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Being Bilingual: The Challenges and Opportunities of Bilingual Education - Essay Example

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This paper reviews and discusses the benefits of bilingualism in a multicultural society and strategies that teachers can use to best provide for learners and develop and use their linguistic and cultural knowledge and experience in order to take advantage of the benefits of bilingualism …
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Being Bilingual: The Challenges and Opportunities of Bilingual Education
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Download file to see previous pages The mechanism, referred to as code-switching, is a normal occurrence and not confirmation of inferior language capabilities (De Ramirez & Shapiro 20006). In contrast, bilingual children acquire the skill of code-switching and practice it to enhance communication. Bilinguals interchange languages for several reasons. Commonly a term in the other language strikes the mind initially or more precisely communicates the meaning (Fishman 1991). Language change is driven by the environment, addressee, topic, or the need to point out, to emphasize, or to show shared aims with an ethnic group (Heath 1983).
At present, we have to examine bilingualism, biculturalism, multilingualism, and multiculturalism as normal phenomena. Old and new generations are putting their best efforts to become part of the global village or to become global citizens (Brisk, Burgos & Hamerla 2004). Essentially, in realizing the objective, knowledge of different cultures and languages serves an important function. The core idea of this argument is the relationship between cultures and languages and how to effectively combine these two components in the process of language learning (Brisk et al. 2004).
Language is an element of a culture, and the entirety and the element are always together. Having knowledge of different languages is also having knowledge of different cultures (Brutt-Griffler & Varghese 2004). Hence, teaching languages are about teaching cultures and ideas. Languages are successfully learned when they are perceived in a cultural framework, as argued by Schumann (1978) in his ‘acculturation model of second language learning’. The solution is to perfectly implant different languages and cultures into multilingual and multicultural learners, in order for the learners to understand each other (Schumann 1978).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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