Bilingual Education

Topics: Multilingualism, Education, Second language Pages: 5 (1679 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Why Do We not Consider the Benefits?
Bilingual education is like the seat belts in the back of your car. They both serve as helpful attachments that can only prepare you for the future. Bilingual education is a form of education in which information is presented to the student in two or more languages. By broadening a student’s scope to two or more languages, students hold an advantage when entering the professional world. The professional world is where work gets serious and adults have to face the real world problems. Essentially, in the 21st century adults cannot get by at work with just one language. For example, even employees of local ninety-nine cents stores are familiar with two languages such as Spanish and English. If bilingual education can affect such a mediocre job, who knows what fluency in many languages can do in the professional world. Today, in most Los Angeles Public Schools, the students are not all fluent English speakers. There are students who speak several languages other than English, students who only speak English, and even students who only speak one uncommon native language. In result, schools are filled with diverse groups of students, which is ultimately why Los Angeles Public schools have to prepare all of these numerous groups for their successful future. It is the responsibility of Los Angeles Public schools to require bilingual education because fluency in multiple languages not only benefits the self but also aids the surrounding community. Bilingual and multilingual speakers have greater long-term health benefits than do monolingual speakers. New studies have shown that bilingualism reduces the chances of developing Alzheimer, a common form of dementia. Recently, Dr. Ellen Bialystok carried out a study for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer at York University in Toronto. In leading the study, she stated, “[Bilingual] [people] perform at a higher level. It won't stop you [from] getting Alzheimer's disease but they can cope with the disease for longer (Derbyshire 1).” Dealing with bilingual education might be complex and strenuous, but all of the hard work pays off in the end because one will receive an education in two languages and also reduce his/her chances of Alzheimer. Although the effects of bilingual education do not guarantee the prevention of Alzheimer, the results do help fight the disorder longer than monolingual patients can fight it. Aside from the bilingual education’s relationship with Alzheimer, as long as bilingualism plays as a beneficial factor in education first and foremost, there should be no other reason why bilingual education is not required. Giving up a bilingual education program because of money matters is not worth the loss, because bilingual education can produce just as much fruitful results in the future as it is now when people are not spending money on education. It is a lost opportunity in enhancing California’s education system. In relation to enduring Alzheimer for a longer period, bilingual education also benefits the self as it enhances cognitive skills. Because bilingual education calls for the constant switch of language, students enrolled in the program develop enhanced cognitive skills. Cognitive skills more or less mean the skills of the brain. Bilingual education greatly affects a person usually as an infant, because there is a chance to grasp an equal amount of knowledge for both languages. Janet Werker, a developmental psychologist from the Univeirsity of B.C., was studying babies growing up in bilingual environments. In her studies, she discovered that, “not only could [bilingual] [babies] distinguish between the two languages [they] [are] [familiar] [with], but that they also were able to distinguish between languages they weren't familiar with, such as English and French (Sun 1).” Werker’s study portrays how bilingual education can affect the brain at such a young age. The distinction between monolingual and bilingual people is declared...

Cited: "California Proposition 227 and Bilingualism." Migration World Magazine 26.4. Print.
Derbyshire, David. "People Who Speak Two Languages Are 'better at Multi-tasking and Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer 's '" Mail Online. Print.
Levy, Clifford J. “My Family’s Experiment in Extreme Schooling.” New York Times. New York Times, 18 Sept. 2011. Web 17 Sept. 2011
Maceri, Domenico. "Plural Benefits of Bilingual Education." San Gabriel Valley Tribune (California) (2006). Print.
Sun, Vancouver. "The Benefits of Bilingual Education." The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia). Print.
Zabetakis, Amy. "PROPOSITION 227: DEATH FOR BILINGUAL EDUCATION?" Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 105-28 13.1 (1998). Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
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