Posts Tagged ‘bilingual learning’

Bilingual Education Limits Children’s English!


Bilingual education refers to the method of teaching most subjects in school through the medium of two languages. In the United States the bilingual program was introduced around 30 years ago and involves instructing students through English and another minority language. The idea was to open the doors of knowledge to children who belonged to a minority language group and were not proficient in English. However, more recently the bilingual education sparked off many controversies.

The most pertinent argument against the bilingual education is that it limits children’s English. When a child is instructed through two different languages on various subjects not only does his learning of the English language remain incomplete but his overall academic progress is stunted. Many parents and English language learners have voiced their concern on the matter. The bilingual education program is detrimental for the children because it leads to insufficient mastery of the English language.

In fact it has been seen over the years that a huge percentage of kids who are instructed in the bilingual mode pass out of school without having acquired a thorough knowledge or command over the English language. They find is extremely difficult to make a switch from their native language to English when they enroll for higher studies. This is indeed a grave academic issue in a nation where the national language is English. The students have to take their test in English to progress academically and for gaining admission to colleges. Hence not being proficient in the English language hinders academic progress for a student.

In support of these claims it can be cited that a strict enforcement of Proposition 227, which required English-only education resulted in an increase in test scores for the English language learners in California. The opponents of the bilingual education also claim that a nation needs a common language as much as it needs a common currency. A scholar Seymour Lipset has said that “The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate point to histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy.”

So learning the English language is undoubtedly a necessary step in assimilating to the American culture. Since the bilingual education is an obstacle in the way of acquiring proficiency in English, it should be done away with.

All articles contributed in full or part by Athens Learning college preparedness resource.