Focusing On Education Beyond English Essay

1931 words - 8 pages

Focusing on Education Beyond English

In recent years, much attention has been drawn to the bilingual education debate. Immigration is booming, and along with it the number of non-English-speaking children entering public schools. According to Thomas and Collier, "Language-minority students are predicted to account for about 40 percent of the school-age population by the 2030’s" (5). Bilingual programs in many areas have sparked a heated controversy, with many people claiming that non-English-speaking children, most notably Hispanics, are being disadvantaged by programs that simply don’t work.

Many people assume that a lack of English comprehension poses obstacles to normal scholastic progress. Others argue that children are being hindered more by attempts to help them learn English, than by their lack of English ability. The worst arguments against bilingual education may be ethnocentric, or even racist, in nature, but many other arguments have a practical and common-sense sound to them and are not easy to dismiss.

For those who have children’s best interests at heart, the opponents can be divided roughly into two camps: a) those who favor English-only instruction so that children are not hindered in their opportunities later in life, and b) those who favor a program that maintains the cultural heritage and language of the non-English community.

Those debating both the problems and merits of bilingual education programs often seem to forget that the primary concern of all schools should be to make sure that students are succeeding in their coursework. Schools are responsible for much more than teaching English and preserving cultural heritage (many question whether schools should have either responsibility). The question is how to teach the standard curriculum satisfactorily to non-English-speaking children entering schools today, so that they do not fall behind their English-speaking peers. More research needs to be done with this goal in mind, for at present, there does not seem to be enough data to conclude that any of the current education models are the best.

Today, there are many models of bilingual education. The most popular and best known are the transitional and ESL models, what Thomas and Collier refer to as "remedial" programs (2). Transitional refers to programs where educating begins in the native language, but the primary focus is to move children into classes where all educating is done in English. In transitional programs, children are taught in their native language by bilingual teachers, and given special training in English. After about 3 years, all instruction is done in English. In the ESL program children are removed from ordinary classes in order to receive special instruction in English. Children with many different backgrounds are put together in one classroom with teachers who are trained to teach English as a foreign language. The teachers are not usually bilingual. Like the...

Find Another Essay On Focusing on Education Beyond English

Bilingual Education Essay

876 words - 4 pages prescriptions; English was neglected, and Spanish language and cultural maintenance became the norm.The difference between English immersion and developmental bilingual education is that in English immersion the students learn and are placed in English classes, while developmental bilingual education attempts to build on students skills in their native language as they learn English as a second language. Through a poll I conducted in my building the

Fixing the System Essay

1001 words - 5 pages similarly on mathematics and English standards. The mathematic portion focuses on if a student can use logical reasoning to understand and solve problems. The English portion focus on better: reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening skills. Common Core standards were adopted in Idaho in 2011 but were not fully implemented into the Idaho school districts until the 2013-2014 school year. The education system of today is failing


1691 words - 7 pages on March 8, 2010, from the University of Phoenix rEsource Database.Knowledgerush, (2009). Non-native pronunciations of English. Retrieved on April 7, 2010,from, K., Taylor, D., & Kamen, R. (2004, Fall). Storytelling: Enhancing language acquisition in young children. Education, 125(1), 3-14. Retrieved on April 10, 2010, from ProQuest Database.Pasden, J

Bilingual Education

967 words - 4 pages and communication skills in English while learning the new material in their first language and to prepare them for an effective integration into American society through gradually introducing them to a new culture. The need for educational reform has provoked a great deal of debate among educators and policymakers. The debate over bilingual education is heated all across the country, with people on both sides of the argument standing firm in their

Bilingual education should be allowed in schools

1272 words - 5 pages minority children on academic and social learning. The transition from ones native language to a new language is a difficult road for anyone to travel; especially when the use of your native language is prohibited from making the transition to the new language easier. Supporters of bilingual education believes that, like native English speakers, language minority children go to school with many well developed skills in their first language. Many

Bilingual Education

1272 words - 5 pages minority children on academic and social learning. The transition from ones native language to a new language is a difficult road for anyone to travel; especially when the use of your native language is prohibited from making the transition to the new language easier. Supporters of bilingual education believes that, like native English speakers, language minority children go to school with many well developed skills in their first language. Many

Indian English

1154 words - 5 pages “the language of the Supreme Court in Calcutta” (Gupta 1996). Soon after, in 1835, Lord Macaulay wrote his Minute on Indian Education. This convinced the Governor-General of India to establish a position for the use of the English language in Indian educational Institutions, writing "the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European literature and science among the natives of India" (Thirumalai 2003). The East India

The Benefit of Liberal Arts Education

827 words - 3 pages education is no longer needed rises. Some educators feel that future professionals would be better primed for the future by focusing specifically on subjects that deal with their intended field. However, a liberal arts education provides benefits that go beyond the classroom. The experience of studying a wide range of material makes an individual well rounded, creates opportunities, and allows for personal evaluation. Broadening one’s knowledge in

Non-English Speaking People

932 words - 4 pages official language, but at the same time give authority to government agencies to persecute non-English speaking immigrants more. American people even endanger the political life of non-English speaking people. Beyond the threats and persecuting of various government agencies, many American have engaged in behavior that limits the political power, culture, and environment of non-English speaking immigrants. American people tend to target non-English

The Integration of English Throughout the World

906 words - 4 pages The English language is today the most dominant language in business, education and influence. With this in mind, does it not make sense that people who comprehend English fully are wanted in business and service today? Even in little Norway, English is fully integrated into the education, daily life and business of the average person. Norwegian employers therefore have a need for employees that are able to speak and use English as a tool for

Inefficiency of Standardized Testing

949 words - 4 pages this. Since its first creating, the ACT has expanded its programs and services, offering assessment and training services that extend beyond the college entrance process. All four-year colleges and universities in the US now accept ACT scores, making the ACT a second option for those who struggle with the SAT ("ACT History – The evolution of the ACT", n.d., para. 1). Focusing primarily on the ACT, the studies show that the test uses many biased

Similar Essays

Focusing On The Students That Don't Have Exposure To English Outside Of Their School Environment

1120 words - 5 pages All the learners are elementary level young adults (between 16-21years) of Sri Lankan origin and have Sinhala or Tamil as their first language. They are still in fulltime secondary or post-secondary education. Though these learners have learnt English at school from an early age, their past language learning experiences seem to have not helped them due to lack of a language-rich learning environment with communicative focus. They have little

English Language: The Basic Education Course

634 words - 3 pages for them to become proficient in English, so students have to find other ways to learn English by themselves in order to pass the test and try to drive themselves to be an English proficiency. Consequently, there are many ways that use to learn English, researcher conduct a study, focusing on ways to learn English that used by English and Communication students.

Statement Of The Problems Essay

993 words - 4 pages Stories to Develop English Speaking Ability. The purposes of the course also focusing on the ability of speaking in daily lives, developing communication in career for different situations, and conversations in various social contexts of First Year Commerce Vocational students at Chana Pollakan Technological College Nakhon Ratchasima. Regarding to these problems in learning and teaching English in Thailand, retelling stories can be used to improve

English Medium Education Essay

559 words - 2 pages This essay investigates the ways in which the English-medium education can be perceived as a solution or a problem in UK educational setting, in the specific case where English is not the dominant language of the pupils’ homes and community, and outside the UK, with particular reference to India’s educational setting. First of all, in order to proceed with the analysis, it is important here to highlight the meaning of the term English-medium