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What are your thoughts on bilingual education?

And why?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:03 PM on Nov. 10, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (12)
  • I wanted to add that my Down Syndrome girl is just beginning to say more than one word sentences and is in a real growth spurt as far as recognizing pictures and signing them. But the remarkable thing is since my husband is Mexican she has understood both English and Spanish perfectly for years...How about that??????? :)

    Answer by VeronicaTex at 9:39 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I think it's great. People who speak more than one language use parts of the brain that are not otherwise used, which shows that slearning more than one language improves intelligence.

    I'm always impressed with people who take the time & effort to speak a totally different language.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 6:06 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • My personal view.

    Bi-even multi lingual education is a must.

    Today's children (the adults/movers and shakers of tomorrow) need to be able to live, work, and succeed in a global world. They must be able to compete for jobs/careers against others from around the world, they must be able to work with people from all over the world, they also must be willing to work in other parts of the world.

    Most colleges/universities have a language requirement. And many specialized courses of study have a language requirement. My son had to meet a language requirement for MIT and his the program he was admitted into (robotics & engineering.)

    My son is multi-lingual due to his person education and career goals that he has set up for himself.

    I think bi-lingual education is going to become even more important during the decades to come.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 6:08 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I am actually planning on getting my son into a French school. I'm not French, but I believe learning different languagues early on is very beneficial to kids, on several levels.

    Answer by Anouck at 6:06 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I think its great, what would be the down side?? Knowledge is power.

    Answer by gramsmom at 6:09 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I want my kids to have a full and comprehensive grasp on the English language before they learn a second or third language. Most schools have a language requirement in highschool or at least college, but at elementary school I just think it's not necessary. I would much rather them spend time on grammar and correct spelling (which many people here on cafemom could use!).
    English is pretty much the universal language right now, we are fortunate in that!

    Answer by missanc at 6:16 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Missanc, I agree with you that a lot of people nowadays don't even seem to have a grasp on the English language, but I don't agree that learning a second language would make that worse. Honestly, I think it would make it better.... When I went to elementary/high school, we were required to take 4 different languages. English is not my first language. However, if we weren't fluent in all four (both written and verbal), we didn't graduate, easy as that. I can't believe how some people in this country butcher their own language, and for the life of me I don't understand how those people managed to graduate high school!

    Answer by Anouck at 6:20 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Bilingual education in your first language is a good stop-gap measure to keep secondary students in early levels of learning a second language from falling too far behind in their other subjects.
    Bilingual education in a second language is a great way to really build proficiency in that language.

    Answer by SWasson at 6:25 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • English is not the "universal language" it's not even the most widely spoken language.

    French is considered to be the "universal langauge" and spanish is beginning to take it over.

    English falls behind the various chinese dialects and Hindi in the number of people in the world who speak the language

    Languages are easier for younger children to learn and remember. The older a person gets, the harder it is to learn a new language.

    I do fully and wholeheartedly agree that a good grasp of the English language can help someone go far in life and is a must.. At the same time, not having a proper grasp of the English language can hinder in some ways as well. However, having both a proper grasp of the English language, and the proper grasp of at least 1 other language can take someone even further in life.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 6:26 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I have profited greatly from being multi-lingual..I started learning Spanish as a foreign exchange student to Bolivia in 1970. I kept up with it during the years...eventually moved to Texas and became a bilingual teacher (teaching third grade Newcomers from Mexico and Central and South America.) in addition to having a degree in elementary education....It was the most rewarding work I have ever had in my life.Besides that I got a $3,000 stipend extra for having a bilingual endorsement...
    I was also stationed in West Berlin from 1974-1976 as a Russian Voice Intercept operator after studying Russian at Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California for 52 weeks, 6 hours a day. Not only did I serve my country, but I also visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France Spain and England. The Army helped pay my education later.
    Foreign countries have done it for years. Feel it's about time we do it also. Understanding others.

    Answer by VeronicaTex at 6:34 PM on Nov. 10, 2010