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Education in Bilingual Education

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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Education in Bilingual Education Reply with quote

What I've noticed from talking to current bilingual education teachers is that many are not trained (or not sufficiently trained) in Bilingual Ed specifically.

What changes would you make to existing programs for Bilingual educators? How do you think think we could encourage more people to become Bilingual educators?
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Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that there should be national standards for all programs for ELLs (whether they are English only or BE). Each bilingual educator should be provided with a curriculum to follow. From my experience, many districts do not have curriculum for their ESL or bilingual teachers. Too many educators of ELLs (even those who are certified) feel unprepared when they are thrown into a classroom and left to decide on their own what they are going to teach.
As for encouraging more people to become bilingual educators, I believe it is (and will be for a long time) much more difficult to find bilingual educators in the United States for the simple fact that you must speak more than one language. Even if someone wants to become a bilingual educator, if they only speak English, it is going to take them years to learn another language in order to pass the oral and written proficiency tests, as well as complete the necessary coursework to obtain their teaching certificate.
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Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that a bilingual education can be one of the best presents that parents can offer to their children. It leads to access to more information resources. A bilingual person can read books or literature that exists in both the known languages and that would otherwise be unavailable. It leads to exposure to different cultures as a language is usually closely related to the culture of the speaker. To read a book or a poem or to listen to a song in the original language is a completely different experience than to read/hear the translation. Exposure to a second set of customs, traditions and history provide a different viewpoint on many questions and makes life a lot more interesting and rewarding. Knowing two languages places one in a position to think about language itself, to reflect on its functions, and to treat it as an object of thought.
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Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: bilingual program Reply with quote

Bilingual education is a very good opportunity for children. However, here in Quebec, Canada it is almost impossible to give our students a complete bilingual education. Of course there are intensive programs that are available in different schools, but it is only a part of one school year. We cannot provide a complete bilingual program because we have laws that don't allow school boards to do so...and if there is any school that does, there is not many. In another hand, the intensive classes offered to students, usually when they are in grade 5-6, are very useful. When they arrive in high school they are able to apply to international profile and there is a big difference with those that did not have the chance to have intensive program in elementary school. The big point here, is that the students get English class, but they don't have mathematic, history(etc..) classes in English. I know that a complete 50-50% education in English and French exists in western Canada, but i'm not sure it exists here. We should consider to built a program like that...Another issue will be to find bilingual teacher well trained....
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Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Bilingual Education Question?! Reply with quote

I agree whole heartedly that many ELL personnel are not trained properly. At the same time, is it just me, or are there inconsistencies in the way that Bilingual education is carried out? My understanding is that in some districts, bilingual classrooms are completely taught in the native language. In others, they are taught in English with native language support. What is the most effective model for the younger grades, such as Kinder, 1, 2? It's all so confusing!
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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have had bilingual education in English Canada for years. Trudeau's children, as they are called, are bilingual and can function in either language and often mix the two. Just sit in any Ottawa cafe and you will hear the mixture of the two languages all the time. As far west as Vancouver Island and as far east at Newfoundland, children are taking English and French in various configurations and doing well. There is the 20 minute a day for French in the younger grades, working up to studying French as a foreign language as a subject in high school. There is early immersion, late immersion, half and half.

At one point there was a lot of research on late immersion which happens around grade 7 and it was considered the best with the least difficulties. There are many families where one person speaks French as a native language and has taught the children or vice versa.

Parents are keen to have their children learn another language for the most part because it is a real possibility that the children will need it for their future jobs.

This doesn't limit students to two languages and there are a range of choices depending upon getting qualified teachers. Vancouver has many classes in Mandarin for example and there are Italian and Spanish classes, Arabic and as many as you can name in other schools depending on the populations of those schools.

It seems you can be adaptable and the more students you train, the more teachers you will have.
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Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: bilingual education Reply with quote

I havenít personally witness incompetence from teachers in a bilingual classroom. However, it is important for every teacher to be ready to cope with this cultural diversity. In other word, it would be preferable for every teacher to be able to communicate properly in both languages. On the other hand, this situation may be an opportunity for the teacher and the students to use body language as a way of communication. Maybe this could be a situation where both students and teachers learn form each others. On a technical point of view the teacher should obviously be the most efficient bilingual speaker in the classroom.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 24
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not very familiar with bilingual education and to be honest I'm not even sure it was offered in my elementary school/middle school/high school! I think it's pretty amazing that there ARE bilingual classrooms across the country and in other countries. Preparing teachers for a bilingual classroom and even an ESL classroom is clearly quite difficult and it's also difficult to find teachers that have the proper training. Admitting that is a bit disheartening because no matter what ethnicity, these kids are the future, and they need to be given the best education they can. I am reading about the lack of teacher training in both ESL and Bilingual and something needs to be done.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that if someone is considering to be a bilingual teacher that they first must have a desire and a passion to teach. If there is no passion t I believe the teachers will not have a desire to train and they will not give 100 %. I guess if there aren't many bilingual teachers out there schools would take a chance with inexperience teachers to do the job. I for example would be an unexperience teacher but I believe that the on hands experience and professional development, and passion will eventually help me to become a great teacher.
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Joined: 31 Oct 2011
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very important for bilingual teachers to be trained properly if they want to teach the ELLs English using both L1 and L2. Also, I think that it's difficult to have bilingual programs implemented in schools for the following reason: 1. there might not be enough students speaking L1 (at least 20 students in the school), 2. there might not be enough properly trained bilingual teachers who are adequate at educating ELLs, and 3. the schools might not have the funding. If the school districts have highly qualified bilingual teacher(s) and funding, then it is beneficial for ELL students to be taught in both their native language and English. This way they can learn a second language while maintaining their native language.
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