Bilingual Education Bilingual education Bilingual Education Essay, Research Paper Bilingual education has existed in various forms throughout the history of the U. S. as the nation has sought to educate non-English children. Recognizing the linguistic diversity in schools, Congress passed the Bilingual Education Act of 1968, which funded language programs for non-English speaking students. With a heightened awareness of diversity and America's expanding immigrant population, bilingual education became increasingly concerned with maintaining cultural identity and teaching in the students' native language (Richman). Richard Rodriguez s, memoir on bilingual education, Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood argues against bilingual education stating that, It is not possible for a child, any child, ever to use his family s language in school.
Not to understand this is to misunderstand the public uses of schooling to trivialize that nature of intimate life. I believe that students have the right to use their native language as the language of school. Bilingual education methods involve teaching students school subjects in their native tongue, while they are being taught intensive English. Children learn to read and write in the native language, while getting an increasing amount of English instruction. The main purpose is to keep the children from falling behind in other subjects while they are learning English. Supporters to bilingual education say: Bilingual education effectively teaches English students while preventing them from falling academically behind their English-proficient schoolmates… ...
A child's native language is essential to maintaining links with family and community. The program helps maintain a student's sense of ethnic identity, without interrupting educational development by forcing them to function at a lower age and grade level. Thrusting students into English immersion classes hampers their academic advancement and may prove costly if those students later develop special education needs due to English proficiency problems. Bilingual education will help students to assimilate easily in to the American society by supporting their bi cultural background and making them feel like an individual. Bilingual educators say that children loose a degree of individuality by becoming assimilate into public society (Rodriguez). Children do not loose anything by learning how to speak English.
They gain much more than the language. They gain cultural and public acceptance. When non-English speaking children are placed in a solely English speaking school environment, they almost will surely fail in not only learning English, but also in getting an education. English speaking classes are made for children brought up in an English speaking home. Children not brought up in an English speaking home are far behind those that were. Rodriguez says that he felt like a socially disadvantage child because he regarded Spanish as his private language (Rodriguez).
Critics of bilingual education say that it is ineffective, because it kept students too long in Spanish-only classes, and slowed the learning of English and assimilation into American society. High dropout rates for Latino students, low graduation rates from high schools and colleges have imprisoned Spanish speakers at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder in the United States (Duignan). Teachers often ignore the special needs of non-English speaking children. This then adds to the ostracizing of such children by classmates because of their inability to speak the public language.
This ostracizing and neglect leads to a general demoralization of the non-English speaking child. The child may come to hate school and eventually drop out before adequately learning English or getting a suitable education. In non-English speaking families who are stereotypically poor to begin with, this lack of education only ensures a bleak future. Those who oppose bilingual education, especially in state-funded schools, argue that bilingual education keeps children apart from the culture of their new country and prevents them from learning its language; they argue that children will be more successful in their new culture if they are forced to adapt to it. Supporters of bilingual education say that it helps children in several ways; children continue their progress in content courses such as science and math, they develop their mental skills by making progress in content courses, they increase their self-confidence, and they preserve their cultural identity and pride.