Education has undergone tremendous changes that have contributed inshaping societies. Education can be categorized into formal andinformal. Formal education is a classroom-based facilitation oflearning and acquisition of knowledge while informal educationhappens outside a classroom setting. Bilingual education has beenpracticed in the American education since 1839 (Goldenberg &Wagner, 2015). There are arguments concerning the adoption ofbilingualism in the education sector among stakeholders. Most peopleassociate bilingualism with the lower-class citizens. However, due toresults from recent studies, there has been a change in attitudesince individuals who can speak more than one language wouldoccasionally outperform those who speak a single language (U.S.Department of Education, 2016). The Equal Educational OpportunitiesAct (1974) has ensured that everyone in the United States (U.S) hasan educational opportunity regardless of their color, race, andnational origin (Goldenberg et al., 2015). Educational institutionsshould take necessary steps to overcome language barriers so thatthere is a guarantee of equal participation by all students.
Bilingual education is inclined to programs that seek to promote duallanguage proficiency in students. According to Kamenetz (2016), theadoption of bilingual teaching in the U.S. was to assist the studentswhen transitioning from non-English languages to English. Additiveand transitional bilingual languages are the most common programspracticed around the world (Mania, n.d.). Additive language educationis where students develop and maintain their primary or nativelanguage while simultaneously adding a second language (Mania, n.d.).Notably, there is no loss of primary language or culture.Alternatively, transitional bilingual education advocates the use ofmother tongue instruction as an approach to academic exposure whilegradually switching the student to the exposure in the Englishlanguage over time (Mania, n.d.). The goal of bilingual education isto help the student to develop English proficiency and transitioninto the academic mainstream (Goldenberg et al., 2015). There isreliance on linguistic reinforcement in promoting English monolingualculture.
Bilingual education has various benefits to the students. It isimperative to grow a bilingual culture in the institution because itboosts literacy developments and creates an environment wherestudents can develop problem-solving skills that are necessary in thereal world scenario (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). Bilingualeducation should be seen as an asset to both students andinstructors. Once a student has a sense of self and communism, it iseasy to impart knowledge and skills because they feel that theirculture is appreciated (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). Theadoption of bilingual education helps in improving social andcognitive features among students (Kamenetz, 2016). It should benoted that learners can thrive in any education system if theirself-esteem is suitably enhanced, especially when their nativelanguages and cultures are sustained in the process. Goldenberg etal., (2015) assert that bilingual education gives the students anopportunity to fill the gap that has been created by the differencein languages. Adoption of bilingual education addresses the fear oflosing their home language. For example, it is easy to teach otherlanguages such as English using mother tongue since the learners canexpress themselves adequately.
The federal and state governments have been at the forefront inadvocating for bilingual education in schools across the U.S.(Goldenberg et al., 2015). However, it has faced various challengesfrom some States such as California. There was a passage of law in1998 that severely restricted the use of bilingual education in allpublic schools in California (Medina, 2016). The primary argument forthe law was that students were fading away as a result of theirnative language. Additionally, there was a need to speed up theacquisition of English language through the use of English-onlyinstruction (Medina, 2016).
In conclusion, Bilingual education is an important aspect in theeducation sector. It is one of the most effective ways of teachingLimited English Proficiency (LEP) students the English language. Itshould be promoted in the education system because it depicts acountry’s commitment to cultural diversity.
Goldenberg, C., & Wagner, K. (2015). .American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved 5 April 2017, fromhttp://www.aft.org/ae/fall2015/goldenberg_wagner
Kamenetz, A. (2016). 6 Potential Brain Benefits of BilingualEducation. NPR.org. Retrieved 5 April 2017, fromhttp://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/29/497943749/6-potential-brain-benefits-of-bilingual-education
Mania, M. (n.d.). Common Terms.Multilingual Mania. Retrieved 5 April 2017, fromhttp://multilingualmania.com/common-bilingual-education-terms/
Medina, J. (2016). Californians, Having Curbed BilingualEducation, May Now Expand It. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 5April 2017, fromhttps://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/18/us/californians-having-curbed-bilingual-education-may-now-expand-it.html?_r=0
U.S. Department of Education. (2016). The Importance of BilingualEducation | U.S. Department of Education. Ed.gov.Retrieved 5 April 2017, fromhttps://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/importance-bilingual-education
No related posts.