The Bilingual Debate

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I just don’t get it. The video is about whether or not bilingual education should be the way to go for Latino children trying to learn English. Pretty simple premise, yet from the dozens of comments made on NBC Today’s website after the broadcast of this video, most people didn’t get it.

For the majority it’s the same old argument, this is AMERICA (so is México, by the way – and all the other countries in the continents that comprise North and South America) they SHOULD learn ENGLISH.

Samples (excuse the spelling mistakes, but this is exactly how they were written on the website):

Lisa Savage Crown Point NY 12928 says: “AMERICA this is where ENGLISH is the language.
Why should we change? I have no problem with others coming to our country BUT keep it that way our country.”

Mike Ball Stearns,Kentucky says: “Ithink they should be taught in English only. If we went to their country we would be at a disadvantage and they would not make special accomadations for us or childern in their school systems, so why should we accomadate them. If you are going to stay in this country learn to speak English.”

But, who’s talking about NOT learning English? The issue at hand is HOW it should be done. Why is that so difficult to understand. I don’t get it. Maybe they just didn’t watch the report…

Fortunately, some of the comments did talk about the benefits of bilingual education, the importance of knowing two or more language in today’s society.


Heather Schild, Chicago, IL: “Not only is bilingual or dual language education important for Latino students, but it is also significant for all students.  Who would not be benefitted by learning and knowing two languages from a young age?  Not only is it an asset, but it is fair.”

Sarah K., Richmond, VA: “I think that it is a wonderful step forward for American school systems to adopt a bilingual curriculum.  This would not only help Latino students reach academic success, but it will help other students broaden their horizons and become more cultured.  I attended schools in Fairfax Co., VA and graduated from high school in 2001, I would have loved a bilingual program and think that it would have been a great benefit to me in college and beyond.
Let’s also not forget that the United States does not and has never had an official language.”

In case you’d like to know more about the awesome advantages of dual immerssion education (also known by some as bilingual education), I suggest you first check out this post which gives you a general description. For more specifics on how this system actual works, go here. And, to read about how a specific school district is accomplishing their goal of raising students bilingual in this country, check out this post.

Hopefully, the fact that a major television network is paying attention to this issue, will shed some of the ignorance surrouding this important education aspect.

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