Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bilingual Education

SO... My first student teaching placement was in a bilingual class. I have spent a great deal of time in bilingual classes, and I have sort of mixed feelings about bilingual programs. Even one of the teachers whom I have worked with in the past (a bilingual teacher herself), doesn't feel that they are actually good for the kids. A Spanish professor of mine in undergrad (a native spanish speaker) herself chose not to enroll her own children in bilingual programs... she thinks it's important for them to learn and be able to use English in order to get a good job and be successful. What are peoples thoughts on this?


Grace Butler said...

There are all sorts of bilingual programs. Some are good, some are bad. Naturally, English is important to get a good job, but if you can learn English and teach Spanish at the same time, everyone benefits. Some programs affirm home culture, others try to obliterate it. Some programs continue to teach students grade-level material, others dumb-down the content in order to focus on grammar and structure. You don't necessarily have a choice with what bilingual program (if any) is available in your area, so a person should ask questions, observe, and make a well-informed decision.

Tamara Niquette said...

I think they bilingual programs depend on the student, the teacher, the school and what a parent wants as an outcome for the program. Grace is right, some programs "dumb down" the lessons - and that's not going to be very useful to parents who want their children to get an education equal to their english speaking peers. I'm not sure how to find a program that is best for you and your child though.