The Issue of Bilingual Education

A discussion on the pros and cons of bilingual education in the United States.

The paper explores bilingual education that is a dual-language program designed to provide equal educational opportunities to students of limited English proficiency. The paper explains that the theory behind bilingual education is that children do better if they are taught all subjects in their native language while becoming fluent in English. The paper reviews studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of bilingual programs and considers the perspectives of critics and supporters of these programs. The paper focuses on Proposition 227 in California and the Unz initiative that called for the end of bilingual education, and explains why so many Hispanic parents were strongly against bilingual education programs.
“Bilingual education is a dual-language program designed to provide equal educational opportunities to students of limited English proficiency. The U.S. has large numbers of students (in elementary school whose hone language is not English. The intent of this program, therefore, is to ensure that these students learn the basic subjects in their home language from the time they enter school; thus promoting their academic progress. Additionally, they will learn to read and write in the home language, and in English. Initial literacy skills are developed in the home language. Once the student is proficient in English literacy skills continue to develop in both languages. A primary goal is to begin learning English from the time the child enters school. This begins with developing oral English, and development of English literary skills. The program is hoped to help children perceive their culture as an integral part of their education. It is important that the familiar elements of the home be validated in school environment, as is the case with mainstream children (Utexas.edu)”

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