Bilingual education is a method offered in modern language schools, as well as in comprehensive schools and secondary schools. In bilingual education the teaching material in at least one school subject is taught in a different language than in the ordinary language of instruction, or it is the whole course material generally taught in more than one language. It can also be the language of instruction in the same compartment switch to different classes. Lately, more and more primary schools with bilingual education provide language acquisition through the immersion.
The target of a bilingual subject teaching is based on the model of the Bilingual Triangle, which implies that students should learn to communicate adequately substantiated scientifically with members of other languages and cultures:
- about their own experiences, their own world, and their own culture and society;
- of phenomena, situations, and circumstances of the target language cultures and societies;
- of phenomena, situations, and issues of cross-cultural, global or universal significance.
Student writing their research paper on bilingual education should note that there is not yet sufficient comprehensive studies in this field. Usually only subareas have been scientifically verified, so there is not a closed theoretical foundation for bilingual education.
Primary is the language competence of students promoted in the first or second foreign language, since much is spoken and not just read or heard. The early promotion of language skills also leads to secondary successes such as creativity, flexibility, or an expanded horizon of knowledge. In addition, the bilingual teaching deepened by the practical application and understanding of others and their own culture (change of perspective by changing the language) and removes language barriers.
In bilingual education all the vocabulary of the particular subject being taught is used. In addition, typical shape set positions and turns, since most “real” teaching material is used, but there are some (few) materials that are specially designed. These materials include, for example, as an target language idioms aid lists. Often they also integrate the own cultural perspectives of students in the tasks to stimulate reflection.
Studies at the University of Wales and the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg came to the conclusion that bilingual education brings almost only advantages. A study of bilingual German – French lessons in the Swiss Canton of Valais (from the University of Neuchâtel) found that children who participated in bilingual education from an early age, not only learned the second language faster, but also improved their general language skills. Deterioration of the first language was not detected. Also published in March 2006 Summary of the DESI study (German-English student achievement-International) speaks of remarkable success of bilingual education:
“Bilingual education offers a successful model for promoting language skills, mainly in high schools and junior high schools. DESI examined in addition to the cross-national representative sample of 38 classes from the seventh grade at least in a subject, but usually in two to three subjects (e.g., geography, history, biology) where English had been used as a language of instruction. Such additional learning opportunities affect the English performance of these students, and in particular their communication skills, particularly positive: their progress is very considerable.”
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