Before understanding the pros and cons of bilingual education, let us first discuss Bilingual Education itself.
Bilingual education provides education to students in two languages simultaneously. As per standard structure, subjects of one language are taught for first-half of the day and subjects of the second language in second-half of the day.
What Will I Learn?
- 1 15 Pros and Cons of Bilingual Education – Explained!
- 2 Eight Pros of Bilingual Education
- 2.1 1. Learning a second language becomes easier
- 2.2 2. It promotes diversity at an early stage
- 2.3 3. It creates better prospects
- 2.4 4. Learning a second language makes it easier to learn more languages
- 2.5 5. Working Memory is also enhanced.
- 2.6 6. It makes the learner wiser
- 2.7 7. It is a beneficial form of extra-curricular activity
- 2.8 8. It has multiple benefits for personality development
- 3 Seven Cons of a Bilingual Education
- 3.1 1. Education in a foreign language can be inconsistent
- 3.2 2. Learning course contents can become very hard
- 3.3 3. Bilingual schooling is expensive
- 3.4 4. It prevents involvement in native culture.
- 3.5 5. It can shift focus.
- 3.6 6. There can be a lack of certified teachers and assistants.
- 3.7 7. It is often stigmatized
- 4 Types of Bilingual Education
- 5 Conclusion
Bilingual education is quite common worldwide. Let us discuss some of the Pros and cons of bilingual education.
15 Pros and Cons of Bilingual Education – Explained!
We have divided this article into two sections, the first section will be discussing the advantages of Bilingual Education and the second section will discuss the disadvantages of Bilingual Education.
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Eight Pros of Bilingual Education
1. Learning a second language becomes easier
Children who’re exposed to a bilingual education learn a foreign language a lot faster than a grownup. Learning is part of brain chemistry. There are lower stages of complex information that should be absorbed. There is much less embarrassment while practicing a new language. The process of learning first and the second language is carried simultaneously, which encourages development.
2. It promotes diversity at an early stage
Ask an average child about what they care about, and it would turn out that the least they care about are cultural issues, gay marriages, religious differences, or immigration. Bilingual schooling offers a chance to have a good time for the diversity of cultures. Children learn from differences rather than being scared of them at a very early stage of learning about society.
3. It creates better prospects
Being fluent in multiple languages rather than one opens the pathway to several professional opportunities to the employee. Learning the second language in school sets the students to take advantage of opportunities once they graduate. Language differential can add up to 20% to salary per year.
4. Learning a second language makes it easier to learn more languages
Once a second language has been learned, it will become simpler for that individual to analyze the third language. Every one new language learned makes it less complicated to learn other new languages fluently. Bilingual training encourages mental growth, enhances pupil concentration, and reduces the quantity of time required to task switch.
5. Working Memory is also enhanced.
A bilingual training also can improve operating memory. This improvement entails better processing capabilities when exposed to new sounds, new concepts, and new experiences. Similarly, students in a bilingual educational program have a decreased risk of mental disorder and tend to be more social as compared to students trained in one language only.
Bilingual training increases prospects of higher academic achievement by enhancing the information-processing ability of the brain. It also plays a role in a higher level of IQ.
6. It makes the learner wiser
Wisdom develops from experiential knowledge. A bilingual training offers students with more personal experience over time. Being fluent in some language other than the native one can also create foreign studying opportunities, exposure to new cultures, and higher prospects in the job market globally. An increase in wisdom improves decision-making capability for a better foundation in life.
7. It is a beneficial form of extra-curricular activity
In the 1990s, the school district in New Glarus, WI, provided students with an extra-curricular program that included the opportunity to learn German. Many areas throughout the US have commenced enrichment programs that introduce students as younger as 6 to a second language. Although those packages aren’t as long or rigorous as full bilingual training, it can be the beginning of a learning process as a part-time task.
8. It has multiple benefits for personality development
Various personality benefits come with speaking numerous languages. Studies show that the ability to learn a new language increases the strength of processing new sounds. Children who are trained in bilingual setup are less likely to face personality disorders and anxiety. They feel less lonely than monolingual counterparts. Children also develop high self-esteem.
Seven Cons of a Bilingual Education
1. Education in a foreign language can be inconsistent
Some schools stop their bilingual education in high school. Some schools don’t provide a bilingual education at all. Because of this inconsistency, some students may lose some of their capability and skills to learn a second language due to the fact they aren’t using it every day. For bilingual schooling to be effective, it should be a consistent part of students’ career who participates in it.
2. Learning course contents can become very hard
For younger children, mastering second-language content can be hard because there are complicated concepts of language being taught at the same time. Many schools that provide a bilingual training educate one language for half of the day and the second language for the rest of the day. If a student is struggling with division and is also suffering from second language grammatical concepts, it can harm their learning.
3. Bilingual schooling is expensive
Foreign language programs are costly around the world. Unless the course is mandatory, it is often removed. A single-language program is more straightforward and cheaper to operate and can nonetheless offer the crucial skills that the student may also require. Many schools are already reducing creative lessons, so the cost of adding a bilingual aspect is something that many schools afford.
4. It prevents involvement in native culture.
Learning a foreign language may provide numerous advantages, but it also has the downside that results in isolation. Many students in a bilingual educational system become friends with people who attend the same classes as them. This may expose the student to new cultures. Still, it additionally widens the cultural gap being experienced at the local level because it creates a unique subculture between two language extremes.
5. It can shift focus.
If a bilingual educational program is broken up into 50/50 split during the entire school day, the students who struggle to learn a new language will stick to the second language mostly.
This will shift their focus. There are many other activities at school, such as vocational skills, creative, and athletic events. Focusing on a single aspect alone i.e., learning the second language, will create a hindrance and limit the attention span for learning other stuff like coursework, etc. They would keep trying to catch up on the second language instead of learning other essential skills.
6. There can be a lack of certified teachers and assistants.
For a bilingual education to be active and up=to the mark, it must be immersive. It must have instructors and teaching assistants who are fluent in both languages being taught. At the same time, the bilingual instructors and assistants should be patient with the learning process of their students so that the progression can be achieved at their pace. With modern educational requirements, many teachers are suffering from meeting minimal needs in lots of subjects. There isn’t the time to add any other language into the combination.
7. It is often stigmatized
Bilingual academic possibilities are often associated with the subject of immigration. Some groups see learning a new language as a structural way of invading their culture by immigrants rather than immigrants embracing their learning. This can create friction between natives and immigrants. It can cause some students to resist being a part of the local community, especially if their primary language is already catering to their own needs.
Types of Bilingual Education
There are three types of structures of a bilingual education system:
1. Transitional Bilingual Education
It is designed to allow students to learn a new language quicker by making a transition to start with learning other subjects such as math, science, and other subjects in the second language. Students receive instruction in the native language, and eventually, they are weaned off it and learn the second language entirely.
2. Dual Language Immersion Bilingual Education
Such programs assist non-native students in speaking and writing in a second language. Students who are enrolled in such programs are well versed in both languages 50/50.
3. Development of Bilingual Education
Such programs are designed in a way that students are taught in their native language for some time while simultaneously they learn a new language. This method not only increases literacy in the first language but also makes it possible to apply the knowledge to learn a foreign language.
One of the three different methods is applied wherever a bilingual education is being provided. This can vary not only from country to country but also among various schools.
The pros and cons of bilingual education reveal that it is the next big thing in our ever-growing modern society. Despite the challenges that come with learning a new language, the benefits cannot be overlooked. The analysis of the pros and cons of bilingual education reveals that learning a second language helps in the long-run, as discussed above. Children can learn it more quickly than elders. In some countries, bilingual education is assimilated into the curriculum for many years now.
In other countries, it is a growing trend. English is the most taught second language that is being taught all around the world. The importance of bilingual education has grown with the emergence of globalization.
If one wants to keep up with the advancements of the modern world, one should consider learning a new language at least once. Learning a new language is a fantastic process that tells us a lot about a new culture and its history. These aforementioned pros and cons of bilingual education will help you grasp the idea better!