The benefits of a bi-lingual education | Madison Bonaventura | TEDxPascoCountySchoolsED

Translator: Yara Toledo
Reviewer: Denise RQ Hi. My name is Madison Bonaventura, and this is the benefits
of bilingual education. As most of you know, the United States of America
is referred to as ‘the melting pot.’ This is because our ancestors
came from all over the globe to make up the population of the USA. We’re all diverse. Because of this, The USA
has no official language. However, the majority
of our schools are taught in English. The students who speak
a language other than English usually feel lost and confused,
but there’s a solution to this. The solution is bilingual education. In a bilingual classroom, the teacher teaches in both English
and the students’ native language. The switchover is done
gradually, over time, in order to give
the students time to adjust. Bilingual classes focus on the students
being fluent in both languages, and holding on to their culture. Sadly, a less effective alternative
is being used in Pasco County classrooms today. It is named “English to speakers
of other languages,” or ESOL for short. In an ESOL classroom,
the student is removed from the classroom for a period of time
in order to learn English, although all of the other classes
are taught in English. There is a major problem
with ESOL education. Unlike bilingual classes, ESOL classes do not focus on the students
being fluent in their native language. This becomes a problem when the family
and the friends of the student are not fluent in English either. If the student is learning English well
and forgets about their native language, then they will have trouble communicating
to their family and friends. However, if the student
does not learn English well, then they will not succeed
in their other classes because if a student
does not understand the language in which materials are being taught,
then the content is completely lost. It’s a lose-lose situation. Dylan Garity makes this point
in his slam poem called “Rigged game,” by saying: “Learning to read
in a new language before you can even ready in your own, is like learning to walk
while a pit bull is chasing you, like learning to sing with
the conductor’s fist down your throat.” Bilingual education
is a more logical approach to teaching English Language Learners,
or ELL students. The knowledge that students get
through their first language helps make the English they hear
and read more comprehensible. According to the National Association
for Bilingual Education, in 2000, Oller and Eilers
compared 952 students enrolled in bilingual
and in English immersion programs. It recorded that bilingual children scored
higher in English Literacy by 2nd grade, and got that widened
significantly by fifth grade. This proves that ELL students learn better
when they’re in bilingual classes. There are also economic advantages
that come with being bilingual. Many jobs pay higher salaries
to employees who are bilingual and to erase the students’
native language from their vocabulary eliminates this opportunity. But, this not only applies to ELL students but also to students who have been
fluent in English all of their lives. Being in bilingual classes
will give the students this opportunity. Some may argue that,
“Hey, students are required to take at least two years
of a foreign language class, why would they need this?” Well, Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton said that if being fluent in a language
is the same as being an expert, then a learner may well invest
10,000 hours in their language studies. With this being said, we should also know that the hours dedicated
to a foreign language class within those two years, is only 192 hours, so having this program will
benefit every kid for the better. (Applause)

1 thought on “The benefits of a bi-lingual education | Madison Bonaventura | TEDxPascoCountySchoolsED”

  1. Good job, Madison. Great points with great quotes and statistics in support. Well done on speaking without notes too. God bless

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