Tracing the History: Language Education Policy and Emergent Bilingual Learners in the United States


  • Shuang Fu University of Georgia



Emergent bilingual learners, language education policy, policy evolution


Since the passage of the 1968 Bilingual Education Act, the meaning, function, and connotation of bilingual education in the United States have undergone significant changes. In this article, the author outlines the evolution of U.S. language education policies for emergent bilingual learners since the 19th century. In particular, the article demonstrates the major waves and shifts of language education policies that either support or oppress the linguistic rights of language minoritized students, and captures how the changing social, political, and economic climate has shaped the nation’s response to language diversity. Importantly, reviewing the historical evolution of language policies not only echoes the importance of policy decisions in impacting bilingual students’ educational trajectories, but also informs future policy decisions in order to disrupt deficit positioning of bilingual communities.


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How to Cite

Fu, S. (2024). Tracing the History: Language Education Policy and Emergent Bilingual Learners in the United States. GATESOL Journal, 33(1), 15–24.



Pedagogical Practices, Programs, Policy, and Perspectives