PUTTING TONGUES IN CHECK

SHOULD BILINGUAL SCHOOLING BE SILENCED? CRITICS THINK SO, YET A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT IT WORKS

IN THE SUNNY SUBURBAN SPRAWL OF WESTMINSTER, California, a city of 72,000 southeast of Los Angeles, the first-grade classrooms of the Neomia B. Willmore School offer two distinct recipes for the American melting pot. In Room B-3, an English-immersion class, teacher Judy Nguyen plinks on the piano. Winsome, if off-key, her 29 charges launch into "My country 'tis of thee," fading away uncertainly as they reach the line "Land of the Pilgrims' pride." About half the children are native Vietnamese speakers; nine are Hispanic. But the book box holds the Berenstain Bears and Dr. Seuss; cheery posters list the days of...

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