Benefits of Bilingual Education David HostermanThe issue of bilingual education is a very controversial issue and many people have different views concerning this subject. 'Bilingual education began in 1968 as a small, $7. 5 million federal program to help Mexican-American students, half of whom could not speak English well when they entered first grade' (Chavez 23). In addition, it began 23 years ago as a historic order for busing students to schools to achieve racial integration.
One would believe that the supporters of bilingual education are Latino's but in actuality they are black and white professionals who know the advantages of their children being bilingual. It has been proven that students who are enrolled in bilingual classes have better scores on standardized tests, such as the ACT's and SAT's, than those who are not enrolled in bilingual classes. Bilingual education is beneficial for our country and enables students to learn English as well as keeping their native tongue for future success in our global economy. Bilingual education works in our society and should stay intact within the schools and should be funded to enable students who wish to take these classes should be able to. In aspect of Rudolph Giuliani's view that bilingual education doesn't work and that it is too expensive should be better thought out and he should look at the benefits that come from it. Giuliani was quoted regarding bilingual education by saying, 'It's cruel to them and gives them less of a chance to succeed' (Willen 8).
This is a bizarre view that Giuliani is issuing considering that it has been proven that students who are enrolled in bilingual classes perform better on standard eyes tests. This is an advantage for these students to succeed considering that the better the test grades the better the opportunity to get into good college. In addition one can notice that knowing more than one language can 'utilize the strengths of bilingual children to prepare all students to compete in a global economy that increasingly calls for multilingual and multicultural expertise' (Beyer 11). Bilingual education can be seen beneficial in many schools and helps students prepare for a future in corporate America.
In El Paso at a secondary school bilingual education can be seen as helpful for both the students and credibility of the school. At this particular secondary school they are using a 'High Intensity Language Training program' (Bowne 80). This particular program emphasizes training in English as a second language. This started at this school in 1982 and before 1982 'many of El Paso's Hispanic high school ers either failed or dropped out' (Bowen 80).
But today the students who are enrolled in the high intensity language-training program regularly appear on the school's honor roll and many of the students are also members of the National Honor Roll Society. The benefits of this program can also be seen because many of these students have graduated at the top of their particular class. This particular success in bilingual education is beneficial in El Paso but is also beneficial in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn at a particular school one can notice the benefits of bilingual education relating to the success of the students in bilingual classes at the school. 'At Brooklyn's P. S.
189, Principal Josephine Bruno runs her school on a bilingual basis, switching back and forth so that students take one class in English and another in their native tongue' (Bowen 80). One can notice the benefits of the bilingual program at this particular school because 86% of her 1, 130 read English at their particular grade level. Bruno's success with this program was noticed when she was quoted for saying, 'If the kids are leering, who cares?' (Bowen 80) The issue of bilingual education working can also be noticed at Bell Gardens Elementary school. At Bell Gardens Elementary school many of their classrooms are bilingual and one can easily see the benefits of bilingual education.
For instance, Natalia Ruano-Martinez, a retired bilingual education teacher at Bell Gardens Elementary school has two sons who have gone through bilingual education. She is quoted on the benefits of bilingual education when she says, 'When our boys entered kindergarten, we opted to place them in a bilingual classroom... They learned both English and Spanish reading, writing, math, and science until the sixth grade' (Martinez 13). Also at the school Martinez, 'tested students toward the end of the end of the third grade who had been in bilingual education since kindergarten. These children were reading and writing English and Spanish and doing better on standardized tests than the English only students. In addition, Martinez can not find any reason why bilingual education is opposed considering the fact that it is known that when one language is strongly embedded into memory that another language is easier to learn.
She believes that the benefits of her children being in bilingual classrooms is that it will prepare them better for the global economy, because knowing two languages enables them to have a head start over people who just primarily speak English. The benefit of bilingual education in our global economy is essential and enables students to have a better opportunity in our corporate world. The issue of bilingual education in relationship to our global economy enables students enrolled in these classes to have a better future than those students who only speak English. Jeff MacSwan, supporter of bilingual education and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Arizona State University, is quoted about bilingual education in our global economy when he says, 'Multilingualism is an asset, and Arizona must embrace it' (MacSwan 4). Arizona Senator John McCain also believes that bilingual education is an asset to children. He states that, 'Arizona should strengthen them (bilingual classes) and make similar resources available to all children' (MacSwan 4).
In fact, McCain has introduced a program that enables students to be in programs like these. McCain's program is called 'English-Plus' (Macswan 4) which acknowledges the great importance of bilingualism in our modern global economy. McCain is quoted concerning bilingual education when he says, 'People should not have to abandon the language of their birth to learn the language of their future... The ability to speak languages in addition to English is a tremendous resource to our community' (MacSwan 4). In addition the benefits of bilingual education in our global economy can be seen when US Secretary Richard Riley said, 'When they enter the work force in several years we will regret the inability of our children to speak two languages.
Our global economy demands it; our children deserve it' (Pratt 6). Giuliani argues that bilingual education is too expensive and that it takes up time and is tough to prepare such programs. Giuliani has some reason to argue that it is too expensive considering that 'New York City alone spends $300 million annually on its program serving 126, 000 students' (Chavez 23). In addition Giuliani has a reason to argue that bilingual education it too time consuming considering the outrageous number of students who are eligible for bilingual classes. Although these are good reasons Giuliani should realize that, 'half the Hispanic children in bilingual classes (New York City) are American-born. And many- if not most- speak English better than they do Spanish' (Chavez 23).
The number one reason why these students are enrolled in these particular classes is because that New York automatically places these students in these classes by whether or not they score above the 40 th percentile on a standard eyes test. These tests should not be done because it is evident that the students are learning English just maybe not as fast at other students. Giuliani's claims are somewhat relevant but he should consider all of the benefits that come from bilingual education. Although Giuliani believes it is too expensive this should not be an issue considering that our country can benefit as a whole with multilingualism. Bilingual education is an asset to our country and the benefits can be seen throughout our global economy. People such as Giuliani should embrace the idea of this type of education and should help fund programs like these because it will further in rich our economy.
The prove of students who take bilingual classes and scoring better on standardized tests than those who speak English only alone lets one notice the terrific impact that bilingual education programs. In addition, why should students who have to loose their native tongue simply for the reason that the majority of people speak English? Individuals who can speak multiple languages enables them for future aspirations and success that will enable them to have a leg up on others who can only speak English as a primary language. Our society extremely benefits from bilingual education and there no significant reason for eliminating it. Works Cites Beyer, Connie. 'Language Issue Is Not Political/ Studies, Experience Bilingual Education Works' The Arizona Republic 30 September 1998: 11 EV. Bowen, Ezra.
'Education: For Learning Or Ethnic Pride? Parents Politicians and Pedagogues Battle Over Bilingual Classes' Time 8 July 1985: 80. Chavez, Linda. 'Bilingual Education Was to Teach English, Not Trap Students' Minneapolis Star Tribune 2 April 1995: 23 A. Gonzales, Patricia. 'Why Is Bilingual Education Opposed?' The Dallas Morning News 11 July 1996: 23 A. Pratt, Chasity.
'One Class, Two Languages/ Both English, Foreign Benefit Bilingual Schools.' Newsday 4 April 2000: 6 A. Ruano-Martinez, Natalia. 'Should We Abolish Bilingual Education? No: It Prepares Kids For Global Economy.' USA Today 2 June 1998: 13 A. Weber, Brian.
'Native Tongue Denver Schools Wrestle With Bilingual Education As Feds Make New Demands' Denver Rocky Mountain News 19 October 1997: 40 A. Willen, Liz. 'Bilingual Debate/ Rudy's Push to Limit Education Programs Draws Flak' Newsday 16 January 1998: 8 A.