Benefits Of Bilingual Education Essay

1372 words - 5 pages

Benefits of Bilingual EducationThe Federal government passed the Bilingual Education Act in 1968. This Act provided funding to any district that would integrate English and the native language of the student in the classrooms. All around the country issues have come up concerning bilingual education. Some policy makers, taxpayers, and even many educators believe that bilingual education is not effective (Bilingual Research Journal on Line). They believe that the funding for this program is too expensive. In this case, money is used as a reason for not wanting a program that helps students. Opponents of bilingual education clearly do not see the advantages this program brings to our growing population of non-English speakers. Many do not realize the benefit that bilingual education can bring to a student who is a non-English speaker. I am one of those non-English speakers, who benefited from bilingual education.Bilingual education is a program for children whose native language is not English. Children are taught in several languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, French Creole, just to name a few. Bilingual education has set two important goals. The first goal is the development of academic English and school success. The second goal is to develop the heritage language. When schools provide children with an education in their primary language, the children are less likely to fall behind in the areas of Math, Science, and Social Studies. Just knowing English will not help the student unless thy also gain knowledge in other subject areas, which is best accomplished through bilingual education.Education is an on going process. Whether we are teaching US born students or students that have immigrated to our country, we must teach them the skills that will get them through life. Bilingual education tries to meet students at their level rather than the level where they "should" be (Domenico Maceri). That is why we should not only concentrate on teaching these kids English. By placing children in English-only classrooms the children are not grasping the language or the material presented in the content areas. They must not only master the English but also the material presented by the teacher. Many become discouraged and the ultimate outcome is failure.Older children benefit greatly from bilingual education. In a high school setting students are taking six to seven subjects a day. This can be overwhelming for someone who does not speak a word of English. They are expected to learn the language and keep up with all the academic classes. In some cases this is impossible. The students cannot do both, and therefore fails to learn English and fails to advance in other subject areas. By teaching these students in their own language they will be able to excel in academics and also be able to concentrate on learning the language. This will encourage them to pursue higher education when completing high school. For example, education became a nightmare for...

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