The Power Of Speaking More Than Two Languages

1997 words - 8 pages

In chapter 12 “Language Diversity and Schooling” of Banks et al. (2012) talks about the US demographic changes in the last decade and the challenges this learners face in our educational system. They say that the new immigration waves are the primary sources of new linguistic diversity in the US. Additionally, they also state that immigration today is more diverse than ever, new immigrants are exhibiting a significant range in educational level, social class, and economic capital. Present immigrants are more likely than native-born populations to have family members who have graduated from college and “they are not just simply assimilated into mainstream society as was once assumed” (Banks et al., 2012, p. 221).
Chapter 12 also emphasizes how the domain of the English language is associated with people that possess social or political power. They claim, “Because dialect variation tends to be associated with race, social class, and geographic region, the dialects of groups with less social power tend to be viewed as inferior or incorrect versions of Standard English” (Banks et al., 2012, p. 223). Banks et al., also mention the federal requirements of the new EL programs, the law for free education whether and student is documented or not, and the funding for protection of the EL students. Additionally, it explains the implementation of some instructional programs such as submersion, ESL (English as a Second Language), TBE (transitional bilingual education), and dual language programs and how they meet the educational needs of the linguistic diverse students in the US.
One topic that called my attention was the quality of education that this population is receiving and difficulties that they are getting from our school practices and policies. More importantly, how many researches have documented how “racism, xenophobia, and pro English attitudes are powerful factors” (Banks, el al. 2012, p. 229) for educators to under estimated the cognitive capability of students with a different language. Some theories have indicated that all second language learners, regardless of their first language, seem to progress through similar developmental stages of language learning in some areas, yet schooling or linguistically diverse students continues to be plagued by poor programs, limited resources, and lack of commitment from policy makers.
Baker, D. K. (2011). Effect of Reading Comprehension on Passage Fluency in Spanish and English for Second-Grade English Learners. School Psychology Review Purpose
This article examines the effect of the reading comprehension for students that are fluent in Spanish and English after controlling the reading process. The author also measures the effect of bilingual education and the correlation between the reading acquisitions of bilingual students. Baker (2011) uses the Cummins theory that proposes that bilingual children must attain a certain level of competence in language one and language two before students bilingualism...

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