Bilingual Education in Texas (1971)


The 1971 Educational Leadership article “Bilingual Education in Texas” (PDF) begins with the statement that bilingual education is a new development in Texas and other states where “it is taking a secure position in the formal education process of the schools.”

This newness provides the right context for author Severo Gómez to frame the topic in ways that are striking and not often found today.

Read the article: Bilingual Education in Texas (PDF)

Gómez begins by putting bilingualism in a historical and geographic context, referencing Alsace-Lorraine in France and Germany and the Basque areas of France and Spain, among other regions with a history of bilingualism. He takes pains to emphasize the importance of not simply casting off a first language once English is learned, but also respecting the cultural identity—in this case the bicultural identity—of every student, particularly in terms of fostering positive self-image.

Gómez notes the significance of the recently established Office of Bilingual Education in Texas, with himself leading it as assistant commissioner of education. His detailed plans to get the program off the ground successfully will be interesting reading, in terms of which approaches have faded and which have stuck around, to those working in this area now.


  1. Hi David,

    I am writing a profile of Bilingual Education in Oregon 1970-1973.
    I had the privilege of serving in the National Advisory Board for Bilingual Education OBE also directed by Dr. Albar Pena. Dr. Gomez was part of the committee; INDEED TWO GIANT MEN!

    I need to verify that Dr. Gomez was in the OBE Advisory Board; I approximate the mid-1970’s. Dr. Gomez was a national figure and thus my interest.

    Your reply would be greatly appreciated.

    Miguel A. Salinas


    The website noted is a work in progress. You may wish to look at “Migrant Education”..
    Tejanos had a big influence in the state of Oregon.


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