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Bilingual Education, Essay Example

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Essay

Globalization has not only increased economic interdependence among nations but has also increased cross-cultural exchange. Historically, migration has usually been from poor to rich countries but that may change as many developing countries including India and China are emerging as new economic powers. This may also hurt the status of English as an official trade language and give rise to the popularity of other languages. At the same time America is increasingly becoming more diverse due to both immigration as well as fast-growing ethnic minorities such as Hispanics. The changing nature of population demographics at both national and international levels has stirred off several debates including the merits of bilingual education. America should pursue bilingual education system because it will result in economic benefits to the country at both national and international levels.

Bilingual education will improve academic achievements and economic status of minority students. Many bilingual students perform poorly in English-only tests including those taken under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate due to poor English skills and not because they are less capable. Such bilingual students are discouraged from pursuing further education and often drop out of school (Bale). A bilingual education system will encourage  more minority students to pursue college degree which should also improve their lifetime earning potential.

Bilingual education will also make Americans more competitive in emerging economies many of whom are enjoying growth rates far higher than developed nations like the U.S. Bilinguals are more sensitive to the needs of other parties, more flexible in thinking and communications styles, and also more effective at creative and divergent thinking. In addition, bilinguals also find it easier to learn additional languages (Bale). The economic rise of non-English speaking economies such as China and Brazil etc. mean English status as official trade language may decline, thus, bilingual Americans will be in a better position to adapt to changing global economic characteristics.

Bilingual education will also result in greater appreciation of population diversity. 99 percent of the students in Texas’ bilingual education programs are Hispanic (Rossell) and Hispanics are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the U.S. Bilingual education system will result in all students being exposed to multiple languages which will increase their appreciation for language and population diversity. It will also level the playing field for minority students and improve their learning experiences.

U.S. is one of the most diverse countries and globalization will not only further increase U.S. population diversity but will also result in more Americans taking up jobs abroad. Bilingual education will not only improve an average American’s language skills but will also improve their cross-cultural skills. Bilingual education system will also make minority groups feel more valued and improve their academic achievements and income potential. Higher income should lead to higher consumption levels as well which will boost the national economy.

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