Diversity in the American Lifestyle of Immigrants: Language Issues
One cannot separate the American lifestyle from the droves of immigrants that helped shape it. Diversity is a part of the fabric of America that makes it unique. As a result of this increasingly diverse culture many children grow up in bilingual households. Research has found both advantages and disadvantages to growing up in a bilingual household. The controversy over bilingual classrooms first surfaced in the mid-1960s and has gained in importance as the population becomes increasingly culturally diverse. The following will explore the advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism, with a focus on how if affects the educational system. It will focus on research into the growing trend that calls for the provision of culturally sensitive or bilingual materials in the classroom. It will answer the question, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of a bilingual school curriculum?” The Dominant Language Issue Although immigrants have formed a significant portion of the American population, English has remained the dominant language. Recently, the popular media has made an argument that the use of Spanish is quickly matching English in daily usage. However, schools are still taught in English and English is still the lang
Nichols reminds us that bilingual does not mean Spanish only, it means both languages. This is a key disadvantage in the establishment of bilingual schools. This produces a stigma that may follow them the rest of their life (Souto-Manning, 2006). They must hire staff that is bilingual, which may be more expensive due to the extra skills needed. However, in many schools these issues are a problem and are not addressed in a proactive manner (Lambert, 1987). This may disappear as they become more proficient in English, but this can be a long and difficult process. In some cases it can be a positive experience and in others it can have severe negative consequences for the child (Fitts, 2006). This can have a detrimental affect on the students as well. They may spend so much time per day in each language. Each group of students gets the added benefit of proficiency in the second language as well as their basic skills (Christian, 1994). This attitude begins in the classroom and with early childhood experiences. For instance, the students may receive instruction for different classes in different languages. When the racial mix of a school is heavily weighted towards the dominant culture, children of different race may not receive the attention that they need to integrate. uage used to conduct business in a majority of the country (Souto-Manning, 2006). California has been teaching bilingual classrooms for several years.
Some topics in this essay:
Filippini Gerber, Worthy Rodriguez-Galindo, Eslami Burlbaw, Spanish English, Coulter Smith, Bridging Gaps, English English, Schools California, English Teaching, , bilingual education, nichols 2001, bilingual classroom, bilingual schools, basic skills, bilingual programs, christian 1994, souto-manning 2006, bilingual school, english language, teaching bilingual classroom, worthy rodriguez-galindo 2006, parents play role, bilingual education school, loss cultural identity,
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