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Bilingual Education Emerged From The Elementary And Secondary Education Act Of 1968

1618 words - 6 pages

Bilingual education emerged from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968, proposing that children should be instructed in their native tongue for a transitional year while learning English; before being integrated into all-English classrooms. Subjects like mathematics, science, and social studies are taught in multiple languages in an effort to keep non-English-speaking students from falling behind native-English speakers. Unfortunately, bilingual education has not generated the desired results, mainly because the model being utilized is not structured or executed correctly and ultimately, does not provide benefit to students. America is a melting pot for a myriad of cultures, the way bilingual education is being implemented should be reconsidered to better integrate students with immigrant backgrounds into our public education system without jeopardizing the preparedness of any of our students for a global economy.

Many advocates of bilingual education propose that learning in multiple language can increase self-esteem While this might sound fantastic, studies show that to rarely be the case and in actuality, many parents wish to not have their child(ren) involved. Advocates of bilingual education stress that the program is meant to increase self-esteem among limited-English students when they are introduced to all-English classes. However, studies have shown that self-esteem is not significantly higher amongst these children. In fact, studies suggest students’ stress levels are actually lowered when introduced to English on the first day of school. Supporters, teachers and other staff members make sure to make the child’s self esteem a major concern and a decision maker in a parents head yet most parents are unwillingly agreeing or unaware of the consequences. In 1998, the Educational Testing service conducted a national Parent Preference Study among almost 3000 Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Asian parents that have kids in U.S. public schools. The majority believe that learning English and having other subjects taught in English was much more important than learning about the native culture or language. The majority of parents in question felt that it is the family’s responsibility, not the school’s, to teach children about history, and traditions of their culture. 70% of Mexican parents wanted the school to teach reading and writing in Spanish and English but only 12% were in favor once they were notified that teaching Spanish meant less time for teaching English, which is the ultimate goal. Once the parents agree whether informed or not about the way the program teaches; teachers convince them that they made the adequate decision when it truthfully is or not. Although parents have the option to not have their children enrolled in bilingual classes or take them out of the class, parents are often forcefully convinced not to. Schoolteachers, principals and staff tell the parents that without the bilingual classes, their...

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