Bilingual Education - Definition, Types, Characteristics | Why is Bilingual Education Important?

Bilingual education is nothing but teaching the academic syllabus to students in two different languages. Usually, educators teach students in their native language and second language in the classroom. Bilingual education helps students to develop multiple skills in the second language. Continue reading to know the importance of bilingualism, its history, types, advantages and disadvantages in academics from this page.

What is Bilingual Education?

Bilingual Education is the process of using two different languages in classroom instructions. It is a two-way or dual language immersion. The main intention of this program is to teach students the native (English) language along with the second (non-English) language.

During this systematic program, the teachers teach the academic subjects in both languages as per the instructions in the academic program. After the completion of the course, the students are able to speak, read, write, and listen the second language.

Bilingualism not only helps students master both languages but also improves their understanding of every culture. The goal is students should be able to communicate in both languages.

Benefits of Bilingual Education

In the modern world, bilingual education plays an important role and offers various benefits to the younger generations. It enables students to learn two languages. The potential benefits are increased mental flexibility, improved intercultural skills, and increased opportunities for global exchange and trade.

Global Citizens People who learn two languages are invaluable in today's world. They can find employment opportunities throughout the world.

Psychological Benefits Another benefit is you can translate words from one language to another easily. So that students can understand the concept and they can act as translators between the two.

Language Proficiency Students are able to communicate in two languages perfectly.

Understanding Cultures Bilingual is about understanding cultures. People combine, and blend aspects of the cultures that are living, making linguistics, and cultures as per the needs.

Career Opportunities People who have bilingual education have more career opportunities than monolingual. They can get employment in both languages across the world.

Improved Memory The students who study bilingual education score the highest marks compared to monolingual.

Also, Check

Types of Bilingual Education

Here mentioned are the several different types of bilingual education program models.

Immersion Bilingual Education Immersion is a type of bilingual education where subjects are taught in the student's second language. Here the subject is entirely taught in the second language. There are different facets of immersion in schools.

Transitional Bilingual Education It involves education in the student's native language. When the student's English proficiency is deemed satisfactory.

English as a Second Language In a few schools, the English language is selected as the second language. Students are learning English as a second language because English has been assigned communicative status in the country.

Late-exit or Developmental Bilingual Education In this model, the education is in the student's native language for an extended duration. The main goal is to improve literacy in the primary language and transfer these skills into the second language.

Effects of mother-tongue instruction Education in their mother tongue and other languages has proven essential for their personal and educational development.

What are the Challenges of Bilingual Education?

  • People may have a lot of questions when considering bilingual education for their children.
  • Few people see bilingual education as needed proficiency in the second language, whereas others think of it as developing skills in the second language.
  • Students learning education through a second language need to be systematically supported over a period of 5 to 10 years in developing skills by using academic language.
  • In few cases, bilingual education is for the whole school.
  • Bilingual education is a different program and it requires researching, designing, planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Bilingualism Pros and Cons

Here we are providing the Bilingual Education pros and cons details.

Advantages of Bilingual Education

  • It offers cultural awareness
  • You may be able to work abroad
  • Personal development
  • Improves automatic adaption of new languages
  • Improve mental strength
  • May be interested to learn new things
  • Gain better career options
  • Easy to participate in exchange programs

Disadvantages of Bilingual Education

  • You may feel difficult at the starting
  • It needs more learning time
  • It can be costly
  • Not so many schools offer this system
  • You can provide less time for other activities
  • May increase stress levels of students
  • Higher administrative and planning efforts
  • Lack of qualified teachers

FAQs on Bilingual Education

1. What is the purpose of bilingual education?

The main goal of bilingual education is to enable English language learners to become proficient in reading, speaking, and writing in the English language through literacy development and academic skills in the native language and English.

2. What are the characteristics of bilingual education?

The different bilingualism characteristics are here:

  • An English language development component
  • High expectations for students and clear programmatic goals, and many more.
3. What are the types of bilingual education?

The types of bilingual education program models are immersion bilingual education, transitional bilingual education, English as a second language, effects of mother-tongue instruction, late-exit or developmental bilingual education.

4. How does bilingual affect learning?

Students with a bilingual education system will achieve more scores than monolinguals on the number of tests of solving tasks, non-verbal problems, and mental flexibility.