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The benefits of dual language programs in schools

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In today’s landscape, we are seeing more diversity in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplace. Extensive academic experience learning a second language may considerably help job candidates. This results in a marked degree of visibility and competitive margin when applying for employment. However, some lawmakers may have a different perspective on dual language programs.

Dual-language programs have flourished across the country as employers greatly enquire bilingual, bicultural workers. Oregon, California, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois and Louisiana are among the states that are recognizing and rewarding bilingual education.

Schools are scanning their environmental precepts and demands and have come to the understanding that dual language programs are necessary to compete in this globalized world.

Critics believe the push for bilingual classrooms remains misguided. Affluent students benefit within classrooms where immigrant students are shortchanged and more or less used as unpaid tutors.

California, the first state to recognize the importance of a bilateracy component, has conferred more than 30,000 diplomas with printed seals to students. With more constituency towards the benefits of a bilingual education, the California Legislature is considering a bill that would reverse the bilingual education ban.

According to David Bautista, Assistant Superintendent in the Oregon Department Equity Unit, graduates with accredited identifications could obtain college credit or advanced placement in college courses.

More educators and administrators understand the importance of schools teaching fluency in more than one language. In other countries, this component is embedded within the curriculum for quite some time now. There are 70 dual-language programs in Oregon and the state is looking to expand on its current derivative.

High school students who earn the seal have the same level of language competency as Spanish majors who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a college or university program, replied Ron Mize, a professor in the School of Language, Culture, and Society at Oregon State University.

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