All good teaching uses the learning tools students already have as the basis for building new skills and acquiring new knowledge. Most children enter school with basic language skills, in English or other languages, already in place; it is up to qualified teachers to use those skills to help them develop the academic competence they need to succeed in life. Children learn more effectively if they learn English through the use of their native language, which provides a contextual basis for learning and allows them to keep pace with their peer group while acquiring the language they will need to learn in order to interact effectively in today’s society.
There are several other distinct benefits to the use of bilingual education, besides its basic effectiveness. First, it preserves children’s sense of pride in the language of their parents, allowing them to move freely in an English-language dominant society while retaining an important link to their cultural and linguistic heritage. It helps protect their sense of identity, which is also strongly linked to the language and culture of their family and heritage. Today, there are also economic advantages in bilingual fluency and literacy; many jobs pay higher salaries to their bilingual employees. In an increasingly global society, the ability to speak and write in several languages is becoming necessary to effectively compete in the job market.