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According to the proponents of bilingual education, when non English speaking learners are taught in both the native and English language, their grasping ability for English language is made easier, efficient and organic which in return assist them to improve both language skills in their native mother tongue and English. Generally, a child exposed to more than a single language in education life will have confidence in applying the language skills learned alongside his/here native language. Consequently, such an individual’s perception and mind receptive framework will be more open and accommodative to various cultures and form of interactions than another passed through an education system undermining a language known best from birth as inferior, informal, dead, and inappropriate in interaction away from its origin base segment or cultural location (Medina, 2003).
Besides, while it is reality that operating bilingual classrooms is very expensive, logically, it is the best alternative for effective methodology of relating curriculum to students with limited English proficiency. This is an inverse of an immersion system discriminating students with poor understanding of single English language it dictates and may eventually paralyze efforts made to explain the concepts to this secluded group. In fact, LEP student are dependent on other skills in mathematics, history, sciences and co-curriculum studies rather than English language skills only (Ifekwunigwe, 2004).
Simultaneously, bilingualism is a strong policy for resistance of assimilation and cultural extinction. The minority language users are empowered to appreciate the dormant English language use, but at the same time keep their identity, cultural interactions, unique linguistics, and styles associated with a close attachment bond to the first language at birth. This unique identity is a symbol of independence on culture and language though existing among the mainstream society. Though young minority group members face a difficult duty in relating to fluent English speaking majority, but given chance, they may have so much to present in terms of diverse and preserved cultural background associated with unique pride which can be maintained while at the same time learn effortlessly English as a tool for interaction with the mainstream culture (García, 2007).
In America, bilingualism is grouped together with immigration in terms of literacy index. This however is a serious misinterpretation of real meaning. In every society, at the present age practices bilingual system either at small scale or mainstream level with America assuming fist position in monolingual marginalized but steadily increasing minority. Consequently, it is predicted that should America fully internalize bilingualism in her education system, the gains will outweigh implementation cost issues in the long run. Different group interests will transform from one group feeling of superiority than another to tolerance, respect, appreciation, and collective bargain in Jobs and resource allocation (Ifekwunigwe, 2004).
Also, this system is associated with purpose of gaining and maintaining a generational identity in the facets striving to resist Americanization for those who are unable to speak English language for smooth transition into the mainstream English language culture. This system makes it easier for the low proficiency learners to first understand their language then shift to English dominant classes without having to under go serious crisis of change in communication tool (Bowser, 1996).
Opponents of Bilingual Education
Despite some the visible gains made by bilingual education strategy, opponent of this system have reacted within their capacity to disapprove of it relevance and necessity in American system. For instance, policies and programs aimed at transitional one year period from a native language speaking American citizen was seriously abused by the bilingual enthusiasts who in the end neglected English and in place assumed Spanish culture and language maintenance as a norm with catastrophic consequences felt by the Spanish language sympathizers (Medina, 2003).
The facilitation period instead imprisoned then to class rooms taught in Spanish language only and bilingual concept in education was quickly transformed into a Spanish culture maintenance tool as the mainstream language that is English became a secondary language allocated a period of only thirty minutes of every school day. Parent of these students taught in Spanish and other players are actively involved in criticizing this system viewed by them as ineffective, keeps learners over unnecessarily longer hours in learning a language they already know, slowing down considerably English learning, and desired integration into the mainstream American society (Wheeler, 2005).
Policy analysts have blamed high drop out rates for Latino learner and worrying graduation transition rates on bilingual education system which has kept this minority group at the base of economic power and education hierarchy all over America. It is necessary for the government to pay attention to complains from parents who demands for a mainstream responsible system in order to guarantee their children an equal competitive edge in the labor provision market universally using mainstream English language (Dudley, 1997).
Lots of resources in terms of budget allocation have been wasted in bilingual implementation as compared with benefits derived after. Besides, America is a nation of many different immigrants and many of these groups have quickly mastered the mainstream language through the total immersion application of English language (Medina, 2003).
Bilingual systems of education concentrate language practice to children for periods up to over six years then they are gradually introduced to English language in the remaining periods of education life. This is responsible for the total confusion at transition than the former streamlined completed immersion that was easy to manage. Moreover, the cost of attempting to design teaching instructions to cover over 120 different languages is totally wasteful considering the fact that most of these linguistic groups have good knowledge of the mainstream English language (Bowser, 1996).
Bilingual education system represents a hidden component of the American education system on the minority. Actually, these immigrants’ gets a raw deal as its implementation in instance concentration in bloated bureaucratic school procedures. Most of resources allocated are spent in its administration rather than class room use. Multiculturists teachers then take advantage of this poorly managed system to socially promote grades and classes even to the undeserving students who perform dismally in exams. In parts of Los Angeles city, white middle class group are withdrawing their children from public schools infested with hidden discriminative policies associated with bilingual education system (Wheeler, 2005).
I strongly support bilingual education system because the world by each day is becoming a global village. People should be equipping with various languages in order to connect with the many global communities. Most countries in Africa have multilingual population. It is desirable for America to be counted part of this talent pool. Perceived threat to the mainstream English language is just but a speculative opinion as natural language changes if well integrated revitalizes communication tendencies. A student with good mastery of more than one language will not be a side line to fluency in English but instead equip these young minds with essential tools for becoming successful global community members.
Conclusively, learning of many languages has become a necessity for employment opportunities in multi national companies with operations a cross the globe. Mental framework of a proficient multilingual person is always very proactive and appreciative of different language interactions. However, the system runs on delicate locus with more people criticizing it in American capitalist society for interfering with formal information flow.