Being bilingual provides several advantages, both personal and professional. The ability to speak and read in both languages on a regular basis is an important key factor to hone the skills necessary to stay fluent. For children and teenagers this means being exposed to two languages not only at home, but also at school. It also means a growing need for bilingual education programs. It is imperative for these education programs to be translated properly, which is where professional Academic Translation comes in.
Bilingual Students are on the Rise – So Bilingual Education Should Be, Too
2016 marked a change in the education system of the United States, at least in the makeup of the average student body. In September of 2016, public schools became a majority of minorities. This means that, while no group alone surpasses the amount of non-Hispanic white students, slightly over 50 percent of the students now belong to minorities. Many of them are bilingual or speak a language other than English at home. This is a trend that will only continue to rise.
Bilingual education programs are a highly discussed topic, if still somewhat rare. A diverse student body could help make these programs possible, as students who purely know English would be put together with students who are native speakers of various target languages. Most of these programs are in Spanish, followed by Korean. However, many other languages would work well for these kinds of classes if there are enough students who speak them
Starting a Bilingual Education at an Early Age
Bilingual education does not just start in middle or high school. Most elementary schools provide an option for Spanish speaking students to start learning mostly in Spanish. Then the English component is slowly increased to prepare students for their following educational institutes, where English most often is still the dominant language. Even pre-schools are starting to offer bilingual programs, where children’s books are read and discussed in both languages.
Sadly, there is little to no focus on languages in American middle and high schools. Valuing the results of standardized testing above all else has led to many schools treating language classes as “extras.” But with the growing numbers of bilingual students, a greater effort will have to be made in the future in terms of integration. It is easy to overlook proper translation of academic materials due to budget cuts/lack of funds. However, it is important to understand that investing in certified academic translation services to translate textbooks and other study material is a sign of devout dedication to your students’ educational well-being.
What Does Bilingual Education Mean For Schools?
There are many avenues for institutions looking to provide a more integrated experience – both for English speaking and non-English speaking students. Academic Translation of study materials– including lesson plans, syllabi, presentations, videos, exercises and more – will be necessary so students are able to follow along. Aside from this, cultural training may be necessary to promote the most successful bilingual education possible. Teachers will need to be able to teach in both English and the target language of their students, as well as understand the differences– even subtle ones, of U.S. culture and that of any students who may have immigrated to the states. Successful schools will not only be able to teach students in a bilingual manner. They will also be able to introduce diversity and global knowledge into the classroom in a way that is still rarely done in the U.S. today.
If you want to learn more about the advantages of bilingualism see the references that follow –
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is a language service provider. We specialize in technical, medical and legal translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, website and software localization, and corporate language programs and interpreter training. We provide certified, professional translation in 100+ languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, German, and French. With over 20 years of experience, we have expertise in all major industries including the life sciences, patent and immigration law, international business, global education, and advanced technology. We offer cost-efficient interpreting and conference solutions that will meet your multilingual needs for all types of international events – business meetings, conferences, lectures or presentations.
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