Language Barrier: Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion Essay examples

1246 Words 5 Pages
Bilingual teaching in American schools is it good, bad, or both? Who is right in this national debate? Both sides make some impressive arguments for their side of the issue. Even the government has mixed issues when it comes to bilingual teaching. However, the government has shown their views in their budgets and their law making. Another question comes up with the bilingual teaching is should America make English its official language? Some say there is no need for it, and yet 22 states as of 1996 declared English their official language. Looking into some of these issues may bring some insight as to what the problem may be.
With the debate over bilingual education, Kenneth Jost covers some of the history in teaching in his
…show more content…
Craig Donegan’s article “Debate Over Bilingualism” states, after World War One, “15 states declared English the basic language for teaching” (62). Many states forbid usage of any language but English in the schools. Until the 1960’s when Donegan relates, “Congress passed immigration reforms that resulted in a flood of immigrants from Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia” (62). Schools found with the inflation of non-English speaking students, they arranged to make changes to accommodate these students. On the other side of the debate, will be Mrs. Morales in a National Public Radio interview hosted by Neary Lynn and Douglas Ward in the article “Should all students be bilingual?” While Naomi Dillon in her article, “Language Test” takes both sides of the debate.
With so many immigrants flooding into America, how the children were taught came under scrutiny. Most schools with large numbers of Spanish-speaking students went to bilingual education. Schools would teach the children in their native language first and then teach them English. However, this would take several years and some opposed the amount of time to teach English to a proficient level. Another problem with this is the lack of qualified teachers. According to Naomi Dillon’s article, Language Test, “most of California’s ELL [English Language Learner] students are taught by…