Bilingual education is a system of education where learners are taught in two languages. They are instructed in their native language and a second language (English). Technically, every schooling system that presents educational material to students in more than one language is bilingual. People who are against this system of education argue that the expense incurred by the government in implementation cannot be justified. The benefits to the learner and the country are many therefore; the system should be highly encouraged.
The advantages of a bilingual education system
Bilingual system allows learners to appreciate other cultures. Learning in more than a single language gives learners the opportunity to interact with different cultures. Children learn other cultures while maintaining their own culture. The system broadens learner’s view of thinking as they get exposed to other cultures. Learners also get enriched as their minds open up and broaden due to exposure. In addition to this, children in a multicultural society learn to tolerate other cultures (Garci%u0301a and Hugo 123).
Bilingual education system prepares learners to cope with the world. The world has been turned into a global village by technology. There is a greater mobility and communication around the world, which has come with the discovery of new technologies. Learning in more than a single language therefore, develops multitalented individuals.
Children are fast learners. Children can grasp grammar, vocabulary and other nuances of non-native language effortlessly. Children have better capabilities to learn a second language than grownups. It is, therefore, healthy to introduce a second language to children at an early age.
This system of education helps children to develop their own identity. Children learn their own language, and they appreciate their own roots. Children do not discard their traditions since they are taught in their native (Medina 156).
Training learners in a bilingual system reduces the chance of losing content. Content loss is inevitable when learners are taught using a language they do not understand. It is, therefore, healthy to teach content in a language a learner understands for a certain period. Learners can then be taught in English when they have fully learned the language.
The system uses resources available as a basis for acquiring knowledge and building of new skills. Teachers use the basic language that the learners has in instruction so as to achieve academic excellence. This is advantageous because schools do not have to train the learner in language before proceeding to introduce other subjects. The learner goes to school ready to learn new concepts. Instructors may then teach English as a second language at the pace of the learner. The learner’s native language provides contextual basis for acquiring knowledge in the second language (English).
The economic advantage of this system to the learner lies in the job market. Many companies pay a lot of money to employees who can speak more than one language. Such people are needed to handle clientele from diverse origins effectively. The system therefore, develops competitive individuals in the job market.
In conclusion, the merits of a bilingual education system outweigh demerits. Reforms should be undertaken so that full benefits of the system get realized. Automatic assignment of learners with limited skills in English to bilingual classes should be discontinued. This amounts to dictatorship and discrimination. Parents, who feel the pain of paying fees, need be given a chance to choose programs to enroll their kids. Learners should be given a chance to learn their native language in a class where English is emphasized. English as a second Language is an excellent program that emphasizes English and allows learner’s to change to mainstream classes. This program therefore, provides an avenue for reforms to bilingual education system. The learners can then switch to English-only classes when they become competent in English language.