Bilingual Education Vs English Immersion

1178 Words 5 Pages
Hannah Kariuki moved to the United States at the age of five and was enrolled in the Bilingual program. Hannah was fluent in Swahili, with a year and a half of the program, it provided her the English skills she needed. Unfortunately, today Hannah cannot read, write nor speak fluent Swahili. The Bilingual program is a program designed for immigrant students who are learning English. There are two main types of bilingual programs; Bilingual Education and English Immersion. Bilingual Education is where students are taught both in their native language and English. English immersion is a monolingual communicative approach, where only English is used in a classroom. The fight for Bilingual programs began during the civil rights movement when Latin …show more content…
One of the reasons is Bilingual education offers classes both in English and the student’s native language, unlike English Immersion. Bilingual Education Emphasize on the student 's progress of both English and other subjects. Teachers say that bilingual children learn best by “using and developing their first language, and applying it to their second language” (Clouthier 2). For example, a lecture about stars taught in English will make more sense to a student who has already learned something about stars in their own language. In an interview with a parent of a bilingual student Ms. Alicia Tracy, she says that one cannot learn another language without implying their first language (Tracy). On the other hand, English immersion focuses on “fundamentals of English grammar” and emphasizes on “oral fluency and literacy in English” (Driscoll). Education advocates have proven that emphasize on English grammar could cause students to fall behind in other subjects. English immersion is known to only concentrate on their goal of improving the English test scores of the immigrants …show more content…
When immigrants move they have a hard time fitting in or simply adopting to the new place. One of the biggest reason why is, they do not speak the same language as the people at their new place. The schools understand what immigrant students go through and that is one of the main reason why the Bilingual education was developed. For many of its proponents, bilingual education is tied to the notion that the student’s native culture needs to be respected (2). By respecting the immigrant student’s culture, the student are more comfortable to learn and practice anything they desire. By the continuous learning of their culture, there are more connected to it, even though they are far away. By doing so, it reduces the chances of anxiety and homesickness. Cultural learning is one of the things that English immersion does not offer and that is why most parents like Ms. Tracy do not fully support it. Students should be able to learn their culture inside and outside of school, it is that one thing that holds a true meaning to our identity

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