Bilingual Education

Why it is important?

The importance of bilingual education in our schools

America is one of the most diverse countries in the world, admitting over one million immigrants every year, far more than any other country. And with our immigrant population, which sits at over forty one million people, over seventeen million children at any given time are the children of immigrants, which accounts for twenty five of all school age children. However, not all of these children have had the opportunity to learn English, which is a big problem for our country that needs to be addressed

Speaking from personal experience, my English was not the greatest in early elementary school, despite me being born in the United States as a second generation Chinese American. Because of this, my parents enrolled me in the bilingual program at my school, which I am forever thankful for. Since my school's support for bilingual education, it allowed me the opportunity to keep up with my other classmates, and prevented me from falling behind. The benefits of this bilingual education was not just apparent in my English speaking, writing, and reading skills. All of the subjects in school saw great improvement once I became a part of the bilingual program, as being taught in a language I do not understand will obviously hinder growth as a student. I firmly believe that without the support I got from my bilingual classes, I would not be in the position I am in today.

Not all children are as lucky as I was to have the opportunities to have bilingual education. These classes might be seen as unnecessary, as there is an argument that Americans should all speak English, and there shouldn’t be excessive catering towards these kinds of people. I’d argue that without bilingual education, it will hinder their growth in being able to speak English in both the long term and the short term. As Brooke-Garza talks about in her article “Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development,” she concludes that TWBI programs, or Two-way bilingual immersion programs, demonstrate great success, especially in improving Latino English students outcomes. This is especially important for this ethnicity of people, as Latino Americans have the lowest graduation rate by ethnicity in the United States. Not only that, Texas in particular has a higher than national average of Latino Americans, so we should place extra emphasis on funding bilingual programs in our schools.

Some examples of bilingual classes

Conclusion


There should be a great effort for all of us as citizens of a nation built on immigration and that gains power through our diversity to truly accept everyone. We are known as the melting pot, but without embracing each aspect of our cumulative identity, we hurt ourselves in the process. The best way we can fix this, and to accomplish greater things as a society do that is through education, as education is the means to raise the next generation of citizens. Bilingual education is something that has importance to both the nation, but to me personally as well, as I have firsthand experience on the benefits that such support provides.

What are my sources?

I used Two-way Bilingual Education and Latino Students, Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development by Elizabeth Brooke-Garza, found http://eric.ed.gov/?q=bilingual+education+school+texas&ft=on&id=EJ1062273 in my actual paper. I also used US census data from 2013 for demographic information as well.


Images used are found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Census_Bureau, https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/7242164786,


This flyer was made by Bryan Liu, for CUIN 3221.