An Overview of Bilingual Education

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Overview of Bilingual Education

Is a second language a necessity in our world today? Should parents push for their child to learn two languages in elementary school? If we live in multicultural neighborhoods, trade with the global marketplace, and want to use all technology resources available, it is necessary to know two languages. Multilingual people and communities seem to have an edge over monolingual competition. This provides people of all ages an incentive to learn a second language (Genesee, 1998). In this research paper English and Spanish will be the languages referred to for bilingual education, although others are offered. The purpose of this paper is to compare the benefits and pitfalls of language immersion programs to the traditional classroom setting and the outcomes they produce.

Bilingual education originating in Canada

Language immersion programs now offered in the United States originated in Canada; they wanted English-speaking citizens to know French. Canadians realized English-speaking students were not acquiring enough French to attain satisfactory grades in school and to find jobs in French speaking parts of Canada. Around 1975 Canada’s first French immersion programs arose, and by the 1980’s such programs began in the United States (Martineau, 2002). Canadian programs are now facing problems with increased amounts of children with backgrounds other than English, which means they need to develop more specialty programs. Language immersion programs have grown in popularity since developing thirty years ago in Canada, but in the past 25 years they have increased rapidly in the United States. This development is due mainly to the melting pot effect in the United States; people from many dif...

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...cial education degrees as well. Their main goal is to find the best and most efficient way to teach children with these problems. The instructions for these students were given in English and reinforced in Spanish until the child totally understood it in English.

31. Zehr, M. (2002). Bilingual Education Critic’s Research Sparking Debate. Education Week, 21(25), pp. 5. Retrieved March 12, 2002 from Internet.

32. This article is about a political science professor named Christine H. Rossel who strongly apposes bilingual education. She debates that immigrant children should only be in English immersion programs for one year and students should leave bilingual education programs after two years. Apparently right now, this is an ongoing debate, and some states have already voted against bilingual education.
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