The Advantage of Being Raised Bilingual
Bilingual kids have many advantages. They may not realize it at first, but they have advantages that will help in school and in life. Some kids might be teased for being bilingual, but as they get older being bilingual will deliver big advantages. Children need to be encouraged to keep practicing their second language.
Benefits of Being Bilingual
One of the biggest benefits of being bilingual will come in the adult years. As children grow up and begin to look for a job, they will find that being bilingual helps them find a better job. Bilingual employees can speak to more people and can help keep business going. In our global community, having a large number of employees who speak multiple languages is one of the best ways for any business to get ahead. Even in local workplaces, like public schools, bilingual employees provide more ways for people to communicate with each other.
Bilingual Students Helping in School
Bilingual students can help while they are in school. As more and more families who do not speak English move to English-speaking schools, it can be helpful for bilingual students to help new families become more comfortable in school. Bilingual students can give tours and introduce new kids around the school. They can also help parents with parent-teacher conferences for translating with monolingual teachers. There are many ways that students who speaking two languages can help out at school.
Bilingual students do tend to be more open to learning. They tend to be better communicators because they know how to speak, read, and write more than one language. They want to be more involved, because they can be more involved. Their self-esteem tends to be better, but only at an older age when they start to realize how helpful it is to be able to speak more than one language.
Embarrassed by Being Bilingual
Some children are embarrassed by speaking two languages. They might be embarrassed that their parents are monolingual in a language other than English. They might be embarrassed that they do not speak their second language as well as their first language. They also might be embarrassed that they cannot write or read in the second language. Just as there are some kids who will be very proud to be bilingual, there are students who will be embarrassed and shy about being bilingual. These kids will need to be encouraged by their teachers and friends to be proud of being bilingual.
Positive Bilingual School Groups
If schools want to encourage bilingual students to be involved in school, schools need programs that encourage bilingual students to get involved. These need to be groups that are interesting and bring bilingual students together. Too often bilingual students are grouped into classes where they are encouraged to not speak their first language and taught more of the second language in ways that are geared for students who are much younger. Students who are bilingual often feel like they are treated like they are not smart, simply because they may not know how to read or write their second language.