Bilingual Education: Discussion of Advantages

Introduction

Bilingual education in a country is designed for students who speak a language other than English, or English as his or their second language. This program helps students to keep up with their academic works and to get them into regular English classes as quickly as possible. Those who enrolled in bilingual education were either immigrants or children with limited English and whose parents sent them to the United States to learn English. But anyway, the majority in our society were immigrants, whose native language is not English. Many came to the United States to seek freedom and to be educated. Since English is the common language of the United States, it is taught to all immigrant students. Many immigrant students are enrolled in bilingual education because their parents want them to maintain their cultural heritage and to be bilingual. There are many advantages of being bilingual; it makes communication easier and more diverse. Therefore, bilingual education should be provided for immigrant students because it helps them maintain their native language while they learn English and to be bilingual.

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Discussion

However, some people criticize bilingual education and argue that this program has failed to provide the students’ native language with enough knowledge of English. As a result, many native students did not gain academic skills and eventually dropped out of school. Sanchez was one of the people who criticized bilingual education. He said that ” bilingual education failed to teach English efficiently and perpetuate their dependency on their native language” (765). However, I came to disagree with Hayakawa’s view about bilingual education. I think bilingual education is good because it helps students to study English. Good bilingual education is well organized, and they work pretty well in the United States. It is a prosperous program, and Lourdes Rovira also agreed with my point of view about bilingual education. She said that ” bilingual education work extremely well… and no doubt that good bilingual programs are successful…” (Rovira, 574) This program tried to get students into the mainstream English-speaking classes as soon as possible. But first, teaches them to learn to read and other academic subjects in their native language and then transfer those skills over to English. Moreover, programs not only helped them to develop stronger knowledge skills but also helped them to keep their ethnic heritage and culture. By keeping their cultural heritage, students could become bilingual. (Greenfield, 107-36).

The advantages of being bilingual would make communication easier and more diverse. For example, being bilingual should allow people to make connections with people of different cultures. (Chamot, 11-35) But anyway, by keeping their cultural heritage, it would make communication more diverse. Moreover, for those immigrants, being bilingual means living in two different worlds; their home culture (native language) and American culture (English language). For native speakers of English, knowing a second language means opening up their horizons to the richness of cultural diversity and becoming active participants in…global society (Rovira 573). In addition, the majority in global society today are mostly immigrants, whose native language is not English. If they are enrolled in bilingual education means that they are becoming bilinguals. (Valdés, 25-52) In another word, bilingual education is bilingual. All in all, bilingual education only brings good to people, but no harm.

If you lost your native language and you will gain English. Bilingual education only helps students to gain but not lost. Bilingual education is a good program, and it only helps immigrants students with their academic studies. Bilingual education helped immigrants students to gain both English and their native language. They don’t have to lose one and gain another. (Aguirre, 28-38).

Conclusion

Overall, bilingual education was designed to help students who speak a language other than English. Those people who criticized and argued that the bilingual program was bad and has failed to provide the native students with enough knowledge of English were wrong. Bilingual education was a good program, and its goal was to move the students into mainstream English classes as quickly as possible. Bilingual education was to teach students English without taking away their cultural heritage. Students could gain both English and their native language at one. Students who are enrolled in bilingual education mean that they are bilinguals. The advantage of being bilingual would make communication easier and more diverse.

Learning a second language is done at an early age, most cases starting in kindergarten. This is done because the children learn it faster, easier, and retain more of it. For the children that are learning English as their second language, they need to be able to speak it before they advance on to higher levels of education. Whatever method is used the children that learn second languages at an early age are better suited to live and work in a vastly culturally diverse world about them. Children are taught a second language early on, and because of this knowledge, they become more culturally diverse and more understanding of the differences in people, more fluent, and more apt to learning and performing better on tests and in school.

References

Aguirre, A. (2001). Code-switching, intuitive knowledge, and the bilingual classroom. In H.Garcia, & R. Chavez (Eds.), Ethnolinguistic issues in education (pp. 28-38). Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University.

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Chamot, A. (2002). Bilingualism in education and bilingual education: The state of the art in the United States. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 9, 11-35.

Greenfield, T. (2003). Bilingualism, multiculturalism, and the crisis of purpose. American Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, 3, 107-136.

Rovira, Lourdes and Pellerano, Cristina, Sandra H. Fradd (February 1998) “Coral Way Elementary: A Success Story in Bilingualism.” Discover. (Newsletter for the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education) No. 3. 573.

Sanchez, G. (2004). Bilingualism and mental measures: a word of caution. Journal of Applied Psychology, 18, 765-772.

Valdés, G. (2003). Bilinguals and bilingualism: language policy in an anti-immigrant age. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 127, 25-52.

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