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Bilingual Education and Debate - Literature review Example

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The literature review "Bilingual Education and Debate" states that since the 1960s, bilingual education has become a roaring debate and a major concern for media, educators, parents, and scholars alike. In today’s multicultural environment, change from the traditional education system is crucial…
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Bilingual Education and Debate
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Download file to see previous pages Debates about the advantages and disadvantages of bilingual education were initiated from the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Bilingual Education Act (1968) which dominantly shaped bilingual education laws (Pandey, 2010). The paper attempts to explore the pros and cons of bilingual education and debate over different aspects discussed by its proponents and opponents.

In order to convince parents and teachers that bilingual education is beneficial for non-English speaking children, the term “bilingual education” should be unambiguous. However, deciding how to classify bilinguals is problematic (Baker, 1985; Mackey, 1962; Skutnabb-Kangas 1981 qt. in Baker 2). Baker further explains that defining bilingual is fraught with problems as there are many dimensions to this term (3). However, for defining bilingual education Wink reminds us of Professor Beto who asserts that bilingual education is all about the education that is given in two languages. Beto further adds to the definition and states, “Bilingual education is all about literacy and knowledge. That’s it.”(qt. in Wink)Krashen further adds to the definition and states, “Bilingual education consists of good, comprehensible input in English, good subject matter teaching in the primary language, and continued literacy development in the primary language. Given this three-component, kids will get literacy and knowledge.”(3-4 qt. in Wink)

The concept of ‘bilingual education’ is considered to be the education programs that are particularly designed for students with the lacking ability to speak and understand English language. Among several programs, some include the features of teaching academic subjects in native language for better understanding, for instance, Spanish or Bengali. In addition, these programs teach English as a second language (ESL). While some other programs emphasize on learning English by completely immersing students in English-only class. Some of the programs prefer teaching both languages in mainstream classes to all students. There are different variations of these approaches and different schools ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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