Bilingualism Education

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Bilingual training is a good case of an experiment that was began with the nothing but the best of humanitarian intentions but has ended up being terribly wrongheaded. To apprehend this 30-year experiment known as “bilingual education” let us take a look returned at the late 1960s , the pinnacle of the Civil Rights movements for African-Americans. Latino leaders borrowed some the movement’s strategies in worrying for special legislation to deal with the needs of the Spanish-speaking children who were dropping out of school in worrying high figures such as 50% in certain cities. In 1968, Senator Ralph Yarborough filled a consignment that was aimed at eradicating the language barrier in schools so as to provide an equal education and it was approved by Congress.

Bilingual education is simply a special effort to assist immigrant students learn English in order for them to be able to do regular schoolwork and receive equal academic opportunity just as their English-speaking classmates. English has not always been the teaching language in American schools. In fact, back in the 18th century, classes were carried out in French, Swedish, and German in various learning institutions in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland (Porter). It was only after the 1st World War, following Germany’s defeat, that public sentiment was greatly opposed to teaching in any other languages but English. Some professionals decided that kids should learn for a certain period in their native languages, so that they would still continue learning other subjects while being taught English. It was anticipated that the change would take a child about three years. However, no funds or effort were directed towards this program which had since turned into the most controversial topic in public education. Why is bilingual education facing lots of controversy? What is exactly wrong with it?

What is wrong with bilingual education?

Research conducted for the past thirty has revealed that there is almost no rationale for educating children in their native languages in order to assist them learn English. While stress and self-esteem are the two main issues often cited by supporters of bilingual education, it has been established that stress is not more amid kids that get introduced to English from the very first day in school, and self-esteem is not increased amid limited-English children that learn in their native languages (Porter).

It is quite clear that is a lack of accountability when it comes to language minority kids. Massachusetts, having started Transitional Bilingual Education, and California, having 43% of the total limited-students in the United States, have the most pathetic failure records. California has a success rate of just 5% of its limited-English learners graduating from bilingual classrooms annually and does not frequently gather data on the progress of such students. Massachusetts, on the other hand, whose state law necessitated the gathering of data on the progress of bilingual students every year since 1971 has actually never done it. The Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (OBEMLA) situated in Washington, D.C. is not better than the other states in accordance to the National Research Council (NRC) study conducted in 1997. The federal Agency that is responsible for informing us on how teach language minority students has failed in its duty in three crucial ways:

  1. In its ineffective organization of the crucial research agenda,
  2. Through its biased utilization of the research to reinforce the issue of bilingual strategy, for political incentives, instead of utilizing it to establish what works and what does not, and
  3. Through its failure to ensure that what is learned from the financed research is made available mainly for school programs improvement.

Also, ethnic groups that do not waste any time on bilingual education have been found achieve higher educational scores compared to those who focus on bilingual studies. Given that there are hardly enough bilingual teachers, Asian, European, and Arab learners go right into lessons with the English-speaking students. These kids obtain higher score and more of them graduate than those who undergo bilingual education.. Various reports by The Center for Equal Opportunity reveal the dangers of bilingualism and calls for its reform. The United Students will otherwise become greatly divided linguistically apart from being stuck with a Latino underclass that is not able to satisfy the needs of a high-tech working environment because of its poor English (Duignan).

The majority of students taking bilingual education never actually learn how to read and write English well, and Spanish speakers have been found to drop out of school more than any other ethnic community. Bilingual education also beats the efforts to assimilate kids into the American society and is usually against the wish of a lot of parents. Vast numbers of kids are forced into taking bilingual lessons even if their parents do not approve. In addition, bilingual educators are not enough and so some educators who get hired have no teacher training but can speak the native language. This leads to poor teaching and minimal or no English-language teaching (Duignan).

Conclusion

A lot of blame has been placed on bilingual education for the lack of academic proficiency and opportunities in the minority language learners. Those shortcomings are majorly as an outcome of the socio-economic structures of learning institutions and the society (Nieto 68). Bilingual programs need to be terminated and English only should be the language of teaching in schools. It is quite clear that bilingual education is unnecessary and a failure and more time should not be wasted on it.

Works Cited

Duignan, Peter. "Bilingual Education: A Critique". Hoover Institution. N.p., 1998. Web. 8 May 2017.

Nieto, David. A Brief History Of Bilingual Education In The United States. 1st ed. Pennyslavania: University of Pennsylvania, 2009. Web. 8 May 2017.

Porter, Rosalie. "The Case Against Bilingual Education; Why Even Latino Parents Are Rejecting A Program Designed For Their Children's Benefit". The Atlantic 2017. Web. 8 May 2017.

Porter, Rosalie. "The Communitarian Network". Www2.gwu.edu. N.p., 1998. Web. 8 May 2017.

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