Benefits Of Bilingual Education

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In the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the amount of immigrants that have arrived in the United States. These immigrants have brought with them a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities, and languages. Many of these immigrants do not speak English and must learn the language in order to communicate with others. As a result, educational institutions have strived to accommodate linguistically diverse students by developing bilingual education. Bilingual education refers to the academic instruction of two languages, which include the students’ native language and their second language. In the past few decades, there has been a debate over the implementation of bilingual education and many organizations have opposed bilingual …show more content…
Bilingual education has been shown to increase the academic achievement, cognitive development, metalinguistic awareness, and writing proficiency of bilingual students. The reason that explains the effectiveness of bilingual education is that it is easier for students to acquire their second language by first developing fluency in their native language. According to Estrada (2009), “when language learners learn grade-level academic content and skills in their first language throughout their instructional program, they can solidly transfer that knowledge to academic work in their second language” (p. 55). Therefore, when students develop reading, writing, and mathematical skills in their native language, it becomes easier for them to develop these skills in their second language. This way, bilingual education is effective in helping students achieve academic proficiency as well as language and communication skills in a second …show more content…
A variety of studies have shown that bilingual education is an effective instructional method that leads to the increased academic achievement of students. One notable research study conducted by Curiel, Rosenthal, and Richek examined the impact of bilingual instruction on students’ academic performance and grades. In this study, it was found that “students who were exposed to longer periods of enrollment in the bilingual program achieved higher grades” and attained a higher grade point average (GPA) when compared to students in English-only submersion programs (1986, p. 365). In addition, the GPA of the students increased as the number of years they were enrolled in the bilingual program increased. The results showed that students in the tenth grade who were enrolled in the bilingual program for one year had a GPA of 1.87 compared to tenth grade students who were enrolled for six years, who had a GPA of 2.61 (Curiel, Rosenthal, & Richek, 1986, p. 365). This study indicates that as students spend more time in bilingual programs, they are able to develop their native language skills, which allows them to quickly acquire the second language. As a result, bilingual students demonstrate a higher academic performance when compared to monolingual

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