Tag education

Making bilingualism and biliteracy the norm

Could we retool our primary education system to produce bilingual, biliterate children who outperform their monolingual counterparts, in both languages? Amazingly, it seems we can, and it doesn’t even sound difficult or expensive.

First, a little background. You probably already have a fixed image in your mind of how language education works at the primary level.

There is ESL, where kids are pulled away from their peers for half of the day to attend what are looked upon as remedial English classes. Since ESL students divide their attention between learning English and keeping up with what their peers are learning, it is inevitable that there will be a disparity.

At the same time, for the native English speakers in the class, foreign language exposure is minimal, consisting of learning to introduce yourself, say a few phrases, and sing a cute song or two. This despite the fact that their classmates may be native speakers of these languages.

While there is a vague sense that there are some untapped synergies, English is Priority 1, so the system is not often questioned.

Every child deserves a chance to succeed. But how can a child with seemingly so much more to learn ever be on equal footing with native English speakers? And as some English-speaking taxpayers like to complain, is it even worth spending extra tax dollars to meet these foreigners at their level?
Read more

Copyright © Deep thoughts… or not.
A release valve for my mind.

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress

Back to top