Detrimental Effect Of An Education In A

Foreign Language Essay, Research Paper

The Detrimental Effect of an Education in a Foreign Language California passed a proposition in 1997 that ended funding for

teaching children solely in their native language. Instead of these programs, opulent citizens will provide funding for the English

as a Second Language (ESL) program in California’s public schools. These ESL classes will have non-native speakers learn

subjects in English and their native language simultaneously. Even though the proposition passed, the issue of which plan is more

beneficial continues to spark debate. On the one hand, ethnic groups say the law is unjust because their children cannot

understand English. They argue that their children need to be taught in their native tongue. Most tax-paying residents of

California endorse the new standard because their tax money is being used for their child’s education, and not being used for

teaching children in another language. Results are evident even though the ESL program has been used for only two years. The

ESL method is more effective because of the removal of flaws such as unnecessary costs to the taxpayer, slower advancement

in grade level, and the detrimental effect to education in California. The primary fault of the old system was that California

taxpayers were not receiving fair representation. In general, most taxpayers were English speaking, and Heda 2 consequently

wanted English to be the language that was used in their schools. Most of the immigrant parents were in California legally but

not paying taxes. Even though they were not paying for services such as a police force or fire protection, they still felt entitled to

send their children to public school. Since their children did not speak English, they wanted school to be taught only in their

native language. However, it remains unjust that people who do not pay taxes have any say in how the educational system is

conducted. Fortunately, the ESL plan eliminated all forms of public funding for teaching non-native speakers. Private money is

used for the ESL program. Thus all of the tax money will be going towards the education of the children whose parents paid

taxes. Ultimately tax money is better allocated under the ESL plan. The second major problem with the old system was that a

child’s education was being adversely affected in the long run. Basic elements, such as reading and writing, are important to

develop at a young age. Even if a child learns these basic skills in a language that is different from the one that is spoken in

society, it remains detrimental to their future because it inhibits their child’s participation in society. The old plan of teaching

children in their native tongue was only hurting students by preventing them integrating themselves into the larger society.

Admittedly, some students would have an easier time learning some subjects because they were taught in their native language,

but they would now be able to translate their knowledge into achievement of language barriers. Although the ESL program

takes much more time to teach children in both English and their own respective languages, it would have a more effective

long-term outcome. The ESL program bridges a gap between their language and English, as Heda 3 opposed to the old plan

that left them mired in their old language while lived in a society where English prevails. Once they complete the ESL program,

they would be able to live comfortably in society because they could deal with people without any language problems. Their

communication skills would be enhanced, thus they could easily comprehend and respond in subject or field. Children who

were subjected to the old plan were being incarcerated within society because they were held back from learning English. The

ESL program rectified this by combining their old language with English, thus helping students make a smoother transition. The

final element that has made the ESL program more effective than the old plan was it offered improvement of the California

educational system by incorporating English much earlier in a child’s education. Under the old plan, even graduates were not

proficient enough to go to college, or even do well in upper-level high school courses because they had little exposure to the

English language. For instance, when they took standardized tests or tried to write college application essays, they were simply

at a disadvantage. Nationwide, certain statistics are used to measure how well an educational system is performing, and when

California used the old system, they produced lower standardized test scores and lower college admission rates. The ESL plan,

by integrating English slowly with a native language helps these children later on when they want to achieve their educational

goals. It will boost their performance, because standardized tests and college application essays are in English. Attending a

good college would now become possible for most students a result of a strong background in English. ESL will increase

performance on standards that are used to evaluate an educational system. Heda 4 After only two years of being in effect in

California, the ESL plan has shown dramatic corrections of the flaws of the old plan, which entailed educating non-native

speakers in their native language. This old plan was deteriorating in entire scope of education in California. The ESL plan has

eliminated a tax burden for the citizens, helped the development of the individual education, and has improved the California

educational system. Over time this plan will enhance these effects and possibly create other positive by-products.


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