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Some Advantages of Bilingual Education

By Sarah Holt

The advantages of having a bilingual education are many.

An Addition, Not a Detraction

Knowing another language, and being encouraged to incorporate it, does not mean that the main language needs to suffer. If done in a way that allows for both languages to coexist then the advantages of bilingual education can be acknowledged without the threat that it will take away from learning the dominant language.

Understanding Ideas and Concepts

Among the advantages of bilingual education are the benefits inherent in learning about ideas and concepts in the language one is use to, and then transferring that knowledge over to the culture's dominant language. Many believe that it is more useful to transfer ideas and concepts into another language once they are understood, rather than to learn them in a new language where the understanding of it is incomplete.

Access to More Opportunities

One advantage of bilingual education is that it enables the advancement of two languages. This can be very useful preparation for later careers where bilingual workers are needed. It also allows for opportunities that may be available in other countries where that language is spoken.

Cultural Awareness

Being aware of another culture is another of the advantages of bilingual education. Every language is rich in cultural information, from the way it is spoken to the objects that are represented. One example of this is that the Eskimos have many words for snow, whereas the English language only has the one word. In describing the different snow conditions that impact their lives, their language is necessary, since the English word for it is too vague and ambiguous.

Communications at Home

Bilingual education is a better way to support communications at home. If a student is learning both languages then the bonds within their family can be maintained with the language spoken at home. This can be very valuable since any education is enhanced by family support and communication.

Other Students Can Learn From Them

Many parents today recognize the value of having their children learn another language. Bilingual students can be a useful resource in achieving this, if while they are learning the dominant language, other students are learning their language.

The controversy over bilingual schools and education will certainly continue, but despite the varying arguments there are many advantages of bilingual learning that cannot be ignored.

Note: For related content, visit the page;
Children and Education - Beyond School

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