The Pros And Cons Of Bilingual Education

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The ability to speak or write two languages well is called bilingualism. In terms of schooling, bilingualism has two somewhat different meanings. In a country like the United States where English is the national language, bilingualism, and hence bilingual education, means teaching English to those who were raised using other native languages. The purpose of such education is to assimilate these people into the mainstream of the nation 's economy and culture. On the other hand, there are nations such as Belgium, Canada, and Switzerland that have two or more national languages. This does not mean that all citizens of these countries speak two or more languages, but it does mean that they are entitled to government services, including education, in the language of their choice.

 Around the world, bilingual education is generally a matter of public policy. The State of Israel, which has a large Arab population, has schools in both Arabic and Hebrew languages. It must also deal with the problem of teaching Hebrew to immigrants who come from many linguistic backgrounds. In the Soviet Union, Russian was considered the national language, but each of the country’s fifteen republics also had its own language. Thus, residents of Tajikistan …show more content…

Except for those who came from the British Isles, the millions of immigrants who arrived after 1820 needed to learn English in order to make economic and social adjustments to the way the majority of the population lived.  This became especially true after the American Civil War, when the rapid industrialization of the United States began. At that time, millions of immigrants crowded into the cities.  In order to facilitate their assimilation, night school programs were started within the public school systems to offer courses in English and other basic skills.  They were conducted by local boards of education on a voluntary basis.

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