Pros and cons of bilingual education

Pros and cons of bilingual education

Bilingual education is a process of instructing students using more than one language. Teachers facilitate their studies and guidance to students in their native language together with a second language based on varying levels of dialects. This aspect depends on the specified requirements by a lesson plan or the teaching models nominated by administrators.

Pros of bilingual education

Students are exposed to social setting and interact with English-speaking peers. Bilingual education helps Spanish students together with English native speakers interact freely, which in turn promotes their social life. Rodriguez in his work Hunger of memory states that “there are things so deeply personal that they can be revealed only to strangers” (Rodriguez 11). Through social interaction, students from different cultures share their personal information with their language counterparts, which in turn strengthen their social life. In addition, interaction with people from different background to students helps them learn different cultures, personal information and experiences through their curiosity.

Cultural identity is preserved because the native language is maintained through educational support as at the same time English is learnt. Rodriguez outlies that “If, because of my schooling, I had grown culturally separated from my parents, my education finally had given me ways of speaking and caring about that fact” (Rodriguez 19). This aspect shows that the sentiment of belonging is a crucial factor in individual’s livelihood. Therefore, through deliberation of bilingual education, students from different backgrounds can preserves their culture as they learn a different language simultaneously.

Bilingual education strengthens the cognitive function of student’s brain. According to Saville-Troike, switching two languages at the same time develops skills for functions such as working memory and inhibition. Students that undergo bilingual education system demonstrates positive qualities such as multi-tasking capabilities, decision making and problem solving abilities even when they are not linked to a particular language (Saville-Troike 318). Thus, bilingual education facilitates individuals to be well adopted in an environment better regardless of the pressure in the surrounding due to their capacity to create solution to problems.

Moreover, bilingual education broadens students career opportunities based on their outstanding qualities. International markets are based on operations characterized by individuals from varying ethnic communities. Such instances allows bilingual students to participate effectively in economic opportunities regardless of their background. Also, the capacity for bilingual education to facilitate teach other people’s culture ensures that bilingual students are well adopted in a wide range of communities based on their communication capabilities.

Cons of Bilingual Education

Bilingual tutoring is not economical, as investment is required to acquire bilingual tutors to facilitate training. Various debates concerning bilingual education demonstrates various viewpoints relating to the education process and its cost effectiveness. Foreigners studying in America are required to learn English based on the lingua franca of the American culture and society that is founded on a culture that sensitizes on English communication that impact foreigners who are not fluent in the language. To ensure efficiency in studies, foreign students are required facilitate English education programs so that they can equally coexist with other students. In addition, in instances where teachers are not conversant with two languages translators have to be hired to facilitate efficiency in classes with students hailing from diverse cultures.

It is difficult for older students to learn effectively in a bilingual class. Second language proficiency is best acquired by individuals at a young age. This is because young individuals acquire language skills through repetition and support by other adults to facilitate their achievement in learning a language (Emmit, Zbaracks, Komesaroft and Pollock 214). However, to older individuals mostly in institution of learning where other peers as well as teachers that are characterized by wide range of duties, offering support to older students in acquiring language skill is almost impossible. This makes the process of acquiring a second language hard that in turn affects such students’ academic performance due to limited savvy in grasping concepts in common subjects such as math’s and literature.

Moreover, bilingual education impacts academic performance of some student due to tight schedules. Upon enrolment in a bilingual institution, foreign students take their time to learn English language while facilitating their learning process. In addition, lack of communication capabilities to students on a particular language influences their participation in class work as well as interacting with their peers. This aspect impacts teamwork required to achieve their core goals on a particular specialization because most of the time will be utilized while learning a foreign language. Therefore, foreign students will have tight schedules as they try to cope with class work and at the same time learning a foreign language.

Conclusively, learning a second language gives students’ ability to grasp concepts faster based on their effective language. Moreover, second language boosts their language skills due to mastery of concepts in different languages compared to monolingual counterparts. However, bilingual education makes minority groups in a school speak their primary language that in turn prevents assimilation to a foreign culture.


Works cited

Emmit, M., Zbaracks, M., Komesaroft, L. Pollock, J. Language and Learning: an introduction for teaching, 6th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic. 2014. Print.

Rodriguez, R. Hunger of memory: the education of Richard Rodriguez. Random house publishing group.2004. Print.

Saville-Troike, M. Introducing sound language acquisition, 2nd ed., Cambridge University press Cambridge and New York. 2015. Print.

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