Site Search:


Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Bilingual Education vs. English-Only

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Bilingual Education
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:11 am    Post subject: Bilingual Education vs. English-Only Reply with quote

After reading and hearing about the research on bilingual education and English-only education, my initial view of the two has changed. Although bilingual education has proven beneficial, English-only education also has its place. I believe that instead of spending more time and money on researching which of the two is the better option, the time and money should be put towards educating and training teachers to work with these students. Either program, bilingual education or English-only, can be efficient, the difference is the teachers and administrative support.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Bilingual Education Reply with quote

I agree that bilingual education's quality is dependent on administration and training. I do not believe that english only is beneficial but I do think children should be given an amount of time, a deadline, that they are allowed to be in bilingual education and that he line of communication should be open between educators and parents..

From experience I have learned that if you give parents and students a time limit in which a child has to show improvement in their L2 they have a greater chance at showing progress. Parents, for the most part do not want their child to fail so they try the best they can to see their child thrive.

I am a 2nd grade bilingual teacher with a few students that have been in the program since Kindergarten and with these students I keep an open line of communication with parents while supplying them with resources that they can use at home to improve the students L2. this has shown to be quite effective with most of my students.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't belive that English-only is beneficial for students who are just beginning to learn the language. From what I have read/heard, English-only has its place with direct instruction of the English language (teaching grammar etc.). However, I still think that a student's native language should be used in that setting to clarify information.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 24
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is such a sensitive debate topic, it's almost impossible to know which side to choose because there are pros and cons to both. However, I do feel that English only is beneficial, especially when begun at a younger age. English only needs to be incorporated, specifically, in science lessons, math, history, etc.

Mromero, I hadn't heard of children being given an amount of time/deadline in BE but I think that is a really good idea. With a time limit parents and teachers can focus a lot more on what exactly the child needs to work on and learn.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a place for both bilingual ed and English-only programs, and sound arguments have been made for both based on sound research. The problem is that so many of us (and now three states) are trying to pick one over the other as the "better" option and apply that across the board. The diversity of students, learning environments, circumstances of all sorts, etc. are too complex for a "one size fits all" model, or having to make a choice between bilingual ed. or English-only for everyone everywhere. We should not limit ourselves to one or the other. We need too be free to choose from as many possible teaching models/methods as we can to best individualize/localize instruction. More tools in the toolbox is better than less, as long as we use the right tool for the right job in the right place. Above all else, we need to remain flexible and adaptable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 02 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am someone who was placed in an English-only classroom when I arrived into this country. Let me say that this was a horrible experience. When I speak with other immigrants who are English Learners and their experience trying to integrate into an English-only system, it hasn't served them so well and made their transition much more difficult than it needed to be. Why would I say this? First, as young English learners, there is an assumption that there is something inherently wrong with our own native culture and language if it is being prohibited in a public place such as a school. Many immigrant kids become embarrassed and ashamed of their own culture because of what English-only implies, they grow up wanting nothing to do with their own culture. Also, language acquisition begins in the home. There are immigrant children whose parents do not speak English, so what happens in an English-only environment is that the student either loses one language to gain another or they learn both languages poorly because there isn't a great transition to understand words in English when they can't understand what is being asked of them or what the words mean. Students from another country also may be used to different teaching protocols and the inability of a teacher to communicate effectively can affect a student's interaction and assimilation into a new culture and school. Teachers can make a big difference, but in an English-only environment, teachers don't necessary know or have the training or the international savvy to understand what the student needs. My experiences were so bad that it has haunted me for most of my life, and my experience was fairly commonplace at the time. These experiences drive my need to make films about it and share these experiences so that they don't happen again. With the right instructors, bilingual education actually IMPROVES language literacy as well as giving students an edge in a global commerce. We don't live a US only economy, we are becoming a global economy and those who speak more than one language well are more likely to succeed. I posted elsewhere just now about my two films, one that shows what happens when the right bilingual resources and teachers are available, and the other film as a cautionary tale of what English-only instruction has done in the past.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Bilingual Education All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group