At the beginning of the twenty-first century there were some three million children in the United States who were classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP). For much of the twentieth century these students would have been placed in so-called “immersion programs,” in which they would be taught solely in English until they understood it as well or better than their native tongue. Beginning in the 1960s there was a gradual shift toward bilingual education, in which students can master English while retaining their native-language skills.

Inside Bilingualism