Why Bilingual Classes Should Be Implemented Permanently in Elementary Schools

It is no secret that the United States is a big melting pot of many different cultures and backgrounds from all over the world. If we want to communicate with all these people, then Americans are going to have to know more than one language.

In the United States, our most known neighboring country is Mexico, where the majority of their people speak Spanish exclusively. Many of these people come to the US in hopes of a better job opportunity and a bright future for their children and family. Learning a second language for these people is a must in order to succeed in life.

By knowing the Spanish language, the progressing nation of the US will be put far up ahead in terms of communication.

In today’s society, how many times have you been in shopping malls or public events and have wanted to communicate with some stranger about a certain topic but couldn’t due to a language barrier between the two of you? You want to communicate to this individual but cannot express yourself because of the frustration of not knowing their language.

Having the knowledge of that second language can help bridge the gap in our day to day interactions.

Going out to eat at a foreign restaurant and translating the menu for a friend, being invited by a relative to an event exclusively in their language and perhaps setting a good impression on your significant other’s parents.

I believe it is an outstanding advantage to know multiple languages in this challenging business world with topics such as foreign affairs and business situations.

Studies in language development show that children that are exposed to many languages at a young age are shown to have an academic advantage in their early life.

Ever heard of the phrase, “Elementary children are essentially sponges when it comes to learning?” This is most certainly true! Children of younger age are able to retain more knowledge and can easily pick up a second language, while in contrast, adults and older humans have a harder time at learning another language.

The exposure to multi-lingual learning can start way before entering Kindergarten. Just like my parents did with me. I was initially exposed to the Spanish language immediately after I was born, since both of my parents are originally from Mexico.

My mother realized that if by implementing both Spanish and English into many aspects of my life such as reading, writing, talking and watching bilingual TV shows, such as “Dora the Explorer,” I would pick up English much quicker and easier at a younger age.

The ability to be able to communicate and understand many of my peers in a different language is something I feel everyone should have. Having known English and Spanish while growing up in Texas has been a tremendous help to both my family and me. I can count multiple times where I have had to translate for my mother in many circumstances such as paying bills or setting up an appointment with the doctor for my grandparents. If not for my bilingual communication, I do not know where I would be now.

It takes about five to seven years to be proficient in a second language. Second-generation students, like myself, are raised in the United States and usually learn to speak English fluently by the time they reach adulthood. This can also be applied to young children whose primary language is English. US students can be introduced to any second language at a young and be fluent in it by adulthood as well. Students from kindergarten to 12th grade should be learning both languages so that by the time of graduation they know English and Spanish. We can all make a better future for ourselves and future generations if we learn another language!

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