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Bilingual Education Essay

1059 words - 5 pages

Point Pleasant Junior Senior High School (PPJSHS) is a school located in northwestern West Virginia that only has six students registered as “other” in their student population of one thousand one hundred ninety-seven (1,197) (WVDE, 2012-2013). Of these six students, all of them have been born and raised in the city of Point Pleasant. They speak fluent English and do not require any bilingual support. According to William Cottrill, the Principal, “… at Point Pleasant Junior Senior High School, we do not have a need for a bilingual program. We do not have any students enrolled that require the support of a Bilingual Specialist” (W. Cottrill, personal communication, March 31, 2014).
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d.). The school must take the necessary steps to involve the parents and other bilingual individuals within the community. Dr. Stritikus opens this phase with the notion that a person can tell if a school is welcoming of it immigrant students or not. He specifically mentions the employment of translators for students and parents of bilingual students, how the school utilizes the immigrant parents to get them involved in the school environment and culture, and are we supporting the language needs of the immigrant student.
The third facet of a successful bilingual program Dr. Stritikus expresses is the need of a high quality-learning environment (Laureate Education, n.d.). To have a high quality-learning environment, teachers must make their expectations known to the students as well as making the classroom feel safe. The students need to walk into the classroom and realize they are walking into a challenging environment that will build them up and strengthen their understanding of the material they are going to learn. When students walk into a classroom and feel it is going to be a waste of their time, they are more likely to cause problems, fall behind and miss key components of the daily lesson. Dr. Stritikus cites that it can be a difficult task to have a safe but challenging environment for a student to participate. When a teacher has developed an approach that is able to balance this task, they need to share this approach with other professionals in their building. As teachers do this, they need to keep in mind that they are part of a learning community that is to help one another which ties directly into the first aspect of a successful bilingual program.
The fourth component of a successful bilingual program is the direct connection to student’s lives (Laureate Education, n.d.). When teachers take the time to show the students they care about them, student success will improve. Many of the conferences I have attended use the statement, “students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care” to illustrate the relationship between a teacher and their student. In the four years I have been teaching, I...

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