The effectiveness of bilingual education in the school systems

Teacher's Corner Bilingual Education Bilingual education is the process of teaching students using two languages.

The effectiveness of bilingual education in the school systems

Fifty years ago, both South Korea and Finland had terrible education systems.

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Finland was at risk of becoming the economic stepchild of Europe. South Korea was ravaged by civil war. Grit and hard, hard, hard work. For millennia, in some parts of Asia, the only way to climb the socioeconomic ladder and find secure work was to take an examination — in which the proctor was a proxy for the emperor, says Marc Tucker, president and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy.

The Koreans have achieved a remarkable feat: But success comes with a price. Among these countries, South Korea stands apart as the most extreme, and arguably, most successful. Students are under enormous, unrelenting pressure to perform.


Talent is not a consideration — because the culture believes in hard work and diligence above all, there is no excuse for failure. Children study year-round, both in-school and with tutors. If you study hard enough, you can be smart enough. Because this culture traditionally celebrates conformity and order, pressure from other students can also heighten performance expectations.

This community attitude expresses itself even in early-childhood education, says Joe Tobin, professor of early childhood education at the University of Georgia who specializes in comparative international research.

In Korea, as in other Asian countries, class sizes are very large — which would be extremely undesirable for, say, an American parent. But in Korea, the goal is for the teacher to lead the class as a community, and for peer relationships to develop. In American preschools, the focus for teachers is on developing individual relationships with students, and intervening regularly in peer relationships.

The reality is, in the modern world the kid is going to have to know how to learn, how to work hard and how to persist after failure. The Korean model teaches that. In Finland, on the other hand, students are learning the benefits of both rigor and flexibility. The Finnish model, say educators, is utopia.

Finland has a short school day rich with school-sponsored extracurriculars, because Finns believe important learning happens outside the classroom. In Finland, school is the center of the community, notes Schleicher.

School provides not just educational services, but social services. Education is about creating identity. Finnish culture values intrinsic motivation and the pursuit of personal interest. It has a relatively short school day rich with school-sponsored extracurriculars, because culturally, Finns believe important learning happens outside of the classroom.

Sports, which are not sponsored by schools, but by towns. A third of the classes that students take in high school are electives, and they can even choose which matriculation exams they are going to take. Teachers in Finland teach hours a year, spending the rest of time in professional development.

For example, nobody speaks this funny language that we do. Finland is bilingual, and every student learns both Finnish and Swedish. And every Finn who wants to be successful has to master at least one other language, often English, but she also typically learns German, French, Russian and many others.

Even the smallest children understand that nobody else speaks Finnish, and if they want to do anything else in life, they need to learn languages. Finns share one thing with South Koreans: In Finland, only one in ten applicants to teaching programs is admitted. After a mass closure of 80 percent of teacher colleges in the s, only the best university training programs remained, elevating the status of educators in the country.

Teachers in Finland teach hours a year, spending the rest of time in professional development, meeting with colleagues, students and families. Culture is like this ether that has all kinds of things swirling around in it, some of which are activated and some of which are latent. Given an economic imperative or change in leadership or accident of history, those things get activated.

Photo via The Library of Congress.

The effectiveness of bilingual education in the school systems

That severely limits our ability to think creatively of a different kind of education. We need a major overhaul. And our antiquated system for funding schools makes property values the arbiter of spending per student, not actual values. But what will American education culture look like tomorrow?Considerations for English Language Learners Recent articles (e.g., Scott, Hauerwas, & Brown, ) have summarized research and state regulatory provisions and guidance pertaining to the use of Response to Intervention (RtI) for the identification of students with specific learning disability (SLD) who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) and .

education code. title 2. public education. subtitle i. school finance and fiscal management. chapter foundation school program.

subchapter a. general provisions. Mesquite ISD encompasses an area of approximately 60 square miles along either side of interstate in east Dallas County. It draws from the communities of Mesquite, Garland and Balch Springs, as well as areas of Dallas.

about bilingual education, and to implement the very best programs for their students, based on solid evidence. This project responded to the need f or better information about successful bilingual education. To this end, the study identified and described six successful bilingual schools.

Bilingual Education: Effective Programming for Language-Minority Students.

The effectiveness of bilingual education in the school systems

by Lynn Malarz. Why Should I Be Concerned About the Language-Minority Population at My School? American schools are changing; schools are much more diverse than they were twenty-five years ago.

Third Way Values ™. In , EdLoC began to identify the unique role a new group of education leaders of color could play in expanding the faces, voices and emphases of education reform and charting a third way for creating transformational change on a .

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