America, as a melting pot, receives a variety of people around the world and consists of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics and so on. Consequently, there are enormous children of immigrants. Then, although America is an English-dominant country, there are many languages, like Chinese, French, Spanish and Japanese, etc. America should take advantage of its particular multi-language environment and enrich the content of elementary schools in America. Therefore, from historic and modern perspectives, all elementary schools in America should be bilingual to make young children better adapt to the new environment and meet the new requirements.
Firstly, most of children are “heritage speakers”. Kagan(2014) notes that most of young children of immigrants need to speak their parents’ native language at home, though they speak in English at elementary schools. Based on the findings from the survey conducted by the Census Bureau, people can learn that there are 21 percent of people who speak a language other than English in America. In California, there are 44 percent of residents who speak another language other than English at home. In Los Angeles County, the number crest to almost 57%. However, people need to admit that the majority of young children gradually have no literacy in the language they speak.
They are unable to speak their parents’ language and just say English. As a result, American government needs to implement a far-reaching policy committed to maintaining and enhancing the skills of heritage speakers. Bilingual education in elementary schools is a beneficial way to safeguard diverse languages and make these children remember their cultural identity as well as traditional heritage.
Additionally, elementary education plays an essential role in promoting child’s skills in language. Bilingual education in elementary schools is necessary for students to keep an open and inclusive attitude towards cultures and ethnics. Williams(2017) introduces what happens in Stephanie Lugardo’s second-grade classroom where students chatter with each other in English and Spanish. According to a ” dual-immersion” program, children can become fully bilingual in the process with enjoyment. At the same time, the needs from a linguistically diverse population will be met by various kinds of programs guided by bilingual eductions.
Besides, the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA has conducted a survey in the recent years and it finds that numerous students would choose to formally study their home language when they enter college with the aim to learn more heritage and culture as well as linguistic roots. Therefore, once elementary schools implement bilingual education, children can not only better communicate with their relatives, but also gain more knowledge of heritage as well as promote their formulation of their cultural identity.
Thomas (2016) points out that, when people live in the 21 century, coupled with globalization, the boundary between nations, ethnics and cultures, is gradually broken. At the same time, the gap between people also be shortened. Children in elementary schools should have the opportunity to learn diverse languages to improve their language skills so that they will have more capacity to compete with others.
People need to admit that language skills need to be nurtured at home and in the classroom. Elementary schools should shoulder its responsibility to introduce diverse knowledge and cultures to students instead of teaching them in accordance with textbooks. Bilingual eduction in elementary schools is helpful for children to maintain and develop their own heritage and cultures. When children speak other languages other than English in elementary schools, they would share their particular cultures and perspectives with other children, which is beneficial for them to form a cultural identity and progress at a faster rate. Overall, all elementary schools in America should be bilingual.