Chris Watkins March 12, 2003 English 1302 Tuesday/Thursday 9: 30-11: 00 Bilingual Education There is a great deal of controversy in regard to bilingual education. Some individuals are for bilingual education and some are against bilingual education. Richard Rodriguez is against bilingual education. Many individuals like to argue that bilingual education is best for a non-English speaking student.
Bilingual education could possibly be the worst thing for a non-English speaking person. Bilingual education may create a slow learning environment for the student. A student who is attending a bilingual education class may not experience the type of learning needed to perform in college in the future. Students that are being pampered through middle and high school may create a lower self-esteem due to the awkwardness of being disassociated with the majority of the school population. These feelings may cause the student to perform poorly in the bilingual education classes being taken to avoid becoming apart of the majority of the school. Richard Rodriguez is an excellent example of how not attending bilingual education courses can actually help a student learning English.
Rodriguez states that he would was finally able to raise his hand in class and speak out, after learning English on a more elaborate basis. Rodriguez's teachers influenced his parents to begin speaking English at home to help speed up the learning process for him. Rodriguez also would stay after school everyday for an hour for English tutoring. These activities are what a student that does not speak English fluently needs to increase the learning process of the language. Ramon Saldivar feels that becoming apart of the English speaking society may make a Hispanic lose some of their individuality.
Saldivar states that although it is important to speak English, it may also make an individual loose their sense of private individuality. Saldivar acknowledges Rodriguez's feelings regarding his lose of family individuality. Saldivar also realizes that English opens doors to society's networks, rewards, and recognitions. There may be consequences to becoming part of the English world, but it is needed in order to succeed. I speak only English.
I have never been in another country that would require me to speak another language. I have worked with people who spoke only Spanish and in some cases a minute amount of English. About seven years ago I worked as a cashier at a restaurant here in Houston. Only Hispanics worked in the kitchen and as bus boys. They did not speak English. I visited this restaurant recently and saw some of the same bus boys still working at this restaurant.
They are not making much money and still do not speak English. I believe that they could have made something more of themselves if they would have been taught English. They could probably have higher paying jobs, feel an increased sense of confidence, and be able to at least speak with customers and other English-speaking individuals. A student that has attended bilingual education classes throughout middle and high school may find it difficult to obtain a successful career. If an individual cannot even speak the language of the country they are living in, then how could they possibly expect to be successful? A disadvantage of bilingual education is that it does not give a student the opportunity to learn the public language.
Even if the student is learning from the textbooks at school about English, it will still be difficult to speak the public lingo. These skills are extremely important to succeed in this country. In fact, it is important to know the language of the country you are living in regardless of what part of the world you are in.