Singled Out: Is bilingual education helpful or harmful to the classroom?

Essay by homeyg07College, UndergraduateA-, February 2006

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Growing up in South Texas gave me a great perspective on bilingual teaching. I had three classes where there would be a small group of students that couldn't fully speak English and would spend most of class talking in their native Spanish tongues. While it wasn't much of a problem in the beginning, the time that piled up from the teacher having to teach things a second time to other students in Spanish greatly affected the time that we (the rest of the students) got to learn, in turn hindering our progress. I feel that even though many teachers are trying to further interaction between races, they are at the same time creating even more boundaries, they single out the minority students, and slow the progression of class down too.

Bilingual teaching has hindered many classes in a respect of time available to work. My Junior and Senior years in high school consisted of a few bilingually taught classes and needless to say, boundaries formed from student-student interaction were augmented by teachers speaking in different tongues.

Senora Lugo, my Espanol 3 teacher, was a native Puerto Rican and would constantly slip into Spanish to have side talk with the native speakers in my class, since I can understand it, I knew that nothing said had to do with class. This went on all year and served as a waste to the rest of the non-native speaking students who would lose valuable time in gaining direct teaching in their class. By spending time on re-teaching some of the class in another language, already struggling kids now then have even less time to be tutored by their teacher and are forced to learn at a higher level then maybe what they are ready for.

Another reason that bilingual education should not be...