Bilingual Education in America Julia Cauldron university of Texas at El Paso Instructor: Denies Picador Abstract The purpose of this Literature is to provide knowledge and understanding of Bilingual Education in current American schools. It will review advocates and oppositions of Bilingual programs being taught in school systems, the benefits and difficulties of such programs, and how bilingual children relate to this form of education academically and socially. It is crucial that the public is aware of bilingualism taught in school systems due to the growing number of students being enrolled each year in such programs.
Students that struggle with English literacy will benefit from the following information about Bilingual Education and calculate whether of not they should attend dual-speaking classrooms rather than mainstream classrooms. Surrounding communities of bilingual individuals as well as native- English speakers could also virtue from being knowledgeable of Bilingual Education; Bilingualism and Multilingualism is growing rapidly in the United States in which it is vital the public is equipped with proper tools and knowledge to teach, comprehend, ND aid non-native English speakers in America.
In 21st century United States of America, a vast population of students are in danger of not receiving the highest possible opportunity for higher education for the simple, yet crucial element of not understanding the English language. A majority of these students are children of immigrant parents, non-English speaking families, or are immigrants their selves and fall into the undergoing struggle of being proficient bilingual speakers. Many of these young individuals fall into English-deficiency categories such as English as Second Language learners (SSL), Limited English
Proficiency (LEAP) individuals, and English Language Learners (ELL). Apart from being at an academic disadvantage, these individuals also are targets for racial and social stigmas. Bilingual Education are programs designed to meet specific needs of an SSL, LEAP, or ELL students away from mainstream classrooms. It involves teaching academic content in two languages, in native and secondary language. There are many controversies concerning Bilingual programs being taught on school grounds and many issues concerning the methods of language development. In order for the
American public to better understand and comprehend the challenges of being a bilingual student, the following questions will be answered within the literature: What is the most benefiting learning environment for an SSL student? What social obstacles do SSL students face? What are the policies and programs concerning Bilingual/SSL students inside the classroom? The following review on literature will focus on the questions of Bilingual Education by providing information surrounding the challenges, current issues, and possible resolutions for the Bilingual generation in America.
Whether or not to teach English as Second Language students (SSL) in a mainstream classroom is heavy, complicated issue discussed widely amongst educators and educational circles. Many people believe that every student deserves equal learning outcomes are the same for all students (Sarsaparillas & Rodriguez, 2002). Frequently, students that deal with inept English communication participate in everyday academic and social activities within their school and community. More than often, SSL and Limited English Proficiency students (LEAP) attend mainstream English classrooms regardless of their struggle understanding the English language.
SSL and LEAP students who enroll themselves in all-English speaking classrooms without informing the teachers and administrators of their limited English can have grim academic and social consequences during their learning years. The widespread approach of “sink or swim method” is a general concept that the more exposure a student receives to the English language, the faster the student will familiarize and adapt the language during the learning process of the classroom.
Many educators disagree with this method because they believe that most SSL and LEAP learners need special instruction and attention in order to provide successful engage development while at the same time continue advancing in other academic areas (Sarsaparillas & Rodriguez, 2002). Bilingual Education and Second language programs are popular specialized curriculum that focuses on the linguistic needs of SSL students and English Language Learners (ELL). These instructional programs aid the development of proficient language skills to prevent the student from falling academically behind. The main objective of school is the full development of a student’s character and intellect, social and personal relationships, and academic achievement (Rigor, 1998). Mainstream classrooms offer the same education to all students; however, it does not guarantee that LEAP and ELL students receive the same level of education simply because they cannot comprehend the curriculum. Bilingual Education is taught in the student’s primary language, which enables a more effective learning process through knowledge and literacy.
The knowledge that students acquire through their first language allow English to be more comprehensible. Literacy developed in the primary language transfers to the second language (Crasher, 2002). The native language is an important tool ELL and ELF learners use tot consciously and subconsciously to help them shift into a second language. Teaching in a familiar language setting where a student can comfortably express and challenge their personal linguistic barriers is very effective in establishing fundamental English and progressing language skills.
Once there is a confident English core, educators can fuse SSL students into mainstream classrooms where they can successfully interact with English-natives and use proficient communication within the classroom. Many students across America are unfortunately in danger of failing academically due to inadequate language skills. Even more so, these same students suffer negative social stigma and often are reluctant to diversify personal and professional relationships with other individuals from fear of being stereotyped or rejected.
The United States, primarily English as Second Language and English language learners Another primary group of SSL/ELL population are those who were born in the United States but raised in a non-English environment at home. Often, the first generation to be born in the United States face more challenging issues than their immigrant parents; they have to understand, practice, and emerge into a dual lifestyle of American-English culture and their native ethnic culture. In American schools, most language minority students are more likely to be divided by racial/ethnic groups amongst their peers and educators, which creates social tension and cruel stereotypes (Reunite Rexes, interview)”. Rexes is a fluent bilingual in English and Spanish as well as successful Graduate student from the Michigan State University. In grade school, she vented the difficulty of embracing her Dominican Republic cultural influences amongst a majority English-speaking, Caucasian natives. “My heritage restrained me from fully becoming ‘American’.
My family could not understand the pressure I felt to be accepted by my peers but neither could I ignore who I am… I was a bridge, stuck in the middle. ” The United States is and has been the destination of about half the world’s immigrants, in which their children become language minority students. (Sarsaparillas & Rodriguez, 2002). According to the National Clearinghouse for English language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Program, the percentage of SSL students has increased by 51 . 17% in public schools since 1995. SSL students also make up for 10. % of the total United States Population. At the same time, SSL students score the lowest reading achievement and have one of the highest drop-out rate (Baker, 2011). In many instances, the blame for the failure for higher education are directed to SSL students rather than the school systems. Many teachers’ responses have been that the fault is the students’ failure to acquire adequate language skills and not the educational system, the school, or the teacher because “all students are supposed to know English on Entrance to school (Mckay & Wong, 1988). These reactions causes damage to the students’ self-esteem and discourage NY notion for a higher education. Simply, teachers in mainstream classrooms are not properly equipped with the proper tools to communicate and educate SSL learners. Consequently, a teacher could ignore the special needs of an SSL student due to the lack of communication and cultural understanding, which damages the academic advancement in the student’s education (Rigor, 1998).
More importantly, teachers and peers are significant in adapting to the English language through everyday activities and contribute significantly the social growth for an SSL student. If a student feels isolated from their school environment, it more is less likely that the student succeeds in language development, academic success, and social diversification. The Bilingual Education Act of 1968 was legislated by Congress in 1967-1968 in order to mandate schools to provide bilingual education programs. This was the first Government funding provided for any bilingual education.
According to the Bilingual ‘limited English proficient’ refer to : “A) individuals who were not born in the U. S. Or whose native language is a language other than English… Have sufficient difficulty peaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language to deny such individuals the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in society (“20 U. S. C. 3283(a)(1)) . ” A more recent government endorsed program is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 passed by President George Bush.
By this time, the United States was caught in between different advocates: there was a high number of anti-bilingual and anti- immigrant efforts, as well as a growing willingness by immigrant parents that desire heir children to be academically fluent, competent, bilingual people. By the 21st century, the melting pot of America has become so diverse in language, with over 300 spoken dialects (Garcia, 2009), that is has become a troubling issue for the Department of Education to fulfill the special needs of each different language background.
However, a higher number of bilingual and multilingualism has enhanced language skills and communication and risen the standard of language comprehension for the average American student (Garcia, 2009). Conclusion The United States continues to bring new language skills and tools to meet the rowing population of individuals in Bilingual Education. With more than 40 percent of the current youth being of SSL and LEAP environments, the education system is prepared to meet the needs of SSL students and still developing effective methods of teaching English in mainstream and bilingual settings.
Bilingual Education not only provides beneficial skills to acquire the academic success of a student but also develops vital communication skills that are essential in adulthood and society. Policies concerning Bilingualism will continue to address flaws in current Bilingual orgasm and focus on resolutions to direct better, more efficient methods of teaching. The needs of a non-native English speaker are much more different than those of native English speakers and require deferring teaching systems in order for every student to receive the same level of opportunity and education.