Bilingual education is when children who do not speak are taught in their native language while they are still learning English. It is a way of ensuring that foreign students do not fall behind due to language barriers. Many people support this type of education, but critics think that it does more harm than good in most situations. In order to gain a better understanding of this issue, let’s explore the pros and cons.
The Pros of Bilingual Education
Students who do not yet know English well enough would not be able comprehend and efficiently learn in an all English speaking environment. Bilingual education is used to make sure that these students do not fall behind from where they should be and that they are able to fully integrate back into the normal classroom after they learn English.
Someone that doesn’t fully understand the language being taught in, cannot understand what is being taught. For this reason, students being taught in their native language will learn much faster. This is because they are able to focus on the subject instead of trying to understand what is being said.
Still Promotes Learning English
Bilingual education is used in conjunction with English lessons. Their is still a very strong focus for these students to learn to speak English fluently, which is much simpler to do when they are being taught by someone who can communicate efficiently with them.
Easier Time Learning Other Languages
Research has shown that a person who learns to speak and understand a second language fluently can learn additional languages much faster. This is extremely beneficial for worldwide communication and opportunities.
The Cons of Bilingual Education
Resistance To Integration
Students who are allowed to function in a fully non-English speaking environment may become very resistant to the idea of going into the normal classroom. This also further isolates immigrant students.
The costs that are involved with bilingual education are very high, much higher than you would probably expect. The costs of hiring full time bilingual teachers, ordering foreign language books and other materials, and supplying a classroom with all of the necessary supplies adds up rapidly. This puts strain on the school systems.
Delays Learning English
By accommodating students who do not speak English, the attitude that they do not need to learn it begins to set it. This takes away their need to learn the primary language of the place they live and the school they go to, which is important.