Despite the typical application of bilingual education during the middle or high school age, it should begin during elementary school. This should start because children are finding themselves during this time, and what kinds of hobbies they enjoy. They are introduced to things like music, physical education (P.E.) and art during this time to help get a jump start in their creativity, which is extremely important for success during school and after (Corbin). During this time children can be taught to respect other cultures and learn about what others believe and how it compares to their native culture. This will be available through a class starting in elementary school that will be allow the children to apply the language they are working hard towards learning.
Children during elementary school are exposed to many classes intentionally, including music, art and P.E. These classes allow children to become more creative and find themselves in new ways. A second language being implemented into elementary schools the same way as music, art and P.E. are taught can also assist them in a new way. An example of this was when Destry Adams completed a study showing that bilingual children can focus on specific tasks and prioritizing the importance of different things better than monolingual children (Adams). This will be able to assist them as they grow up and go onto their future jobs, this will let them pick a job they both enjoy and are good at. While some may prove the point that in places like Hillsborough County there will be nearly 164 less job for bilingual aides (Sokol) this is not always the case as the work in California has nearly doubled. They only account for 12 percent of the work force, yet they have 19.4 bilingual job ads (NAE), this shows that in different areas there will be different opportunities. Jobs for bilinguals may be harder to come by in specific areas like smaller towns, but this education won’t go to waste even if their job is not all focused around a second language. These languages can be used in more than just the work force such as helping someone who doesn’t know English or even educating someone about the background of the language and how they learned it. This education will give them a sense of appreciation for their own culture and the respect towards a new culture.
Learning a second language can also give children an understanding for other countries culture and what they believe in, this can help show children the importance of what they have and how to respect what others have. As children are practicing a foreign language there is a sense of admiration that they can learn for their cultural values and their ethnicity. This will allow them to build relationships with people in the new areas as they study about the culture and what makes it special to the locals. They can also learn about the differences in the new language structurally and verbally compared to their native language. Colin Baker brought up the concern that bilingualism can cause language problems (Baker) he further explains that not all problems are because of bilingualism, but it is very possible for it to cause issues. What he means by language problems is the child not taking to a language causing them to be lost and not find themselves. This can arise if a child isn’t exposed to either language enough and can be avoided through field trips and events held through the school to teach the children about the other culture of the language, and through speaking the native language at home and foreign language at school. This can be effective as they will be exposed to their native language and that culture at home and the foreign language and their beliefs at school. This will allow the children to be more active in the community as they can volunteer at events that need bilinguals and find themselves appreciating the heart and history of the language as they teach new people about the language and where it originated from and where people use it geographically.
All of this can all occur within the local schools as a program that parents can sign their child up for. The class will be built into the week the same as every other elementary school in Pasco County, each day will consist of a different class, music, art, P.E., and foreign language. There will be a professional linguist teaching the class allowing for the best teaching. Some parents may be concerened about their child losing their sense of identity into a new culture, but there will still be plenty of exposure to English and their culture as the class will only be once a week. The class can be a specialty class as there will be limited admissions into it and it may have to have certain grade requirements. These requirements could advance as the child goes into middle school and they have to volunteer and help the community applying their second language. Once the class has begun the children will learn different things depending on their level, but no matter the level they will be able to apply their new language in a tangible way. The school can provide events for children to use their new skills as they do field trips or attend seminars about a foreign culture. The class that children part take in will also be able to help them in their future such as getting a job or getting into college as it will be specialized and have certain requirements to make it or stay in, this will motivate children to keep their grades up.
Overall, bilingual education being implemented in elementary school education is beneficial in many of the same ways as P.E., art and music. This will allow them to learn about new cultures and appreciate the heart and history of what they are learning. The second language will be able to be applied through the class while they are in school as the school can do trips and events where the children can apply their new knowledge, and after school they will be able to use it in college or for studying abroad. It will be easily accessible through a class that will begin during elementary school and will be available until the child graduates from high school. Moreover, this will be a big advantage to children in the future and their knowledge on others culture.
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