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Two Languages Are Better Than One Essay

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A person who speaks more than one language is described as being bilingual. According to the United States Department of Education, “about 21% of school-age children speak a language other than English at home,” (Lowry, 2011). As Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier describe in, “Two Languages are Better Than One,” children who come into school having a first language besides English, tend to struggle. Usually when a child struggles with a particular subject, they are taken out of the main classroom and brought somewhere for a remedial class. But according to Thomas and Collier, in order to help narrow the gap in comprehension, English learners and English speakers need to be kept together in order to be fully enriched in a successful learning…show more content…
Integration meaning, not excluding English learners from English speakers. Doing so can have detrimental effects on the English learners, because when they are excluded from the regular classroom, they more often than not fall behind the standard. Thomas and Collier state that their preferred method of language education is some sort of bilingual enrichment or immersion. Immersion is when children are taught in two languages, when they begin school, 90% of instruction is in the minority language. This method proved to make the students proficient in both languages. They also described the differences between one-way and two-way bilingual education; one-way education is when students who speak one language receive education in two different languages, and two-way education is when there are students who speak different languages, who learn the other language through their peers. The United States showed favorability towards two-way education. This was because they had such a diverse student population, and students showed better retention when taught this way. The piece also described the careful planning that teachers must go through in order to make sure that the students will understand concepts in both languages. In closing they describe that even the most gifted and talented native English students are challenged in immersion programs, this showing that immersion is the key to learning for all students, not just English learners (Collier & Thomas,
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