English was not always the primary language used in schools. After English did become the official language of the United States, many non-English speaking students were left behind in the world of academia. Bilingual education programs were implemented to teach these non-English speaking students the English language. Proficiency has always been the goal. The bilingual education programs have been the center of educational controversy for years because many claim it has no merit and is not effective in aiding these children into English proficiency. Another theory emerged called the immersion theory and has also been debated among researchers, parents, educators, and politicians. Which method is the most effective in leading non-English speaking students into fluency in the English language? Researchers have examined both educational methods and made various claims. Results were mixed as some researchers found each method had its own strengths and flaws. Not only have the education methods been looked at themselves but also the political issues surrounding them such as cost, parents’ wishes, and legal bindings.
Exploring the Debate of Bilingual Education
Which educational method is the best in helping non-English speaking students to become proficient in the English language? Since immigration in the 1960s, the bilingual debate has been in existence. Since then, educators, politicians, and parents have been debating bilingual education. In 1968, for the first time, the federal government dictated how non-English speaking children must be educated. That one action spun a series of events into places such as the enactment of state laws. Also, money and effort poured into these programs that became the most controversial topic in the public education arena.
The two main arguments I encountered were either for or against two different educational methods. The two methods were called the bilingual...