Language Barrier: Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion Essay

Language Barrier: Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion Essay

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Bilingual teaching in American schools is it good, bad, or both? Who is right in this national debate? Both sides make some impressive arguments for their side of the issue. Even the government has mixed issues when it comes to bilingual teaching. However, the government has shown their views in their budgets and their law making. Another question comes up with the bilingual teaching is should America make English its official language? Some say there is no need for it, and yet 22 states as of 1996 declared English their official language. Looking into some of these issues may bring some insight as to what the problem may be.
With the debate over bilingual education, Kenneth Jost covers some of the history in teaching in his article “Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion”. For over one hundred and fifty years, America either maintained segregated schools or immigrants learned by immersion into the English system. Even the “African slaves, with limited if any formal schooling, learned English through their work. . . .” (Jost 13). Just as the Chinese laborers learned English, so did the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over the world. When I was growing up, I can remember my grandmother telling stories of when she started school. Her father was from Norway and did not speak much, if any, English. In their home Norwegian was spoken. When the children went to school, they would learn English, and then came home and taught their parents. I can remember her telling how she would sneak her older brother’s or sister’s book written in Norwegian to help her study because her class was taught to use English only. Unless the community possessed a school in the immigrants’ native language, they learned Engl...

... middle of paper ...

... Promoting bilingual in the school systems at a younger age is a good thing, but the final decision should exist with the parents.

Works Cited
Dillon, Naomi. “LANGUAGE TEST. (cover story).” American School Board Journal 192.8 (2005): 10. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 Feb. 2001.
Donegan, Craig. “Debate over bilingualism.” CQ Researcher. 19 January 1996. 6, 49-72. Web. 17 Feb. 2011.
Jost, Kenneth. “Bilingual education vs. English immersion.” CQ Researecher. 11 December 2009. 19, 1029-1052. Web. 17 Feb. 2011
Lynn, Neary. “Profile: Debate over how best to bring Latino students up to speed in the English as tied to the larger issues of politics and culture.” All things Considered (NPR) (n.d.): Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 18 Feb. 2011.
“Should all students be bilingual.” NEA Today 20.8 (2008): MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 Feb. 2011.

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