Compare And Contrast Monolingual Vs Bilingual Education

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Monolingual vs. Bilingual Education and Public Schools
The United States is currently experiencing large influxes of immigrants in the public education system. Since the majority of these immigrant children speak a language other than English, schools are faced with the burden of educating them in content, language, and culture, with few effective resources. The Supreme Court places immigrant children in the public education system with their ruling that all persons, regardless of documentation, have the right to free, public education (Nelson, 2013, 157). Coupled with No Child Left Behind legislation’s expectations for all learners to be held accountable to high academic standards, this nation’s education system faces a dilemma (Nelson, 2013,
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Newcomers are expected to use English only and assimilate themselves to American cultural values. Under this type of program, English is used for 100% of instruction, there is no special help with English instruction, a lack of qualified teachers of the language, and is implemented throughout all K-12 grade levels (Garcia, 2009, 186). On the other hand, Two-Way Bilingual Education, or Dual Immersion, is an alternative method that is rarely utilized in the United States. This method of bilingual education is based on a 90:10 model, where 90% of instruction occurs in a child’s native language and the other 10% occurs in the target language in early grades (Garcia, 2009, 186). As the child moves through the grade levels, the program shifts to a 50:50 model, with instruction occurring in both the native and target languages equally (Garcia, 2009, 186). Emergent bilinguals and native-English speakers are taught literacy and academic subjects in two languages, peer tutoring is available, and teachers are certified in bilingual education (Garcia, 2009, 186). It is important for schools to take a hard look at the advantages of each approach for the education of their …show more content…
Students are not only learning English in a supportive setting, but they are also improving academic achievement in two (or more) languages. This type of education also helps in assimilating immigrants to a new society while at the same time preserving the minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage. Having students develop native-like fluency in two (or more) languages will turn them into valuable assets in the future of our increasingly global community, nation, and world.
Students who speak another language, or non-standard dialect at home should use their home language variety in their mainstream and ESL classrooms. Some arguments in support of this view of bilingual education come from the standard variety, which states that by restricting students to only the use of the “standard” variety of English can severely limit their communicative and intellectual potential, and even their possibilities of becoming better educated (Garcia, 2009, 36). According to Wright (2004), “A standard language is the means by which large groups become and remain communities of communication.” Although the ability to use the standard language is the developmental goal of education, restricting students to only this variety could be detrimental to their overall

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