There is a tendency to argue for or against bilingual education in terms of productivity (student attainment expressed as test scores), and that productivity is discussed in terms of division of time, curriculum and speakers. Although this orientation has produced some valuable macro- level accounts, it does not address the need for close-up interaction data showing how language(s) are used by teachers and students in classroom activities.
Bilingual education, in its many manifestations, can be used to
serve a number of educational and social goals which include:
• promotion of a majority language in a linguistically diverse society;
• promotion of a minority language in a linguistically diverse society;
• promotion of both majority and minority languages in a linguistically diverse society; • revitalization of a local minority language in a linguistically diverse society;
• promotion of foreign language in a foreign language learning context.
Leung focusses on two less commonly discussed areas: (a) the ways in which the notion of language as medium of instruction is abstracted in scholarly discussions and research; and (b) pedagogic integration of curriculum learning and language learning, foregrounding the need to attend explicitly to issues of language learning, particularly second language/additional language learning in bilingual education.
Language learning, especially second/additional language learning, is not an automatic and universal process for all learners p.11
Examination of how the chosen medium of instruction has been used and exploited in teaching materials and classroom processes would open up new angles of research. Combining these two aspects of language use is likely to enrich the classroom research agenda within bilingual education. p. 12 ·