English only–sink or swim? Yeah right! Instead of English Only Advocates worrying about bilingual education cost in our school system, why not take advantage of the skills our ethnic minorities possess to move our economy forward? They are obviously not thinking clearly, because the benefit of bilinguals, significantly outweigh the bad. To deny our youth the opportunity for upward mobility and skill to become more marketable in a worldwide capacity is inhumane. They believe bilinguals threaten to sap our sense of national identity and divide us along ethnic lines.
They also fear that any government recognition of minority languages sends the wrong message to immigrants, encouraging them to believe they can live in the U. S. A. without learning English or conforming to The American way. That is an overt, racist, and paranoid view, dont you think? The most significant issues that support bilingual education for students ability to assimilate in the mainstream culture are, the development of students linguistic resources and preserve their cultural heritage, contributions to the American economy, and diversity.
The development of a students language and preservation of their culture is essential for the upward mobility of todays youth. There always have been some immigrants who viewed themselves explicitly as the preserver and savior of their languages and heritages. Since the late 1800s, ethnic minorities in America have been consistently characterized as culturally inferior. Their language right has consistently been the subject of political review. Politicians do not have (PCC(SW) Taylor/16603/Mr. Jones/Small Group 2/23 Feb 00 the right to force people to master their language and values just because they are the dominant society.
They should encourage and support students to the attainment of bilingual or multilingual skills. They should also consider that students coming from homes where two or more languages are used will face difficulty in applying while in the school environment. The fact that so few Americans command any other language than English is largely a result of educational failure and cultural inadequacies. The American economy will benefit from bilingual education because historically multilingual personnel are smarter, academic skills are sharper, and their contributions to society are immeasurable.
English is the one language that offers the biggest market, the largest pool of talent, and the greatest probability of being able to communicate with anyone on the planet. Bilingual education is a tool for better education that children whose primary language is not English learn more easily. Industry and Information Technology dance to English lyrics. Students will have no future in the Information Technology field if they cannot command English as an effective medium of communication. Furthermore, good bilingual programs are about more than learning a language.
They should be based on a respect for diversity and multiculturalism, and parents and community must be essential partners. (Rethinking schools Vol 1. 13, #2. ). Over 80% of todays Internet WEB pages, databases and other enhancing computer programs are in English. It is in the best interest of all countries to ensure their children are bilingual and computer literate. Diversity in todays society is essential to the success of this nation. The lack of bilingual personnel has most recently created major problems for U. S. security agencies.
Specifically, Of the more than 500,000 American troops deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, the Department of Defense was able to identify just 45 U. S. military personnel with any Iraqi language backgrounds, and only 5 of these were trained in intelligence operations (James Crawfords homepage). The statement above is a perfect example of why it is important to possess the ability to read, write and speak in foreign languages. Those who oppose such diversity really must take timeout to reevaluate their philosophy.
Their views are closed minded, stupid, and most importantly serve to cripple this nations ability to remain a super power. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that multilingual personnel are generally smarter than those who only speak one language. They possess the intelligence to mix in a wide variety of cultures and share their experience with America. So I say again, why not support bilingual education? Bilingual education gives jobs and local power to members of the non-English speaking community. It also reinforces childrens identification with members of their own ethnic group.
The abilities of multilingual personnel should be exploited at all costs. I personally favor maintenance and enrichment of bilingual education. Unfortunately, the opposition of bilingualism has a great influence to change the political viewpoint. Overall we discussed the development of students linguistic resources and preserve their cultural heritage, contributions to the American economy, and diversity. As Equal Opportunity Advisors, we must exhaust every effort to ensure our students regardless of ethnicity are afforded the opportunity to explore preserve their cultural heritage.
Additionally we must push bilingualism to assimilate ethnic minority personnel into the mainstream of society. In other words, it would not impose a substantial benefit on a child to learn subject matter in two languages? No matter what the theoretical conclusions may be on bilingual education, ethnic minorities should be individually consulted and have the final word in deciding for themselves. They should be afforded the opportunity to judge for themselves, if it is in their best interest and the future to take advantage of the possibility of bilingual education for their children.