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Bilingualism 3

By yeng87 May 02, 2010 971 Words
The idea of raising bilingual children is both appealing and possible for more and more families these days and growing up with more than one language certainly has its advantages in today’s global village. In “My Spanish Standoff”, Kuntz writes, “My daughter is frustrated by the fact that I’m bilingual and have purposely declined to teach her to speak Spanish, my native tongue,” Considering the information in her article as well as the information in “English Only, But Where” and “English- Only Classrooms”, I think that the advantages of being bilingual outweigh the disadvantages of it because being bilingual can be useful in people’s lives. Here are the advantages of bilingualism: employment advantages, cultural benefits, and curriculum benefits. Employment advantages. Being bilingual has a lot of advantages over the disadvantages because when we are bilingual, we have a lot of career opportunities that offer job options. It offers a wider choice of jobs from various fields. The bilinguals can get prosperous career opportunities in the retail sector, transport, tourism, administration, secretarial work, public relations, marketing and sales, banking and accountancy, translation, law and teaching. Some companies favored the bilingual people who can speak and translate in another language than the monolingual. The Los Angeles Unified School District pays bilingual teachers a bonus of up to $5,000 annually. According to a study in the U.S, bilinguals earn 7 percent more than monolinguals, and the demands for bilingual employees throughout the world are increasing. I have a cousin who grew up here but she can speak both English and my language which is Tagalog, so it is really good for her because she can communicate well with both languages to other people. When she tried to apply in various jobs, she gets hired easily because of the fact that she can speak another language. She’s working right now as a tutor. Most of her students are Filipino’s. So she could communicate with them really well. She also worked before at a call center agency. According to a study carried out by the University of Florida, the University and the Florida Department of Education, Florida Hispanics who are fluent in Spanish and English earn almost $7,000 more than their English- Only counterparts. Bilingual Hispanics also have the lowest poverty rates. A comparison of data from 1971 to 1991 found that salaries for bilingual employees were between 2.2 and 9.3% higher than monolingual employees. Many professions today require the command of a second or third language and those who master them, are certainly at an advantage over those who don’t. Cultural benefits. According to the 2002 U.S census, more than 7.5 million children between the ages of 5 and 17(about 14%) speak a language other than English at home and the number of bilingual speakers is expected to increase in the coming years. Being bilingual helps someone to communicate really well in their community. They say that the bilingual speakers are more sensitive than the monolingual speakers because they could understand both of the languages, they are more careful with their words and they could easily accept the other culture. Bilingualism means you can speak two languages fluently. When you can speak the language of another culture, its helps you to understand that culture. So much of culture is expressed through language; learning the words and phrases of another culture help you to understand the feelings of that culture. There are words in other languages which cannot be expressed in English because the English culture doesn’t have a capacity to understand those words. So understanding a language helps you to understand a culture. In another aspect, learning a language brings you to a culture because once you can speak the language of a culture, you can interact with the people of that culture. So if your bilingualism helps you communicate with others, it opens doors for understanding between your own culture and others. When you go travel to different countries, knowing their language is the best way to learn their culture. It deepens our mind and helps you to understand different circumstances. If you know their language, you will never get lost. Curriculum benefits. Latest research has proved that the bilinguals are better at IQ test as compared to the monolinguals. Both of my sisters are in high school, we came here three years ago; I saw that being bilingual doesn’t affect their learning of the English language. Instead, it’s helping them to work hard and succeed in academic’s class. Peal and Lambert found that bilinguals have higher IQ’s than monolinguals. Their study found that bilinguals have greater mental flexibility, greater abstract thinking, greater lexical independence, superior concept formulation and higher verbal IQ than monolinguals. Jim Cummins of the Ontario Institutes for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, supports a basic tenet of bilingual Education, he says that it’s helping the kids to get higher grades, and they usually excel in their academics and they are more artistic. Bilinguals are more creative, better at solving complex problems, they outperform monolinguals on verbal and nonverbal intelligence tests. They communicate more with people, read more literature and travel more. Bilingual children understand written languages faster than monolingual children. “Genesee (1987) has shown that children who acquire a second language tend to be more open- minded and more tolerant than their monolingual counterparts.” So maybe it’s not going to hurt us if we let our kids to learn different language. So, being bilingual outweighs the disadvantages because it helps people through by these advantages: employment advantages, cultural benefits and curriculum benefits. These are just few of the advantages of being bilingual. It helps people to blend with their people and truly understand their culture.

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