The Pros And Cons Of Bilingual Education In Malaysia.

823 words - 4 pages

Earlier this year, Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Lee Guan Yew told the press (SinChew Daily, 2013) that he would like to urge all the parents in Singapore to let their children to receive bilingual education as soon as possible as it deliver more pros than cons for the development of the children. Traditionally, bilingual education was perceived by experts as “damaging” to children early language development as it may cause them to confuse between two languages and affect their learning (Chitester, D.J., 2007), but as more recent researchers begin to uncover the advantages of bilingual education (Cognitive Development Lab, 2013 & National Association for Bilingual Education, n.d.), people around the globe are now accepting and encouraging their children to receive bilingual education, picking up additional languages like: Spanish or Mandarin. The bilingual education indeed offers several priceless advantages to everyone like helping in the development of brain, providing wider job opportunities and making more new friend.

The development of the brain of a bilingual individual is better than a monolingual individual. Few years ago, researchers from the University of Washington (as cited in Klass, 2011, para 4.) found that the brains of bilingual infants (from families where two languages were spoken) are able to discriminate the different of the phonetic sound of the languages they usually heard when they grew up than monolingual infants in where their brains were adapted to only identify their mother tongue only. Dr. Patricia Kuhl, one of the members of this research team thus believe that bilingual education can shape infants’ brains and keep them ready for future challenges. Concurrently, a renowned psychologist, Dr. Ellen Bialystok, specialist in linguistic research found that through a series of different experiments, bilingual people can focus better on important things and exhibit better multitasking skills than monolingual people (Claudia Dreifus, 2011). This is because when bilingual people speak, even in one language, the brain activates two languages system simultaneously, and when bilingual people learn to suppress one of the system, they are actually training their brain’s executive functions, reason to why bilingual individual is a far more superior multi-tasker and faster problem-solver (when they speak two languages, they actually think in two ways too!) than other who spoke only one language (Amy Weinberg, 2011). Moreover, since bilingual individual have to train their “brain’s muscle” every time when speak and think, Dr. Bialystok was astonished to find out that bilingual people actually developed Alzheimer disease...

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