Language Policy

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 87–106 | Cite as

No child left behind: repealing and Unpeeling federal language education policy in the united states

  • Bruce A. Evans
  • Nancy H. Hornberger


For more than three decades US language education policy was realized through the Bilingual Education Act, enacted in 1968 to meet the educational needs of language minority students. The Bilingual Education Act emphasized bilingual education and provided options for the development of students’ native language as well as their English language proficiency and academic achievement. In 2002 the Bilingual Education Act expired and was replaced by the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. Drawing on Ricento and Hornberger’s [(1996) TESOL Quarterly, 30(3), 401--428] ‘onion metaphor’ for the multi-layered nature of language planning and policy, this paper considers the potential impact changes in language education policy may have on programs and practices for language minority students. A summary of interview responses from a small sample of Southern Oregon educators provides an added perspective.


bilingual education language minority education language planning orientation No Child Left Behind onion metaphor in language policy and planning scientifically based research teachers’ understandings 



Limited English Proficient


Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs


Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited-English-Proficient Students


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Oregon UniversityAshlandUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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