Because of its historical and cultural specifics, the United States has rather high rates of bilingualism as a linguistic phenomenon (Destination Casa Blanca, 2009, 00:01:18). The education opportunities for the bilingual people, however, still leave much to be desired. Because of the lack of tools required to address the needs of bilingual students, the latter fail at working on their code-switching process, thus, developing difficulties in understanding the material taught at school. The problem turns out to be even more drastic for the students that study English as a second language.
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It would be wrong to claim that nothing is being done to solve the issue. The No Child Left Behind Act allows for a range of measures to be taken to facilitate the bilingual education process. While in 2009, learners were “not encouraged to maintain their native languages” (sumsmith, 2011, 00:0:35). A decade later, however, with the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act, new instructions and strategies for ELLs emerged, making it possible for the ESL students to acquire the skills for communicating in English and at the same time retain the skills of speaking their native tongue.
Though the English-only education is no longer supported fiercely in most of the U.S. (TT, 2011, 00:09:37), the tools for helping the ELLs acquire and train the necessary skills are very scarce. The number of misunderstandings in the course of communication between a teacher and an ELL student must be driven to a minimum, which is only possible once the appropriate regulations on creating new strategies for teaching ELLs are passed. As soon as a flexible approach making the process of code-switching easier for the ELLs is adopted, improvements in bilingual education can be expected.
Destination Casa Blanca (2009). A historic background of bilingual education. YouTube. Web.
sumsmith (2011). No Child Left Behind and its impact on bilingual education. YouTube. Web.
TT (2011). Bilingual education in the US. YouTube. Web.