Bilingual Education Does NOT Assimilate Non-English Speaking Students

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Bilingual Education Does NOT Assimilate Non-English Speaking Students


Lo siento señor. No he aprendido hablar inglés. No puedo ayudarlo. (I'm sorry Sir. I didn't learn to speak English. I can't help you.) When visiting McDonald's and having a non-English speaking person taking your order, one becomes frustrated with the lack of appreciation for learning English. Today, schools in Arizona no longer have true bilingual education classes; they have almost all Spanish instruction with limited English instruction. From the time bilingual education for Spanish was instituted in 1973, it has been ineffective in assimilating non-English speaking students into the English-speaking American society.

The bilingual education programs
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Bilingual education is to be thought of "as no more than a transitional bridge to assimilation" (Duignan). Bilingual education was formed so the majority of time English would be the language taught in and the native tongue of the students would be limited. Using this method, the students learn English faster and can work with the rest of their English speaking peers. If the two amounts of languages are switched so that there is mostly Spanish and limited English, then the learning would go at a slower pace. English is needed here in America and keeping these children from learning it just hurts them. If English is learned at a slower pace, it will not be learned to the proficiency that is needed. "When you're talking about language, English is essential for success in this country" (Ferraro)

A third reason why the bilingual education system in place now isn't doing its job, is that there are many students who abuse the system too easily and they get away with it.
Bilingual educators were accused of disregarding such developments; they often admitted children who were proficient in English to bilingual programs and kept them there too long. A U.S. Office of Education­sponsored investigation of thirty-eight bilingual projects for Hispanic Americans judged that about 70 percent of the pupils involved used English rather than Spanish for the purpose of taking tests. (Duignan)

These children stay in the bilingual classes because they…