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Effects of Minority-Language Literacy on the Academic Achievement of Vietnamese Youth in New Orleans

Since the beginning of American history, popular and scholarly attitudes toward the role of non-

English native languages in education have been intricately intertwined with policies toward ethnic minorities. As early as 1753, Benjamin Franklin complained about the use of German in Pennsylvania and helped to establish English schools in German-speaking areas of that colony (Castellanos 1992). Educational policies toward Native Americans consistently used education in the English language as part of a program of assimilation. In 1819, Congress set aside the Civilization Fund to support church groups that were pursuing assimilationist educational goals (Nabokov 1991). Two decades later, over 80 governmental boarding schools were established in the United States to accommodate about 3,000 Native American students. In 1879, the U.S. Training and Industrial School was founded in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and became a model for other schools for Native Americans around the country.