Essay on Bilingual Education in the United States

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Bilingual Education in the United States Aside from Native Americans, there are no indigenous "Americans" to speak of in the United States. The U.S. is therefore a large immigrant nation whose history has grown out of its ability to bring together people of different cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. This is why the United States is often considered to be the world's "melting pot." However, despite the fact that America is composed of a diverse immigrant population, English is recognized as the national language of the U.S., and it is through English that domestic affairs in the United States are conducted. Given the large influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking nations in South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico…show more content…
This is because rather than ostracizing large numbers of the population, the U.S. should embrace the diversity of its people by offering assistance to non-English speaking students. Therefore, although I will argue that secondary languages such as Spanish should be taught in public schools in the U.S., I do not believe that English should be replaced entirely by secondary languages. Before outlining the arguments for and against bilingual education, it is first necessary to provide an overview of the controversy over bilingual education, and its emergence as a national debate. This controversy is basically centered on the question: Should the United States government incorporate the teaching of different languages into the public school system or not? Although it is currently permissible to learn secondary languages such as Spanish, French, German and Latin in public middle schools and high schools in the U.S., such classes have traditionally been geared toward broadening the educational experience for native English-speaking students. Therefore, rather than providing assistance to students whose native languages are not English, classes in American public schools are taught in English, despite the fact that increasing numbers of students in some areas of the U.S. do not speak English as their first language. In 1998, for example, (the most recent year for which statistics were available), statistics indicated that there were some
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