Bilingual Education: Improving O0ne’s Life
Currently there are about 6,000 languages (Language Loss). “10,000 years ago, there may have been 12,000 languages (Cancio).” In the next century about ninety percent of all world languages could go extinct, because “languages are no longer being learnt by children” (Law). Some of these languages are also being lost because people move to the United States in search for a better life. Another cause would be that “the United States is failing to graduate enough students with expertise in foreign languages” (Saiz, and Zoido 523). In 2009, there were 38,517,234 immigrants in the U.S. (Batalova and Aaron). In 2011, 23 percent of children from elementary school and secondary school in California had LEP, or limited English proficiency (Percent Limited English Proficient Student). Bilingual education is one way of teaching a child in his or her own native language while learning English at the same time (Bilingual Education). Schools should teach a child in their native language while teaching the child English because it helps preserve his or her culture, secure a better employment future, and bilingual students perform better in school.
Even though bilingual education is expensive, costing 800 million dollars in 2011, it has raised test scores, increased the amount of money earned and increased the chances of getting a job and maintained the United States’ varied cultures (Peek). These 800 million dollars only represent 0.0002 percent of the education budget. People may not want to learn English with the fear of losing his or her culture, but bilingual education helps these people learn English and integrate into the United States (Bilingual Education). People say that bilingual education exacerbates the loss of English in the United States (Crawford), but instead it promotes and has promoted the gain of English even better than ESL, or English as a second language instruction by reducing the amount of LEP, or limited English proficient speakers to three percent in 1990 (Crawford). It has also promoted improvement in English by making the learner focus more closely at the structure of English (Meritt). Currently the number of LEP speakers is increasing due to the increasing amount of immigrants coming into the United States, and not because bilingual education is ineffective (Guo and Kortez). 2005 studies have also shown that students in an immersion performed better than students in a bilingual education program, but those studies have been flawed because the studies did not use appropriate methods to acquire the information (Guo and Kortez). The studies were inferences; the studies performed were not quantitative, but qualitative, and focused mainly on Spanish speakers, paying less attention to four other language groups (Guo and Kortez).
Teaching a child in their native language, while teaching the child English may help the child retain their native language, and preserve their culture. Language...