Essay on Bilingual Education : A Second Language

Essay on Bilingual Education : A Second Language

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In our widely globalized world and rapidly changing environment, knowing more than one language is extremely useful. Knowing a second language helps people worldwide to effectively communicate with each other and reach beyond one’s own cultural horizon. Impressively, there are more second-language speakers of English than there are native speakers, according to the historians of English language Richard Hogg and David Danison (423). An even more surprising fact is that there are as many bilingual children as there are monolingual children in the world (Genesee, Paradis, and Crago). The views on the phenomenon of bilingualism and on the necessity of teaching second languages in school have changed dramatically during the last century. There are some people who hold negative beliefs about the subject of teaching children a second language in school, arguing that it slows down their intellectual development, and there are some people who argue that being bilingual greatly increases one’s cognitive abilities. There have been numerous studies conducted concerning the effects of bilingual education on the cognitive, social, and health aspects of one 's life. Most of the research on this controversial topic seems to focus on the challenges of bilingualism, its benefits, and how knowing more than one language affects one’s perception of the world.
There are certain concerns over teaching second language to children. Some people believe that acquiring two languages simultaneously confuses children and makes them unable to differentiate those languages apart. In their book, Dual Language Development and
Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning, Dr. Fred Genesee, Dr. Johanne Paradis, and Dr. Martha Crago refer ...

... middle of paper ...

...psycho-linguistics pose future exploration on the topic of linguistic relativism.
All of these previously mentioned studies demonstrate a clear-emerging picture of interactions between bilingualism, related to acquiring a new language challenges, cognitive benefits, and linguistic relativism. Overall, bilingual education holds many benefits such as better concentration, cultural awareness, increase in creativity, problem solving, multitasking skills, and advantages in finding jobs later in life. Knowing more than one language has a positive effect on intellectual growth, enriches and enhances a child’s mental development. These advantages affect not just children but are present throughout the years. Acquiring languages leaves bilinguals with more flexibility in thinking, a better ear for listening, and a greater metalinguistic comprehension of language in general.

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