The articles Bilingual ed. immersion found to work equally well by Zehr and Students learning English benefit more in two-language instructional programs than English immersion by Myers describe different approaches to learning English among children. Scientists and researchers of linguistics have repeatedly suggested that teaching a foreign language can be more effective when using various methods. In his work, Myers notes that elementary school students who learn English in parallel in two languages perform better in academic performance than those who know English directly by immersion (2014). The researcher does not identify patterns and does not establish the cause of this phenomenon. However, according to practical research, children who learn two languages do learn English better. Zehr makes a statement that there is no fundamental difference in the language of instruction (2010). Based on the findings, it can be revealed that regardless of the language of instruction, children learn the material equally well. Scientific works on the methods and principles of learning English can be actively used in the Departments of Education policy concerning ELs’ method of teaching.
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The main goal of any education is fast and high-quality assimilation of new knowledge. The higher these indicators are, the more efficient and better the educational system is considered. The use of the above research allows the Department of Education policy to introduce new practices and standards for teaching children the English language. It was previously believed in the scientific discourse that learning English is best done in the process of immersion in the language environment. When a student is unable to speak his native language, the process of mastering new words, phrases, and constructions is faster. However, recent research demonstrates an alternative perspective on learning. For the education system, this primarily means that there is more variability in the provision of academic courses. Moreover, the use of the techniques mentioned by Myers allows for strengthening the student’s knowledge of both English and the native language. Consequently, the learning process as a whole will be more efficient.
The bilingual and immersion methods have both advantages and disadvantages. In the first case, children can learn the language for a long time and understand the rules and structures. However, training can be more effective in the long run. In the second case, students at the initial stages of the educational program may not understand what is being discussed, which will significantly slow down the learning process. Almost all researchers agree that it is better to master the basics of the language and then move on to the immersion method. There is no agreement as to exactly when such a transition should be made. One study compared schoolchildren who learn English as a foreign language using their first language and those who know English exclusively by immersion without translation (Gazzola, 2017). Research has shown that the immersion method gives quick initial results, but then progress slows down. Students who studied in the traditional bilingual way progressed more slowly but eventually learned more.
The combination of approaches allows us to use the best aspects of each method of teaching English, leveling out the disadvantages. Despite the advantages of the bilingual system over the immersion method, this approach also has weaknesses, expressed in the slower learning process when a certain level of knowledge is reached. The dual method is exceptionally relevant for those with an intermediate level of English. It is suitable for students who think they are ready to start using English in a real-world setting but do not want to quit traditional classes.
Gazzola, M. (2017). Why teaching in English may not be such a good idea. The World University Rankings. Web.
Myers, A. (2014). Students learning English benefit more in two-language instructional programs than English immersion, Stanford research finds. Stanford News. Web.
Zehr, M. A. (2010) Bilingual Ed., immersion found to work equally well. Education Week. Web.