Should schools provide bilingual education for students for whom English is a second language? What is the value of teaching foreign languages to English-speaking students? What is the role of foreign languages in our educational system, and in the adult world of today?

Yes, I think schools should provide bilingual education for students for whom English is a second language. These students cannot be expected to learn a foreign language overnight. They need time and practice just as we did when we were learning English.

We should broaden our knowledge of languages because so many different foreigners move to our country in search of better opportunities. I think we should be able to, at least, communicate with them.

SANDORA COLEMAN

Roosevelt

I feel bilingual schools are a bad idea because they put foreign students at a disadvantage in not being able to communicate enough in our society. When a foreign student attends a bilingual school, that student will speak his or her native country's tongue most of the time and might use English very little in his everyday life. This hurts the individual because later on in life he or she will have to communicate with more people who only speak English.

I think it is better for these students to attend regular public schools, which should have a few foreign teachers, who should force and encourage them to speak English more in their everyday life. This will help them learn the language faster and adapt to American culture too. It should also give them a brighter future that will enable them to attend good colleges and present them with many good job opportunities.

CHRIS FREY

Wilson

Attending Woodrow Wilson, I am involved with people of all races, religions, cultures, and languages. The only problem is, I can't communicate with them due to the fact that I can only speak English. What can be done about this? Should it be that I should learn more languages or is it that the foreign students should know how to speak English.

I think it is not my responsibility or even that of the school system's, to spend a great deal of money on several programs within our American schools to accommodate these people. It takes away from American students' education which should be the number one priority.

In my opinion, if foreigners desire to come to America, the need to know fluent English is essential to survive. If they can't, then different programs should be set up away from our schools to assist in teaching English as a second language.

In doing so, the American students continue their education, while the foreigners learn our language before entering the school system.

DENIA TAPSCOTT

Wilson

Yes, I think bilingual education should be provided for foreign students. In school, it is already difficult enough for them knowing that they don't understand and are not being understood. If the school system provides the extra help they need, I think it will make their adjustment to our society a lot easier.

I know foreign languages, especially Spanish, are very prevalent in our society today, and it is probably better to learn young. So thumbs up to bilingual education for those who need it.

ANDREA UPSHUR

Coolidge

In my opinion, the idea of schools providing a bilingual education for non-English speaking students is excellent. I went to a French immersion school from first through sixth grade. I still study French in tenth grade, and am leaving for Belgium this summer for a whole year.

Thanks to my language training, not only have I expanded my learning ability, but I am also exploring a new culture. These students that take English as a second language will not only be successful students, but they will also be able to tell others about their experiences through their language.

As the world advances rapidly, so do communications and job opportunities. Many businesses now look for people who speak different languages so that they can expand their businesses abroad.

TAHOMA PATTON

Dunbar

EDITOR'S NOTE

"Students Speak Out" is a regular feature of the High School Honors pages. Topics are posted in area schools. Responses should be submitted to the faculty representative appointed by the principal.

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