By Kat Devlin A popular stereotype of Americans traveling abroad is the tourist who is at a loss when it comes to coping with any language other than English. Studying a second foreign language for at least one year is compulsory in more than 20 European countries. In most European countries, students begin studying their first foreign language as a compulsory school subject between the ages of 6 and 9, according to a report from Eurostatthe statistics arm of the European Commission.
April 29, by Michelle Manno The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act was enacted to ensure that non-native English speakers in the United States are given quality English instruction in schools so that they can be as academically and professionally successful as their native English-speaking peers.
Historically, immigrant children were often miscategorized as needing special education services, and as a result, the dropout rate among them became much higher than that of the general population. In order to better serve the needs of non-native English speakers, bilingual education programs were created.
The following offers a glimpse into what bilingual education entails, and why it is sometimes considered a controversial form of instruction.
What is Bilingual Education? Bilingual education is a broad term that can encompass a variety of educational approaches.
This is certainly not a new trend in education. It was based on the premise that if students were initially taught in their native languages, they were less likely to regress academically.
The goal became to gradually immerse students in English speaking classrooms as they became more proficient with the language.
It is not an easily defined issue, but one that has many schools of thought and approaches. Different Approaches According to the University of Michiganthere are six main approaches to bilingual or multilingual education.
Students are given instruction in two or more languages. The amount of instruction given in each language varies from school to school.
Non-native English speakers are given instruction completely in English, regardless of how long the student has been learning English. Native and non-native English speakers are placed in the same classes. Instruction is given in English as well as the other native language, with the goal of all students becoming proficient in both.
Students spend part of the day in regular classes and part of the day in ESL classes. In the ESL classes, they receive focused instruction in mastering English. This is often targeted towards native English speakers who want to master a foreign language.
Teachers deliver instruction in a foreign language for the entire day. Also called trilingual education, students are initially taught in one language and a second language is integrated early on.
After students begin to master the first two languages, a third is introduced with the hopes of students becoming fluent in all three by graduation.
Younger children need to be able to read to understand language so allowing them to read in their own language promotes the advancement of their literacy skills and the ability to translate written and spoken English.
Being bilingual or multilingual is an asset when it comes to gainful employment.American Indian Bilingual Education--Some History NABE News November 5, , Vol. 14, No. 2 Jon Reyhner. While teaching a bilingual education class last Spring on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, I asked my students why Indian students were not doing well in school.
Bilingual & Dual-Language Education Seal of Biliteracy: An Overview The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. One prominent problem in bilingual education is the severe lack of qualified teachers to handle the subject.
Quality bilingual education requires an expert, patient and firm teacher who have the time in his hands to take care of issues that may arise. Sep 27, · For years, many thought being bilingual would slow a child’s progress in school. Today, studies show being bilingual benefits your brain functions for life, and some researchers believe bilingualism can even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
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A Description of the Rock Point Community School Bilingual Education Program Jon Reyhner Rock Point Community School is located in the middle of the Navajo Nation in Northeast Arizona.