Bilingual education

Essay by awhassanUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Bilingual education is one of our country's controversial issues, as non-native English speakers comprise a large portion of the failure group in the nation's educational system. Essentially, any new student to the US has two main goals: to master content and learn the English language. Often such students, who may be very skilled and talented in their mother tongue, experience difficulties due to their language deficiency. Thus, a few different types of bilingual education programs have been designed to aid these students in order for them to overcome their difficulties and have an equal opportunity to excel as their peers do.

The immersion model, just as it seems, calls for the student to be taught in English, but in a simpler and more understandable manner. An extreme version of this model is submersion where the student is actually "sunk" into the English language while learning the academic subject. Sometimes, ESL classes are offered along with regular instruction to enhance their language acquisition.

One advantage of this program is that it provides students with an environment to hear and speak English, enabling them to practice on a day- to- day basis. Secondly, although it may be a struggle for the students in the beginning, in the long run they are not put into a slower learning track; thus they are quickening their learning of English. Also, the ESL classes, which are geared toward grasping the language better, help motivate the students by giving them a feeling of achievement, which is unlikely to happen in the mainstream classrooms.

The transitional model provides intensive English instruction along with some academic instruction in the students' native language. This usually takes a few years while the student prepares for regular classes. One plus side to this is that the students do not fall back...