The Responsibility of Bilingual Education Essay

502 Words 3 Pages
The Responsibility of Bilingual Education

Bilingual education in public schools has been the topic of much discussion over the last several years. This discussion has been prompted due to the ever increasing numbers of Spanish-speaking persons emigrating to the United States, especially in those states that border Mexico--California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. What the debate seems always to overlook is our country’s other non-English speaking members. This country is now and has always been the “Melting Pot” for the world with persons emigrating to this country from most every country in the world; however, we commonly gear the focus of bilingual education toward our Spanish-speaking citizens. Something we should point out
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Often family members felt that bilingual education should be mandatory in public schools; however, the non-English speaking adults in the household made no attempt to become English-speaking members of the community. I have even witnessed instances where one parent was bilingual yet continued to use the Spanish language as the primary language of the household. If the English-speaking member of the household is not willing to assist the other members of the family in learning and using English why should the taxpayers be forced to provide education in Spanish? Other members of my Hispanic family voiced great opposition to mandatory bilingual education. They believed it should be the individual’s responsibility to provide the education necessary to become an English-speaking member of our society. Another viewpoint on this subject was provided to me some sixteen years ago. The bilingual education issue was of primary concern to those states bordering Mexico and further limited to the metropolitan areas adjacent to the border. The mother of an acquaintance of mine was a Japanese national who had married an American Soldier, moved to the states and at the time spoke very little English. Over the years Ruako Gilkey had become a well educated, respected, prominent citizen in her community--El Paso, Texas. Ruako was extremely vocal when it came to bilingual education, speaking out

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