Bilingual Kids

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Bilingual education is becoming more popular in the United States. However some people do not believe that it is a good use of young students time. One of the disadvantages people see is that children will be too busy learning both languages to master one or the other. The addition of a second language will work against the success of their education. Adults also believe their bilingual children might become isolated from other children for speaking another language, and might even be teased for it. Also, if the child has any sort of speech impediment, learning a foreign language will make the impediment more difficult to fix. Instead of fixing the impediment first, it will have to be addressed individually through each language.

However, with all these disadvantages to teach children to speak a foreign language too early, some people still have reason to believe it is useful for the children in the long run. If kids learn a second language at a young age, they will realize the importance of understanding language and the purpose of education. Learning another language will help children to learn even more languages with more easy and will more easily be able to become fluent. Being fluent in multiple languages opens up more jobs in the future and are better able to feel for cultural differences and peculiarities of the world. Finally, by learning another language, children will have greater comprehension with grammatical structures and will enhance their vocabulary.

So what do you think? Is teaching children a second language at a young age a good thing for their future, or a road block in their current education?

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As long as that second language isn't ENGLISH.
A lot of the bilingual proponents want children to learn Mexican. I see no reason why Mexican needs to be taught in this country. My ancestors knew Norsk, Deutsch, and Gaelic. I know English. It is very important to know the language of the country you are in.
As for learning a legitimate second language, I am all for it. In Europe they have to learn English right away, and they often have another second language requirement. I wish my own French in high school had been started earlier, like in elementary. Maybe I'd have remembered more of it.

I don't see how it could be a bad thing to learn another language short of confounding a serious speech impediment problem that needs to be addressed. Learning another language opens your mind to different ways of reasoning and thinking which does nothing but benefit the child, so what if they get teased they can find new friends and it will only help them later in life to be bilingual.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a speech impediment based on a lack of ability to pronounce specific phonemes? If it was, it wouldn't need to be fixed twice, only once to help the child create the right phoneme, which would apply to both languages.

Also, growing up with two languages, sure people thought it was crazy I could speak Korean over the phone. A little teasing. But in the end, honestly there's a reason it's "bilingual". Because they can talk two languages, just don't talk in the language you're getting made fun of for.

And nemze, I believe you mean Spanish; I do not know of a second language for Mexico :(?

Speech impediments are based on a lack off ability to pronounce specific phonemes, which I never said is wasn't. But the disadvantage is based on the fact that it can take years to fix a speech impediment in a child, and if they are leaning a second language at the same time, which may have different phonemes, the second language can get in the way of their speech learnings and cause the effort to fix the impediment to become obsolete.

As an international student, I tend to believe that being a bilingual person is nothing bad to our life. I used to learn English when I was 9 and it is true that I suffered a hard time first learning it. What's more, sometimes I have confusions about telling the differences between the two languages. However, it brings me a lot of benefits such as having the oppotunity to study abroad and living a different life here. So I agree that it has a lot of advantages.

As a child, I grew up speaking both English and Spanish. I am completely in favor of children having a bilingual education. Learning two languages at one time does not hinder a child's language development, but helps them immensely in communicating with different groups of people and be able to learn and perceive differences in grammar and sentence structure that monolingual students may not be as aware of. It's important not to narrow your awareness of the world by limiting the amount of languages you speak. Whether prejudiced Americans like it or not, Latinos are the largest growing minority in the U.S. and there is absolutely a need to learn Spanish. I say Spanish because "Mexican" is a nationality and not a language.

As a bilingual child fluent in both Chinese and English, I can attest to the fact that bilingual education is often confusing. Sometimes when I was little, I would mean to speak in one language but accidentally say it in the other. However, one thing bilingualism has helped me develop is the understanding of language structure. By learning both languages and eventually being able to do a meta-analysis of each language, it has helped me grasp what comprises meaning and structure.

While I am in favor of children having a bilingual education because of the many benefits already mentioned in the blog and the comments, it is important to think about what could go wrong with bilingual education. I read an article about how many schools in Indonesia struggle with bilingual education. In this article, it states how teachers often became overextended and wind up using improper grammar and structure which confused children and incorrectly teaches them.

It seems from what I know about bilingual education is that most students learn just vocabulary, but not the grammar that enables them to use the language they are learning. In my opinion, immersion schools are better that bilingual education for this reason.

I can speak multiple languages and I don't think there is any reason why people should not learn a second language. Although I must say even though when I speak no one might realize it but sometimes I feel like I don't know any of the languages completely to the fullest. Being born and raised in a different country and moving here afterwards, I feel like I have a lot of room for improvement. I do agree the more languages you know the better it is for future jobs and it does open up a whole new world to you. You have another form of communication when you travel and when you speak a countries language you can fit right in.
I would say there are both pros and cons but the pros for sure outweigh all the cons. Learning a second language would be best at a younger age, it makes things so much easier.

I think that having the ability to speak two different languages is a very useful skill to have. I personally can only speak English so the though of being able to and having more employment opportunities because of it sounds fantastic.

I also personally think that bilingual kids have an extreme advantage over a child that only knows one language. Being a spanish and english major, I definitely see the importance in knowing languages. Especially in the united states, where there is no language defined for our country, knowing more than one language is useful.

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This page contains a single entry by kinc0027 published on March 4, 2012 7:40 PM.

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