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English as a second language - are educators doing a disservice to students?

Ethnic populations are increasing throughout the United States of America. Population auditors are predicting the ethnic populations to increase even further in the future. Many more ethnic students are entering the American school systems with little or no English comprehension. The current trend in the pedagogical processes is to teach English as a second language to students with language ethnicity. The students' native tongue is their primary language; whereas, English is taught to the students as a second language. Are we, as educators, doing a disservice to these students by teaching English as their second language? Educators substantiated the move to English instruction as a second language with many arguments. These arguments require reassessment. English should be taught as the primary language to ethnic students.

Nowhere in the world does another country put their native language secondary. The naive tongue is always the primary language taught to students in schools. Russian educators teach Russian as the primary language to theft students. Japanese educators teach Japanese. In France, educators teach French to their students. The native language is always taught as the primary language.

A student of ethnic language does not lose his/her identity by being instructed with English as his/her primary language in school. The student has left his/her country of origin, and when residing in the United States of America (or any other country) is enhancing his/her identity. The student who now resides in the United States of American has left behind the country of origin's language as well, no longer living in the country where the ethnic language was primary. The ethnic language should now become the secondary language with English taught to the student as his/her primary language.

As a third world country takes three steps backward when a first world country takes one step forward in advancement, so will the ethnic student who is taught English as a secondary language. The English skills of the ethnic student will never be able to compete with the student who always was instructed with English as the primary language. English, while living in the United States of America, reaches a greater audience, The ethnic language retains the student within the "ethnic pocket" populations. The student remains ethnic language tied to a smaller populace than a student more fluent in English who can avidly communicate in English across ethnic boundaries. As the current generation is taught English as a second language, the future generation will learn from the current generation. The future generation again will not be as fluent in English as those who are taught English as the primary language.

As the ethnic populations continue to increase, more and more ethnic students will continue to be deficient in the English language if they are taught with English as their second language. The quality of the English language in the United States of America will deteriorate. English, in the United States of America, will become full of jargons, mispronounced words, misspellings, and have an abundance of syntactic and semantic irregularities. Does the United States of America want to lower the standards of its native language? If the ethnic groups continue to increase, as the population auditors are predicting, English may become the second language of the United States of America.

Educators must maintain high standards of English instruction to all students. This includes oral as well as written English Skills. When a person is language illiterate (reading, writing, and speaking) the person's chances for success are minimal. Educators must reevaluate their reasonings as to why they are teaching English as a second language in today's schools.
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Author:Czubaj, Camilia Anne
Date:Sep 22, 1995
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