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bilingual education for children good or bad

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Old 31st January 2006, 02:48
Eleana Eleana is offline
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bilingual education for children good or bad

I am interested in your point of views in the hope people have not left exhausted over mavericks servants.
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Old 31st January 2006, 05:28
PRgirl PRgirl is offline
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For Eleana

Eleana it depends on which methodology you employ. The best time to teach foreign language to children is when they are really little. I would say ideally between the ages of 5-7 years old. Or even younger is best. Children can learn many languages. The problem is not bilingual education, it is about the quality of the bilingual programs. You have people who are not native speakers and or native speakers with no formal education teaching kids with bad methodology.

I find it kind of ironic that so many people in the United States hate bilingualism, especially for children in public schools. Yet when the child becomes eighteen and graduates from high school he has to have had at least three years of foreign language instruction and at the university level he or she needs to take it and pay more for the foreign language instruction to achieve the fluency they lacked in High School. The reality is that in today's world (if he or she is supposed to be considered 'educated' the student should demonstrate fluency in another language that is not English). But statistics for college graduates in the USA is not promising. Most college graduates in the USA are not really fluent in a foreign language. In fact, in most of the world outside of the USA many students speak one language at home and another at school and as such gain fluency naturally. Take for example South Africa. You have many South African youth who might speak Zulu natively at home or in their communities, and when they go to school they learn their subjects in English or Afrikaaner. Belgium? They speak French, German, Italian, English. Switzerland? multilingual. In Japan the youth study English and now Chinese and Korean for business purposes. India? You got Hindi speakers, Bengali speakers, Tamil, Urdu, etc. and English.

In Latin America such as Guatemala and Bolivia and Peru with huge Indian populations you have Quechua at home, Quiche Maya at home, etc. and Spanish in school. You might not have much literacy in some of these nations but you have bilingualism and multilingualism at many levels of socioeconomic life. I find it very ironic that in a relatively well off nation like the United States you have such provincialism and lack of foreign language fluency. The policy for its education system is to eradicate the native language of the minority language speakers at home and replace it with monolingualism until the child reaches puberty and beyond. Precisely when learning languages that are foreign becomes more difficult and there is a sharp decline in being able to speak that foreign language without any 'trace' of any 'foreign' accent on the English. It is just plain ignorant language acquisition educational policy based on politics, ignorance and classism at work. Fear of the immigrant hordes changing "American" ways. In a nation composed of immigrants one would think linguistic tolerance towards teaching many languages would be the norm, instead of the exception.

I am sure in the UK people are encouraged to at least study a foreign language and it is not unusual to find many people who speak or attempt to speak another language besides their native one.

Check out English Plus' website.
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Old 31st January 2006, 12:57
Polwarth Polwarth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleana
I am interested in your point of views in the hope people have not left exhausted over mavericks servants.
I think the teaching of languages from a very young age is a very good idea.

Eleana - on thinking it over and, in light of your interest in the Gaelic, do you mean bi-lingual in the sense of all school children learning Gaelic and English?

PS - Mavericker won't give up.... I'm almost sure he's at the wind-up here!

Last edited by Polwarth; 31st January 2006 at 14:28.
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Old 1st February 2006, 02:52
Eleana Eleana is offline
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I was thinking about bilingualism in general.

Discussions were that though it might be beneficial to children to learn a second language early there might also be a negative impact like slowing down of the linguistic development. Also in play is the question about learning/teaching a useful language which, of course, raises immediately the question, what is an useful language? Even people, who favour French so much, may never have an opportunity to put it to good use.

Didn't someone call him a wind-up merchant? hehe.
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Old 1st February 2006, 08:44
Polwarth Polwarth is offline
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My family was taught French at school from age 8, but I know that this was unusual. It was a decision made by the school itself and we parents were only too pleased to agree! My daughter graduated from Uni with two European languages as part of her degree; and became the Arab specialist for her employer (don't ask....!) and now speaks reasonable conversational Arabic and is also doing a part-time course in the language.

I DO believe that language ability is a skill - a bit like art or music... My daughter has it; I don't!




I'm not sure if someone called him that - but it's the TRUTH!!!!
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Old 1st February 2006, 14:33
akeem1903 akeem1903 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleana
I am interested in your point of views in the hope people have not left exhausted over mavericks servants.
yes i think bilingual is good for the children!

why? i am currently in process of teaching my 4 year old gaelic, although im not a native gaelic speaker myself, we have been going to classes, doing online courses, and when he says words in gaelic he is so proud of himself and me to, hopefully i will have him in gaelic school for the new session after summer just waiting for confirmation, but i would say go for it to anyone thinking of starting there children on an other language prefer the gaelic keep the language alive for the day of independence
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Old 2nd February 2006, 06:13
PRgirl PRgirl is offline
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Bilingual education is really great for children indeed. Very good for kids. The only people oppossed to it are "numpties" and even the 'numpties' would like their own children to learn foreign languages in the universities and make more $$$ than the monolinguals. The numpties react negatively in states like Florida, California and etc. because unlike Scotland in which only about 1% of the population is fluent in Gaelic (please keep it alive people) and 99% speak mostly English at home all the time, there are huge percentages of Spanish speakers who go cradle to grave and live their entire lives practically in certain cities such as: Los Angeles and San Diego, and don't ever need English to survive there. They might need it to make more income but to survive? No. They can go YEARS or DECADES without any English and live in communities in which 90% and above of their neighbors all speak Spanish mostly. The Restaurant owners speak Spanish, the Dry Cleaners speak Spanish, the Bank tellers, the dime stores, the markets, the hospitals, the radio stations, the movie theaters show dubbed hollywood films in Spanish only. I even have one here in my stated called "Cine Latino" if I want to see some Hollywood movie in Spanish dubbed or subtitled in Spanish I go. In fact that is what gets the numpties all hot and bothered. Lack of assimilation. They want the Spanish speakers who are HUGE in numbers in Southern California, Florida, New York, Chicago (practically every urban zone of any importance in the USA) to not hold on to the Spanish. They want at least the kids to stop speaking Spanish. In reality the kids learn English fast. And they stay bilingual if their families speak Spanish.

It is best to offer adult English classes for the adults who don't speak English free of charge to the community if they are really up in arms about English.

In terms of the kids, BILINGUAL EDUCATION if done RIGHT. By professional educators and language experts is a raving success! What is a failure? making a political situation with racist overtones into a 'pedagogical' decision. It has nothing to do with pedagogy the professionals have spoken and they know bilingualism, multilingualism etc. is proven to be an enhancer of learning. You learn better cognition, you enhance so many aspects of learning by being fluent in many languages. Everyone knows that. It is just not everyone is accepting of strictly educational purposes for something. They want to politicize it to score points with intolerant numpty bigots, who want to say, "why do we need to learn foreign languages anyway?" All one needs is English to make it in the world. Numpties.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...d/research.htm
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