Introduction to Bilingual Education
Bilingual education is a concept which leads to the teaching of academic subjects in two different languages, the native language and the second language. Various quantities of each language have been used based on the resulting target of the model. There are various educational models which can be used for bilingual education. Historically, the educational models used by English Language Learners (ELL) have concentrated on instructing students switch from their parent language to English. Transnational bilingualism requires a part or complete use of the children’s native language whenever they start schooling, and then a transition in the use of the school language only. Transitional bilingualism aims to transfer students to English-only classes as soon as possible. This is often referred to as early exit bilingualism.
Maintaining the bilingual education includes the use of the children’s home language when the child starts school, followed by a significant change in the use of the school language to teach certain subjects and the native language to teach others. Languages are of great significance to the uniqueness of groups and individuals and add value to the potential of humanity to live together in harmony. Therefore, it is important that all minority languages in the educational sector are taken into account and that efforts are made to maintain them, and this could be accomplished through bilingual education.
Importance of Bilingual Education
Bilingual education is the journey to bilingualism, the aim of which is to learn a foreign or second language. Bilingualism offers a multi-level aspect of language learning that includes four attributes: individual, social, home, education, and disciplinary. Bilingualism not only incorporates modern linguistics but also provides a viewpoint on cultural diversity. This enables intercultural contact, which can result in improvement in the globalization and peace of the universe. Bilingual education is a general concept which refers to the existence of two languages in academic contexts.
However, the phrase is a simplistic term for a dynamic matter that relies on several factors, along with the student’s home language, the language of training and the linguistic purpose of the course, to decide which form of bilingual education is being used. Students may be native speakers of a dominant language or a minor language. The student’s mother language may or may not be applied to teach relevant content. Bilingual educational activities can be deemed both constructive or diminution in respect of their linguistic objectives, relying on whether students are motivated to contribute to their source language or to substitute their mother language with the majority language. Bilingual education is being used here to deal with the use of two languages as a means of instruction.
Need for Bilingual Education
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, expertise in only a single language was not adequate for economic, social and academic progress. International cooperation and global communications also call for the opportunity to organize in more than a language. According to U.S survey in 2000, over 9.7 million kids between the ages of five and seventeen – one in six school going kids were able to speak only a language other than English at home. These minor-language children are indeed the speediest growing group of the U.S. education system. Among 1990 and 2000, the total of minority-language kids increased by 55%, whereas the number of students living in homes where only English is spoken grew by 11%. Language-minority children of U.S Educational institutions communicate nearly every language of the world, along with more than a hundred that are residents of the U.S.
Language-minority students could be multilingual in their home language, bilingual in their home language and English, or multilingual in English but from the home where they speak a language other than English. People who still haven’t gained adequate knowledge of English to study material in all-English-medium courses are referred to as LEPs or English-language learners (ELLs). Reliable surveys display the amount of LEP students in American educational systems are at almost four million.
Goals of Bilingual Education
Bilingual education can be grouped in the preceding four segments: academic progress, emotional growth, linguistic development and cultural enhancement. Most of the language experts together with the researchers in the area of bilingual education believe that the main priorities are intellectual and emotional growth instead of linguistic and cultural development. As a result, it may be concluded that the key purpose of bilingual education is not simply to teach English or a second language, but to teach children ideas, expertise and abilities in the language they know most and to improve this learning in a second language. In their concept of bilingual education, Anderson and Boyer stress this approach: ‘education is a command in two languages and the use of those two languages as a channel of teaching for any aspect or all of the school syllabus.
While bilingual education professionals believe that intellectual and emotional learning should be at the forefront of the bilingual project, not everybody sees this as the main motive. It is not unprecedented for individuals to believe that the linguistic priorities should be central: “The main purpose of the bilingual curriculum is to teach English as soon as possible and to incorporate children into the norm of education;” or to impose stress on cultural objectives: “The main purpose of the program should be to maintain the native language and culture while the children learn English.” By emphasizing the linguistic and cultural side of bilingual education, confusion and controversy often arise. Though the transition to mainstream and maintaining native culture are both essential, none should be the key element of the bilingual plan.
A bilingual curriculum with an intervening linguistic and cultural objective is one which utilizes the student’s home language and culture only to the degree to which the students need to learn English and thus to structure in a usual school curriculum. This project doesn’t really pressure the child’s mother tongue and therefore does not educate the child to read or write in the home language.