13 June 2013 The Goal is Acquisition of English
Did you know that in 1964, the British took over control of New York from Dutch, and there were some 18 languages spoken in lower Manhattan alone? No doubt many of the inhabitants of the colony were conservant in more than two languages. (enotes) Most Americans think of bilingualism in the United States as a recent issue, but like it was proven in the beginning of this paragraph, bilingualism is part of our history too. But do you know the real meaning of bilingualism? “Bilingualism was developed in the 1970’s as a basic idea to teach children math, science, and social studies in the child’s first language so the child would not fall behind his English-speaking classmates”.(education) But my question is; how can a child learn English by talking in Spanish? This was the same concern Richard Rodriguez famous writer had. In his story, Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood, he exclaims: “It is not possible for a child, any child, ever to use his family language in school”. He didn’t want children to speak English at schools, maybe because he learned faster when he was forced to speak English everywhere. It is well known that practices makes perfect, so children, who practice writing, listening, and speaking English every day and everywhere will pick up this language faster, because they are simply practicing every day.
There are many different bilingual education methods out there. Here I will mention the most common ones. Most USA residents confuse bilingualism with ESL (English as a second language). ESL is the most famous type of bilingual education, especially in the state of Texas. In the ESL program all students are put in regular English speaking classrooms for half of the day. The other half the students are put in a classroom with a trained ESL instructor, who gives the students individual help on learning English. Another popular form of multilingual education is; Bilingual Education System, simple yet often confuse name. In Bilingual Education System, the students are teach in more than one language for the entire day. It can be said that a lot of educational systems and programs are somewhat bilingual, but the great difference is the degree to which the two instructural languages are used as well of the structures of the programs. Then we have the Submersion Program, where the young learners are recruited in an English-speaking classroom with students that know how to speak English very well, and this is done regardless of the student’s skills in English. Can you imagine trying to learn Math and English at the same time? It’s not impossible! Is just the same as learning how to speak at the age of one. I just takes time. This is why is so important to teach children in English only. Next comes marching the Immersion programs, very popular in high level status. Here the young pupils are teach in a foreign language for the entire school day. This program was created to teach all “majority language speakers” a foreign language. This program is very common on white, rich schools. We also have the Two-way bilingual education program. This one was invented especially for students who are fluent on two languages but want to learn a third one. They are place in a classroom where they are taught the third language in both of their fluent languages alternately. The goal of this program is for students to become fluent at the third language the results usually take a few years. And the Least used method is called; Three language System where students are educated at first in an official state language, then two years after that a second official language of the union is introduced, then after another several years a third language is introduced, it could be “any modern Indian Language”. The goal is for the child to be proficient in at least three languages. (Sitemaker)
Let’s take a closer look at how much beneficial these…