Monolingual vs. bilingual education
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The following journal discusses the complicated factors involved with educating students whose native language is not English. The problem exists in the disagreement about which type of education--bilingual or monolingual--is most effective for the second language acquisition of these second language learners. Although evidence could be found which support both types of education, it is my opinion, based upon my classroom observations, research, readings, and personal experience that bilingual education is the most effective method of educating these second language learners. A main objective of this journal is to give the reader insight into the complexities in which a bilingual student experiences as a second language learner. The skill of learning a new language not only involves memorizing and pronouncing new words, but rather, using one's personal, cultural, and literary background to make connections with this new knowledge. Bilingual education perceives the child's native language as an asset to his/her education. It utilizes the child's native language to teach him/her basic concepts with the terms and language that the child understands. This method then causes the child to be more comfortable in his/her setting and helps strengthen his/her self-concept as a learner. In my opinion, for a child to have a strong self-concept of him/herself is one of the most important gifts that a teacher can pass on to a student. Once a student's strong self-concept is established, it has the potential to allow him/her to continue to succeed in a school, community, and family environment which, in turn, helps build a strong society.