The maintenance bilingual program is specifically created to maintain and improve a student’s native language as the student tries to learn a second language.
In 1997, the National Research Council wrote a report that signifies the fact that students who are fully developed in their native language are more than likely to develop proficiently in a second language than those who do not have that benefit.
When a student can understand instruction in their native language, they are able to use those same abilities to acquire a second language. However, the maintenance program puts more emphasis on how fluent those children speak in both languages while they are in school. It should also be evident in how they maintain their academic skills.
Maintenance programs enrich and add stability to how students learn a new language. They are better able to engage and become participants of instructional work given and not just for exposure to it.
Usually maintenance bilingual programs are organized in groups of students who have the same native language. This will help them to use their native language instructions to articulate in the new language learned. The primary goal for a maintenance bilingual program is to keep the student’s skills intact while they learn a new language. It helps to develop and continue the enrichment of both languages. The student’s culture is also important to maintain so the student can feel comfortable learning a new language.
There are so much more benefits to speaking two languages. However, having a proficiency in both is an added advantage to the student. The teacher should never let the student feel as if they are giving up their native language. The student will learn faster if they can identify with the new language learned and incorporate what they know from their native language into learning the new language.
The maintenance bilingual program helps students to be more competent in English while still maintaining their own language and culture. The idea of biliteracy is encouraged. Biliteracy is when the teacher accommodates the student and allows them to learn two languages using the same curriculum.
The student is able to develop their cognitive and academic skills in both their native and second language. This would help the student to become more successful because they would be prepared both academically and cognitively.
This entry was posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 6:30 pm and is filed under Language Acquistion, Language Learning, Language Teaching, Second Language Acquistion, Second Language Learning Methods. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.