Why bilingual education is important

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Different ways to say hello around the world.

Hola! Me llamo Evelyn. That’s pretty much all I know after taking about 5 years of Spanish that began in elementary school and lasted through middle school.

During my 8th grade year I was so excited to fill out my schedule for my freshman year and happily check off the box for French and not Spanish. This is because I was absolutely sick of having to study Spanish every single year.

Yes, study because I never actually learned anything beyond a brief introduction of myself, the colors, counting from 1-10, and random animal names like, la tortuga. My classmates and I could have been bilingual if our school system invested in the language classes.

Most students at PHS take Spanish in Elementary school, so why aren’t we fluent?

The answer may lie in the fact that we as Americans have no need to learn another language. English stands as the language of the world. People from different cultures and languages communicate using English. If Americans have no real benefits of learning another language, then why bother teaching our children?

Studies in language development show that when young children are exposed to languages, they have an academic advantage throughout life. It also helps students gain a better understanding of their community.

We’re also taught that most of the jobs we want or are going to have, will involve Math or Science. Language classes typically fall under the elective classes. Math and Science are considered the important subjects; therefore, language classes are given less attention.

Taking a language class is required for all PHS students to graduate. A lot of the students take the classes to get the credit not to actual learn the language.

By teaching languages to young children, K-12 students stand to benefit long-term – both academically and in life.

If the language teachers were provided with the tools they need and required students to use those languages outside of class, students could become bilingual.

Not so long ago, immigrant children that were bilingual were thought to have a learning deficiency. The reason was, because they spoke another language, it would be harder for them to study in English and to do good in school.

This turned out to be the exact opposite. Children who were bilingual had better multitasking skills because they switched from each language easily.

When asked if bilingual education would benefit PHS and the USA, Junior, Gabby Bylski said,

“With tons of different cultures coming in [to America] it creates a very diverse place to live and it would be a good skill to have and it challenges your thinking.”






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