The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Embrace bilingual education in U.S.

Viewpoint by Angela Ortiz/reporter

American society questions the benefits of raising bilingual children.

The U.S. is viewed as the melting pot of the world.

Speaking Spanish was and still is a huge part of Texan culture. I am proud to be a Latino woman who stays true to her culture by keeping in touch with not only the language but also the music, food and outlook on life.

Last year, NBC had a series on the Hispanic-American experience called We the People. It questioned if being bilingual is beneficial to children because it expands their view and experience of the world, or if acquiring two languages at once will lead to linguistic confusion and slow down learning.

The Latino culture is rich because of the constant influx of immigrants, who maintain the culture and language. Spanish stays more active in families who reside in an enclave of their specific culture.

An existing variable is whether the culture is denigrated or held as something of value within the family. If family members value the culture, they are more likely to keep the language. The location can also have the opposite effect, causing the family to become acculturated.

The phenomenon of acculturated children is that they have more plasticity. The children learn more quickly than their parents and often translate for them. Research in language acquisition shows bilingual children take a little longer to start speaking and dominate both languages but also shows that learning two or more languages enhances intellectual capacities. Being bilingual has been proved to open the brain to wider amounts of learning because the brain exercises in ways that it cannot by speaking only one language.

As a Colombian college student, I fully appreciate being bilingual. In our current job market, being bilingual is a highly sought-after asset in the hiring process.

Cultures should collide to make the world a more harmonious place. The denigration of any culture is regression for our society. We must carry on with full force and achieve true equality, which so many great people who have shaped history strived for.

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