Date of this Version
International Journal of Language Studies, Volume 9, Number 2, April 2015, pp. 1-26
Despite the multilingual reality and the effectiveness of dual language education (DLE) being adequately documented by language and literacy researchers, the US is progressing at a slower rate in embracing and implementing DLE compared with other countries. The purpose of this study is to understand why progress in this area has been so slow by examining the public discourse that frequently shapes policy decisions about DL programs. To do this, the authors analyzed reader comments of 16 online news articles that centered on DLE. Findings revealed the intersection of language, national identity, race, and power relationships, which could be categorized under four different discourse frames similar to those found in Valdez, Delavan and Freire (2014): a multilingual or monolingual global human capital frame, and a multilingual equity/heritage or monolingual vs. equity heritage frame. The significance of this study lies in the careful analysis of how monolingual/multilingual discourses play out in daily online dialogs, and suggestions for how DL stakeholders can counter monolingual and racist discourse aimed at these programs, in the hopes of gaining more public support for them.