What is bilingual education?

In today cosmopolitan society it is very important to know how to speak in many languages. Usually it is hard to learn the second language, because there is lack of practice. Teachers provide only learning of theories and students doesn’t have a chance to use this language in real life. That is why many schools now choose to provide bilingual education.

Bilingual education is the teaching method by using two languages at the same time. The teachers teaches the students in their native language, but there is also used second language to teach some most important words and phrases. There might be different proportions of both languages used, because there are many different models for this teaching method.

Basically there are two models. First one is meant to help the students who are not talking in the native language of the place they are living. Nowadays here are many multi national countries in the world and lot of students have different nationalities and native languages as well. In this case the teacher mostly speaks in the students native language, but the most important terms and phrases he translates into the native language of the country they are living in. Usually the amount of country’s native language used in teaching is increased during time. The second method is meant to teach the students second language. Then most of the time teacher speaks in their native language and add some terms in the second language. These two models also are subdivided according to impact of the second language and other factors.

The advantages of this education method is obvious – students can learn another language, beside they can learn it not only theoretically, but also practically. They see how words, terms and phrases are used in sentences and they can understand the differences between similar words. Basically, it can help students to learn how to talk in two languages fluently.

There are also some disadvantages to this method. Many people believe that involvement of the other language just disturbs to learn the subject properly. For example, if the terms in math are being taught in two languages student can get confused and there is possibility he won’t be able to tell the difference between terms in native language ans second language. It also takes some more time to teach in two languages and without that teacher could dedicate some more time on teaching the actual subject.

So is bilingual education good or bad? It is hard to tell it clearly. Those who have tried this teaching method usually have good reviews, but there are also some negative stories heard as well. Most of the experts believe that this method gives good results in those cases when student have some basic knowledge in the secondary language used as well. Then the student is able to tell the difference between both languages and he won’t get confused. If student doesn’t know the other language at all, there might be some misunderstandings.

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