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Bilingual Education

Education is only a ladder to gather fruit from the tree of knowledge, not the fruit itself.           

Albert Einstein 

Recently, there are more and more talks about bilingual education.

Such education that involves the active practice of learning in two languages is used the most dynamically in educational institutions of countries, where in a society multiple languages prevail. And it may be a situation, where two languages are state (Canada, Finland, Chad, etc.), and a situation, where other than the state language the language component of present minority is expressive (for example, training in the Baltic States).

Besides bilingual programs increasingly accompany schools, colleges and universities, where much attention is paid to the study of foreign languages, international cultures, and where the task to create the conditions for maximum immersion into intercultural language environment is made. However, bilingual education can now be found already in pre-school institutions (schools of early development, kindergartens).

Enormous contribution to the popularity of bilingual education at an early stage was, for example, the world-famous project “LIGHT”, actively supported by countries such as Germany, France, Austria, and Finland. It is believed that bilingual education, “given” at an early age, is most effectively. Because children are more open to the new. They do not have all kinds of barriers and stereotypes.

However, bilingual education has both supporters and opponents. There are both pros and cons of bilingual education can be found.

Pros

Cons

1)     Bilingual education allows the student to feel comfortable in a multilingual world;

2)     Training built on this principle is an opportunity to study in one of the world’s languages, without losing touch with the ethnic language group (this can be observed, for example, if students go to study abroad, in addition this example is very typical for training immigrants);

3)     Bilingual education enhances the “borders” of thinking, teaches the art of analysis;

4)     Bilingual programs allow a person to not be afraid of language misunderstanding barrier and make students more adapted to the study of other languages, develops a culture of speech, expands vocabulary;

5)     Learning several languages contributes to the development of communication skills, memory, makes the student increasingly mobile, tolerant, flexible and relaxed, and therefore more suited to the difficulties of multi-faceted and complex world.

1)     Sometimes under the guise of language integration, a person enrolled in the bilingual education program can actually be under assimilation, lose touch with his native culture. On the one hand, there is certain cosmopolitanism and, on the other, knowledge is scattered;

2)     Unfortunately, in order bilingual programs really work properly, not only their presence is important, but also the professionalism of teaching. Otherwise, a kind of educational failure is observed, due to which a bilingual education is under the opinion-“tail”: “The student really does not know the native language, let alone the foreign one!”

 

So, of course, bilingual education has much more advantages than disadvantages. But in order that balance is not lopsided in the wrong direction, the attitude to the bilingual education must be treated very carefully, delicately and, above all, professionally. Amateurism is not acceptable!

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