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Bilingual schooling entails using two languages in daily conversation. The process occurs in areas of cultural diversity and an awareness that the other language is essential for contact (Macnamara 38). The teaching method begins with the use of the native language and progresses to the secondary language in line with the curriculum model's timeline. Proficiency in other languages is important for educational, societal, and economic development in today's world. Mass communication and global interdependence encourages the use of second language in order to exchange ideas as art-based colleges have introduced foreign languages into their curriculum. The importance of bilingual education lies in the students’ ability to have an easy transition to national language without struggling, while achieving the goal of the program. The native language helps the learner to acquire basic academic knowledge and develop literacy skills (Rolstad 497).
Immigration has resulted in language diversification in the United States (LaFromboise, Coleman, and Gerton 13). The generation of K-12 students therefore faces an increasing need for bilingual education. It is important to understand that some selected high schools and arts-based college offer their core units in foreign languages which is the advantage because the introduction of the secondary language in the student curriculum at a tender age will improve the overall student efficiency. Bilingual education should henceforth be compulsory for all the learners.
Bilingual students as compared to native speaking learners have additional academic advantages. Language developers argue that the introduction of the native language in the learning curriculum is the first major step in the bilingual education system (Lambert and Tucker 22). It allows the child to master the arts of one language that will become his/her basic communication language. The students learn the secondary language at later stage which enables them to focus on the new topics without distractions from the other language. It will help to adapt to changes and enhance the mastery of cognitive flexibility (Rolstad 497).
The full potential of bilingualism helps in improving the students learning skills. Exposing the child to the bilingual system at the tender age enables to realize the idea of multi-lingualism. The brain of the kid who adventures in the learning of new concepts tunes its understanding throughout the life. Research shows that adults with bilingual capabilities have higher employment rate and have slower aging process in comparison to the individuals with the native language (Rolstad 497). Bilingual education, therefore, strengthens the brain for a long-healthy life.
Bilingual education helps to develop cultural advantages and remove language barriers. Children from different native speaking communities can lend their language expertise to students from the other social backgrounds and vice versa. Contemporary communication overshadows the global communication barriers enabling the conduct of business and socializing across different cultures. Therefore, it brings to light the essence of overlooking the advantages of bilingual education and its introduction to the K-12 education system.
Bilingual education facilitates collaborative learning. For the individual, it provides wider scope of view and imagination irrespective of the native language which gives the students some advantages in the learning process. They should not be limited to the studying of outdated principles in the classroom (Rolstad 497).
Bilingual education can help to make fortune in life. The process of attaining proficiency in the second language can take up to seven years. For example, native Hispanics in the United State enrich the art of speaking English at adulthood with large percentage of their parents’ population not fluent in English. Contrastingly, only a small fraction of the first generation of immigrants of Spanish origin is fluent in English (Macnamara 35).
However, a large percentage of the second-generation native can express their thoughts in English which represents the number of individuals who have begun learning English at the tender age. Similarly, for English native speakers to master the art of the other languages, it is important to introduce the second language at the early age to be fluent by the time the child has grown up (Macnamara 36). The best stage that suits the introduction of the second language is the K-12 level. Here, the individuals are active learners, and the development of their brains can allow room for learning second languages and attain fluency by the time they graduate (Lambert, Hong-Kim, Durham, and Burts, 87).
The implementation of bilingual language in the K-12 grade levels will give some benefits for the students both in their life and in their studies. Bilingual education enables the learner to focus more on different topics in class since their brain has evolved to grasp complex concepts. Bilingual education will serve the essential part in the today’s society because it enables individuals to achieve higher capacity to adapt to changes within the environment, tackle situations with the aggressiveness it requires, and achieve added cognitive flexibility. Besides, bilingual education will give cultural advantages to the learners. Children at schools can share their expertise in different languages and vice versa. It will facilitate the global interactions, and socialization will take place. It will eliminate any language barriers and promote peaceful interactions between cultures.
LaFromboise, Teresa, Hardin L. Coleman, and Jennifer Gerton. "Psychological Impact of Biculturalism: Evidence and Theory." Psychological Bulletin, vol. 114, no. 3, 2003, p. 395.
Lambert, Richard, Do-Hong-Kim, Sean Durham, and Diane C. Burts. “Differentiated Rates of Growth Across Preschool Dual Language Learners.” Bilingual Research Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, 2017, pp. 81-101.
Lambert, Wallace E., and Richard Tucker. "Bilingual Education of Children: The St. Lambert Experiment." Language Learning, vol. 24, no. 2, 2002, pp. 83—204.
Macnamara, James. “Problems of Bilingualism.” Journal of Social Issues, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 34-56.
Rolstad, Kellie. “Second Language Instructional Competence”. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, vol. 2, no. 2, 2017, pp. 497-509.
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