The article will discuss on the pros and cons of bilingualism in education. Being bilingual is the ability to speak two languages and therefore, a bilingual education is one in which the teaching is carried out in two languages.
Pros of bilingualism in education
The most effective way of teaching students who have a limited proficiency in English
Immersion in the foreign language which one is learning is extremely effective. The teaching of other subjects through English can help to improve the students' command of the English language, whilst also refining their knowledge of other academic areas.
Minority language speakers can maintain their native language
This is important to many minority language speakers who want to protect their origins. In a bilingual education setting, both languages are used on a day-to-day basis. This means that in theory, they should both remain equal in terms of understanding.
Bilingualism is actually normal world-wide. The UK is in the minority for being monolingual
In many other countries, it is normal to speak other languages. In the UK, the general view is that everybody else speaks English, so why should we learn other languages? We are actually in the minority for our monolingual-ism and it has actually been shown that a foreign language can add to a employee's salary.
Research has also shown that learning another language helps to improve the students' understanding of their mother tongue which means that their understanding of grammar and general literacy skills are enhanced.
Another language can also make travel easier and more enjoyable, as one is able to communicate with the people of your destination in their own language.
Cons of bilingualism in education
Bilingual education can be very expensive
It has been said that it costs more to run and support students in bilingual classes than it does to enroll them in a language only program.
Sometimes, bilingual education means that minority-language speakers don't have to learn the native language of where they are living
When a student is using his or her native language on a day-to-day basis, sometimes the need to learn the language of the country in which they are living decreases which can lead to problems when they are finished with education because of the need for English in the world of work. Sometimes, immigrants can remain what is known as "linguistically isolated."