slice of my life

Sunday, November 09, 2008

next to last essay

This afternoon I wrote one more essay---which I could have written before I read a single bit of the reading I had to do. This was a really short one. I think they wanted to make sure we all were on board and saw the value of Bilingual education. I'm already sold, though, especially for my English-speaking kids. Here it is:

Submit a one paragraph paper to your instructor explaining which Bilingual instructional methods you would prefer to see in your school district and why.

In the school district in which I live, Bryan ISD, I would like to see a Dual Language or two-way bilingual program instituted for the majority of the Spanish-speaking students requiring bilingual instruction. The studies have shown that learning two languages is beneficial to all children, and the Dual Language model would teach more students to be bilingual than would a program for only limited English proficient children. I believe that any child who is capable should learn a second language while they are young, when their brains are still setting up language connections and are more easily absorbing language knowledge than when they are older. In the Dual Language classroom, the Spanish speakers are models and teachers for the English speaking students, as are English speakers for the Spanish speakers. Value is given to both languages, which helps students coming from Spanish speaking homes to see that their home and culture are as important as any other student's. While this method is beneficial for all students without a language learning disability and for those who start school in the district, this still leaves some students who will enter the school district after the early grades who need the beginning stages of instruction in acquiring English. I see that there would be a need for more traditional bilingual classrooms throughout the school grades in addition to the Dual Language classrooms. Also, according to the TEA website, 14.4 % of the students in Bryan are limited English proficient. With a goal of 50/50 Spanish to English speakers in each classroom, there will not be enough Spanish speakers to pair with every English speaker. The program would not be possible for every English speaking student, but many could be educated in two languages. As we raise up these students to be workers in our state, it will become increasingly important to produce bilingual citizens who are able to communicate in Spanish and English. The Dual Language model would not only continue to teach the Spanish speakers their native language, but also teach English speaking children to be bilingual, biliterate and bicultural, which will benefit the students as well as the whole state.

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  • Couldn't agree more! We are raising our children in a bilingual household. As a mom and teacher, I can see the benefits everyday. Feel free to check out my site if you need more resources to support your opinion.


    By Blogger Maestra Jen, at Monday, November 10, 2008 11:44:00 AM  

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