Bilingual Learning: Advantages & Disadvantages
Bilingual Learning: Advantages & Disadvantages
Bilingualism is the ability to speak two distinct languages. Although before diving into the aspects of bilingual education or Learning, it is essential to understand that the native language helps form the foundation of learning in every child. When a child grows up speaking and learning two languages, they are likely to have a bigger world of meanings than those who speak only one language.
There is this phenomenon of language acquisition which is how a native language is learned. One can have the skill or acquire it. For example, learning through writing requires a lot of work, whereas speaking seems effortless and natural.
Learning a second language not just helps personality development but is keen on cognitive development as well, as the speaker can switch attention, work on memory, and become a multi-tasker.
Bilingual Learning is learning two different languages simultaneously. It is a widespread phenomenon worldwide and is experienced by most students, especially in India, where the students are required to learn their native language with english as a second language.
What are the advantages of Bilingual Learning?
There are multiple advantages to bilingual Learning and reasons why it is still a significant yet prevalent part of Indian education.
It is easy to learn a second language-
Learning a second language, especially by children, is much easier as they grab onto learning quickly and don’t feel much embarrassment while practicing. Both the process of Learning works simultaneously, helping them majorly in development.
The information they absorbed is apt to their mental ability and less complex for their age, although the complexity does rise with generation but still needs to be undoable.
It is a way forward to multilingual Learning-
Learning a foreign language makes it easier to learn other languages and brings fluency to learning the previous language. This helps brain development, increases concentration, and reduces the time it takes to transition from one task to another.
Learning a second language encourages wisdom. As it comes from personal experience, learning a new language increases the amount of new knowledge and experiences. It also increases the potential of pursuing studies abroad, expanding the exposure to learning about new cultures and experiencing them.
A child doesn’t necessarily care about issues important to adults, such as same-sex marriages. However, they care about exploring, making new friends, and learning about new things and cultures. Learning a second language allows them to explore diversity in different cultures and be a part of them.
Increases prospects for future opportunities-
Being bilingual offers numerous opportunities in the future for other cultures and domains. In addition, fluency in two or more languages makes you an ideal candidate for jobs in vocational paths. It also creates opportunities in the local market and increases the chances of getting a higher salary.
Improves working memory-
Learning bilingual languages help improve working memory. It also allows students to experience lower anxiety levels and is less likely to develop any mental health disorders. It also helps them make new friends and enhance their capabilities when exposed to new concepts or experiences.
What are the disadvantages of Bilingual Learning?
As discussed below, there are a few downsides to bilingual education or Learning.
Lack of qualified assistance-
The teacher should be fluent in both languages for the students to learn bilingual languages simultaneously. In addition, they should have adequate knowledge and patience while having little expectations for their student’s progress. With modern education, teachers need help to fulfill the minimum requirements sufficiently.
Split students’ concentration-
Learning bilingual languages can split the concentration of students, especially for those students who find learning a second language difficult, as they’ll direct their attention and concentration more toward learning the second language. As a result, they’ll spend more time catching up with the second language and be left behind in learning life skills.
It prevents involvement in local culture-
Although learning a second language is advantageous, it does have downsides too. One of them is the cultural gap between the student and the local culture as they spend more time isolated or with friends from different cultures. Moreover, this gap worsens as the next generation gets more isolated and equipped with other cultures.
Bilingual Learning is a little expensive-
Foreign language learning courses are costly. Due to this, most schools only prefer them in their curriculum if mandated. However, education in a single language is more accessible and allows educators to provide vital skills students may require.
Learning a second language has pros and cons, but understanding them and finding a balance is the key. It helps understand a different culture and experience new things and is a crucial part of India’s education system. Best schools in India emphasize learning other languages apart from a native language, such as Sanskrit, which gives a sneak peek into Indian history, and English to learn and be a part of the global integration that is taking place in the modern world.