Bilingual Education: Features & Advantages
Keywords:bilingual, education, second language, learning, foreign language, bilingualism, cognitive merits
Bilingual Education is teaching an academic subject in two languages, i.e. a mother language (first language L1) and a second language (L2), with various amounts in an instructed program models. The early viewpoint about the brain tends to assert that learning an L2 negatively affects the L1 by dismissing it outside the brain, and it emphasizes that the idea of bilingualism creates a problem in the teaching process. The late researches on bilingualism disapprove the conclusions of the early researches come with and make it clear that persons who speak two languages (bilinguals) have cognitive merits much more than those who speak just one language (monolinguals). As for bilingual education in recent times, there are still contradictory opinions. Some believe that learning the first language (L1) will not hurt the second one (English) and that new knowledge learned in L1 will gradually transfer to the second language, English. On the other side, some maintain that developing the L1 will essentially affect the learners’ progress in English learning if they don’t get full English immersion. Moreover, bilingualism cannot obtain easily and that is all. To keep high-level bilingualism, learner of two languages (the bilingual person) needs to use both languages constantly and with great effort. Learning a foreign language leads to learning a different culture that widens understanding and develops humanity. And the ability to use the second language and the second culture is considered a means to achieve creative capabilities.
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