) chart from Thomas and Collier’s work is still widely cited, in which they compare educational outcomes of different models for emergent bilinguals. The full report is: Thomas, W.P., & Collier, V.P. (1997). School effectiveness for language minority students. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.

*These are meta-analyses, where using statistical measures the researchers analyzed numerous studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education.

Empirical Research Articles that Support Bilingual Education over English-Only Instruction

*Steele, J., Slater, R., Zamarro, G., Miller, T., Li, J., Burkhauser, S., & Bacon, M. (2017). Effects of dual-language immersion programs on student achievement: Evidence from lottery data. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1S), 282S–306S.
This article shows positive effects of enrollment in dual language bilingual education on reading for all students (English monolinguals and English learners alike).

*Umansky, I. & Reardon. S. (2014). Reclassification patterns among Latino English learner students in bilingual, dual immersion, and English immersion classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 51, 879-912).
This long-term study by two Stanford University researchers found that students enrolled in bilingual programs since elementary school were, by high school, more likely to be classified proficient in English compared with similar students who had been in English-only programs.