This exploratory study examines the voting intent and attitudes of 300 registered Colorado voters toward Amendment 31, which had been designed to replace bilingual education with sheltered English immersion in Colorado public schools. The analysis identified several variables as being statistically associated with the voters’ attitudes toward the amendment, including political party and ideology, gender, level of education, the voters’ knowledge of foreign languages, and their attitudes toward other language policy issues in the U.S. The data indicate that attitudes toward language policy issues are highly complex, and an analysis of responses to an open-ended prompt confirmed that these voters’ attitudes were often based in part on multicultural and/or assimilationist ideology in addition to pedagogical, legal, and financial concerns, and concerns about students’ success in life. The voters in this study, including those opposed to bilingual education, were generally in favor of personal and societal multilingualism that do not interfere with national unity. The results of this study are useful for language planners and policy makers as well as language education researchers.
|Title||Bilingual education and voter intent: Colorado 2002|
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