English Immersion and Bilingual Education

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・2 Sources

In both articles, bilingualism is defined as an academic approach to teaching English learners in their native language as well as English. English immersion, on the other hand, is a method of instruction in which only English is used. Baker and Jost both go into great detail about it. The latter tells the story of a young Spanish boy who struggled to learn English. Her teacher, who did not speak Spanish, was aware of her academic difficulties. In this bilingual field, he also includes statistics on struggling states. Baker openly discusses bilingualism and its issues, outlining benefits and drawbacks. There is, however, a big problem in the immersing bilingual approach to teaching because some educators and policymakers do not favor the system. This paper is trying to prove the relevance of both bilingual education and English immersion in the education system and states their differences and similarities.

In both arguments, the authors state that there have been political debates over the adoption of bilingual languages in the education system. English immersion seems to be favored in both cases. Both works imply that a proposition was passed to make English be used for English learners. Although both arguments were similar on the political debates, they had different views on its reasons. Baker talks about the popular myth that the brain does not have the capacity to learn the second language. He says that if a child were to learn multiplication in Spanish, he or she would have to relearn in English. The author, however, demolishes this type of thinking. According to Jost, the bilingual education was ineffective and slow, and therefore, one language was preferred for the usage.

Both arguments agree that bilingual students have an added advantage. Jost states that such people have fairly high scores compared to English immersion learners. He says that English immersion students cannot outdo bilinguals in academic performance. Baker, however, speaks of the research that has revealed that monolinguals have higher scores than bilinguals, which he disagrees with. He states that bilingual students have cognitive skills that make them outperformance.

Jost talked of extinction of language when the government took an English approach assimilating people, who speak another language, into the society. Bilingual education reveals the potential of children with the gift of learning more than English immersion that seizes the chance to develop their first language. Baker says that bilingual students develop this ability to capture more because they speak two languages, unlike monolinguals whose knowledge is rather limited.

Jost argues that bilingual systems are the best way to enhance knowledge and achieve educational benefits(Jost). It is beneficial to the second learning language. The results of bilingual education are supported in his argument as he seeks to give reasons why they are beneficial. Baker supports this by considering the competitive advantage these children have. He says that bilingual learners develop high memorizing skills and are more open-minded compared to monolingual children. The brain expands when a person is learning a new language.

According to Jost’s argument, adopting bilingual systems may take time because some teachers may not be conversant with this teaching environment. It requires funding, and it may be cheaper to opt for English immersion since it rotates around one language. As stated by Baker, learning a new or second language has no limiting time, it can be learned at any time and age (Baker).

To conclude, arguments are partially similar as they both agreed that bilingual students scored highly compared to English immersion students. As well, they argued that such learners have a competitive advantage compared to others. However, these arguments are obviously different as Jos states that it is difficult for English immersion teachers to teach using bilingual systems while Baker believes that there is no limiting time to learn something new. It meant that these teachers who are monolingual could be flexible and learn a different language. According to Jost, English immersion students were disadvantaged. On the contrary, Baker argues differently and says that every child’s brain can grow and learn a second language; therefore, there is no limiting factor.

Works Cited

Baker, Colin. The Care and Education of Young Bilinguals: An Introduction for Professionals. Multilingual Matters, 2000.

Jost, Kenneth. "Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion."CQ Researcher by CQ Press, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2009121100.

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