Teachers insisting students to speak solely in English while they are on school premises has been a common scenario in the past few decades. ‘’ Do not speak in vernacular languages’’ used to be written on posters indicating the significance of communication in English. But in the recent years, there has been a major shift towards bilingual education, wherein teachers use more than one language in their instructional techniques. 

What is a Bilingual Education? 

Bilingual education refers to utilising two languages throughout the academic cycle, so the course syllabus is designed accordingly, enabling students to master a second language through their academic studies. As a result, they develop comprehensive abilities in four crucial faculties, which are listening, speaking, reading and writing, all the while improving their proficiency in the first language. 

Why is Bilingual Education so Important? 

Why should the best CBSE schools in Bangalore or any primary and secondary school emphasise bilingual education? The answer lies in student learning outcomes and the fact that it would help to improve students’ analytical skills. Besides, mother tongue or regional languages are more than mere languages; it is their cultural and social identity. 

Unfortunately, the universal superiority of English as one of the primary languages tends to overshadow the regional languages. Thankfully that will change, given the increased interest in bilingual education. 

Furthermore, the National Education Policy 2020 aims to change the landscape of the Indian education system, and establishing a strong primary and secondary level education is central to it. Therefore, the policy clearly pointed out that the medium of teaching delivery till classes 5, 8 and beyond will include the regional language of students. Also, the use of a second language as aunique instructional technique might become customary in the future, something which the  Montessori schools in Bangalore acknowledges as it leads to mental growth.  

Benefits of Bilingual Education 

  • Increased Cognitive Development 

Children who learn a second language and become proficient in it demonstrate cognitive development in terms of efficient task completion. In addition, their creative thinking aptitude enhances and becomes capable of finding unique solutions to problems. Consequently, their problem-solving skills improve, and they gain greater linguistic awareness. 

  • Improved Memory  

Recent studies and research work suggest that one of the pivotal benefits of bilingual education is improved memory. When students study in two languages simultaneously, their brain observes and activates memory-boosting physical changes to the human brain. Consequently, they demonstrate the following: 

  • Improved overall brain function and health 
  • Enhanced executive function 
  • Strengthened connections between neurons
  • Better Academic Achievement 

When students receive education in their native languages, it becomes easier for them to understand concepts. Besides, they take an active interest in their learning and are able to analyse, critically examine and think about the topics further.

  • Increased Economic Opportunities 

The sole supremacy of the English language is no longer relevant in the ever-evolving world, which presents new challenges with every passing month. For instance, the corporate sector requires a multilingual workforce and the ability to execute a given task in more than one language. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that the importance of bilingual education has been noted by most schools. 

  • Cross-cultural Appreciation 

Inculcating an inherent tolerance and appreciation of diverse cultures is paramount from a very early age, something which Ekya schools puts an emphasis on. Hence, the schools should include students’ regional languages to foster a meaningful cultural exchange. For example, the classroom activities can include songs, idioms, and folk tales, enabling students to experience different cultures within one space. 

  • Improve Social and Cultural Life 

Growing up speaking more than one language encourages students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for other languages. Moreover, it will improve their interpersonal interactions, boosting their confidence to speak with people from different social and cultural backgrounds. Also, one might refer to it as the social benefits of bilingual education, which positively impacts a person’s professional and personal life. 

  • Potential to Learn More Languages 

If children from an early age are taught two languages, they will have improved focus, helping them make the right decision during any task. In effect, it will also ignite the curiosity to learn additional languages after they have mastered the two. 

In Conclusion 

Bilingual education provides comprehensive development of children from an early age because it enhances their learning and understanding levels. Therefore, when schools incorporate it in their teaching and learning mechanisms, it helps boost critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Posted by Ekya

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *