America is often referred to as the “Great Melting Pot” where many people of various ethnicities, cultures, etc have made their home. However, the primary language spoken in America is English, and most Americans believe that speaking English should be a requirement. Foreign students, whose primary language is not English, are usually automatically placed into bilingual educational programs. Bilingual education programs are used to edify students in the English language while they slowly transition from their native tongue into the American educational system. Sometimes these automatic placements have a negative effect on the students: the foreign students often do not receive the same amount of exposure of learning in one uniform language as other American students do.
It can have definite impacts on learning all other subjects, because if the student doesn’t have a mastery of English mechanics it affects the ability of that student to master other subject areas due to the language barrier. Some school districts have implemented programs for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) but there isn’t a one size fits all approach that will work for all students. The problem we have discovered is in language acquisition; “the amount of time required for English proficiency depends on multiple factors such as age, prior schooling experiences, parents’ education level, the instruction provided, exposure to English, and teacher quality” (Johnson et al.,175). A popular debate centers on whether or not to use the students’ native language in the instruction or to immerse the student solely in English for instruction. Understanding how language is acquired and processed can be beneficial to the learning process, and possibly find better way to teach ESL.
They argue that students never really learn English and instead fall into using the native language all through school. They also site studies that show test scores higher in schools with immersion programs than in school that favor a bilingual approach. The approach of bilingual education is to allow students to study and learn in their native language while they master their understanding of the English language over three to six years. The argument is that it makes sense that a teacher would want to teach a child in a language they understand until they have fully mastered their second language. Supporters also have their studies to quote.
While these two groups are extreme opposites, today’s workforce serves to go either way. The three groups: students, the workforce and bilingual education teachers, serve as representatives for the many sides of the controversial changing of bilingual education in today’s high schools. Students are without a doubt, the most affected group within the bilingual education controversy. They are the children who are entering a new environment at one of the most crucial time in their lives. They need to learn the academics to help them succeed in the future, but how can they learn anything if they don’t even speak English?
By the time the new millennium reached in the year 2000, “over 3 million students in the U.S. schools were counted as ‘limited English proficient’, a number that is almost double what it was just 10 years before” (Olsen 2). With our nations’ schools increasing in English language learners it has now reached a point where these students are not always the minority. Because of this it puts more attention on theses students and it has been said by many specialists that not enough attention has been paid to including these English language learners appropriately since their arrival. However, the most challenging task for teachers has been to take these English language learners and make them fluent in English. In order for our nations’ teachers to meet the needs of the many English language learners, teachers today must incorporate strategies to successfully teach writing and literacy.
For years, English was the dominant language of the United States. Now, demographers are predicting that in the year 2030, English language scholars will only be approximately 40% of the schools population in the United States. California has already surpassed that amount; 60% to 70% of the students speak a language other than English for their main language. Many think that Hispanics is the fastest growing group, in the United States, but they are actually the second highest, next to the Asian population. More teachers are trying to learn Spanish, but there are still many that do not understand the language.
It helped me do well in school because I would have all that extra training with reading and writing. I learned that teaching someone helped me remember the material much better. I had her explain things to me just like I would to her. It helped me understand how hard it is to understand the English language because a lot of it does not make sense. I learned that I had should not talk normally to her because she does not understand, so I had to talk with basic English.
There are many differences that make TBE and ELL programs different. In ELL, non-native ... ... middle of paper ... ...ain more and more non-native English speakers. Young students in the ELL or ESL programs are not being encouraged to keep their language but rather replace it as soon as possible with English. These students are seen as having a deficit but really this is just a unique fund of knowledge that increasingly will become a useful and desired skill. Being bilingual could help these students get jobs and set them up to be looked at as having a valuable resource in the future.
Describe some of the difficulties you have encountered teaching ESL. I do not have a lot teaching experience with ESL students, but I have worked with ESL students a lot. One of the most difficult challenges I have faced working with ESL students is making sure communication is clear. There are many dialects in English and many words that vary by area of the country. I think teaching ESL would be difficult because the teacher has to model appropriate language.
Bilingual Education Our school systems play host to dozens of languages in addition to the standard fare of English. Starting in the late 1960s, partially as a swing off the Civil Rights Movement, school systems were required by law to provide bilingual education anytime twenty or more children spoke the same foreign language, and were found to be limited in their English proficiency. At first, the need for such programs was small, but over time it has been steadily increasing until now where the need has reached what many consider to be massive. In recent years, the population of the United States has exploded with many non-English speaking students, making the need for bilingual education more urgent. Although this amount is growing yearly, it is inadequate to provide the much needed instruction for this special subset of children.