Broadly define, bilingual education is the usage of two language in teaching academic content to students. The terms Bilingual teaching and Bilingual education are often used interchangeably, but in actual they are of different practices. Bilingual education refers to the usage of two language where one is the mother tongue and the other the secondary language in instructions and learning activities in a broader context of family, society and school. While, "bilingual teaching" is a necessary component of bilingual education and it involves instructional and learning activities using two language only at school (He, W., et al, 2011).
Bilingual education received much debate till now, pros and cons of bilingual education are weight on a double pan balance scale by people for and against bilingual education in decisions making for bilingual education. In china, a study of Korean bilingual school found that bilingual education encouraged facilitators and administrators in the education setting to preserve the Korean language and culture (Fang, G. ,2010). Languages are of vital importance to the distinctiveness of groups and individuals and contributes to the ability of mankind to live together harmoniously. Therefore, it's crucial to take in account of every minority languages in the education system and the effort to preserve them and this could be done through bilingual education. Policy makers and educators in many countries reasons that it's impossible to implement bilingual education due to the large amount of different languages in their county but Papua New Guinea prove them wrong. Papua New Guinea, the most linguistically diverse nation , encourages the progress of native languages and lays out the plan to use them with English in their education system (Malone, S., et al, 2011). Thus, bilingual education benefited in preserving ethnic languages and cultures, preventing them from extinction.
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Basically the higher probability for a better paid work in overseas are the reasons parents enrol their children into bilingual education. Nursing education in China implemented bilingual education in an aim to aid students who wish to work overseas to overcome language barriers and to strike out in the market as having higher abilities and skills. Apart from that processing the advantage of disseminating Chinese nursing studies and knowledge to other countries. Besides, due to socio-political importance, Korean in China, learning Chinese as the secondary language is essential for graduates to achieve proficiency in Chinese to participate in China's economic growth and direct investment of South Korea in China (Fang, G. ,2010). Therefore, bilingual education benefit globally by preparing learners to go global, transmit knowledge in and out of their country, wider job scopes, face globalization and later on make a difference in country's economic growth.
A majority reasons for the adoption of bilingual education is to help learners whose first language isn't English to gain English proficiency, There's been much debate on whether bilingual education or English as a second language (ESL) pull-out services are better in aiding English learners acquisition of English proficiency. In 1975 in Puerto Rican, bilingual education to Spanish-speaking English learners was mandate after a successful law suit. A study conducted reveals that comparing to those who have not gain bilingual education, those who receive have lower chances of gaining minimal English proficiency. Thus, this raises the question whether the nation still need to invest further in bilingual education that doesn't seem to be more effective than ESL pullout services in assisting learners acquiring proficiency in English (Conger, D. ,2010).
Lastly, debaters have argues that bilingual education is a failure, but research suggest the failure isn't because of the programme itself but due to the lack of professional bilingual educators. To bring an overall improvement in minority students' secondary language proficiency it's crucial that teacher has a proficiency in both language and understand both cultures. Bilingual education raises an issue regarding to whether the educators are proficient enough to express themselves in the minority language and children sufficient secondary language proficiency to understand them. Anaytulla. G (2008), who observed a Uighur-Han bilingual experimental class in Kashgar, observed that most of the students learning Han kept flipping through their reading materials during lessons. Conversation with one of the students revealed that they are better off learning by themselves due to unable to comprehend what the teachers were saying as the teachers have heavy dialectical accents of the secondary language and minority teachers have difficulties teaching due to their lack of proficiency in secondary language. Thus the lacking of professional educators will eventually make bilingual education ineffective.
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I certainly will promote bilingual education as bilingual education contributes to the greater development of individual well being in life, contributes to globalization, and the peaceful coexistence of mankind. Bilingual education had me equipped with three main languages that helps me in every aspects of life. A sociolinguistic environment is crucial for bilingual education to take greater effectiveness as the people in the environment alternately use two or more languages for intercommunication due to the diversity of culture and languages. It would be unfavourable to promote bilingual education without the existence of sociolinguistic environment, as it provides the natural practice of bilingualism in daily life. Districts with weak sociolinguistic environments people must rely on school education to master second languages as it provide learners very few opportunity for contact with the secondary language, it affects the proficiency of second language acquisition, unable to build the awareness of the importance of the secondary language in students, leading to lack of motivation, hence result in ineffectiveness of bilingual education (Anaytulla, G. ,2008).
In conclusion, bilingual education does have its pros and cons, but the advantages from an effective bilingual education benefits individuals and the society directly indirectly in terms of self well being , economic growth and globalisation.