Bilingual Education in Colombia, South America

This year President Uribe has declared that all schools in Colombia must start teaching English and that all schools must become bilingual...although there are already bilingual schools here in Colombia, even the public schools are now required to teach English.

The bilingual schools in this country have been able to capitalize on this for the last several years charging big prices for students to be able to attend their school. Although the catch on that depends on the teachers that you hire and how qualified they are.

Colombia is to be commended for being one of the first countries to actually bring it as a mandate that all students must learn English as they realize the importance of their students needing it for better jobs.

Obviously in the bilingual schools they are going to be the ones that can afford to hire the more qualified teacher and perhaps even native English speaking but the students will all still be exposed to the English language.

The majority of the entities represented here are very excited about this and feel that this is a step in the right direction. So many of the students here have an aspiration to go to either the US or Europe so they can study another language especially English and while I don't look for this to slow that down any, I do believe that those who are really on top of this will be those who are determined to have a career which will require the English language.

What I do wish would happen is that the US would also get smart and require our students to learn Spanish and not as an elective... if countries would offer a 2nd language from kindergarten and have them study it until they leave elementary, they would be ready to choose another language by the time they go to junior high and high school.

There are so many articles proving that students should be learning languages from the time they are a toddler and be assured that this is not going to affect their maternal language as that is going to come natural at home anyway.

I encourage all comments, debates and opinions on this matter because it is one that we must face facts and get smart on so we can correct this especially for the United States because in most all other countries especially in Europe, it is a requirement to learn two, three and many of them five languages before they can graduate.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wynelle is a motivational speaker, mentor, trainer & empowerer of youth leadership helping them discover their purpose in life and for over 35 years has been a missionary to youth in Latin America & the Caribbean. She has appeared on networks of television shows including TBN and Enlace (Spanish Christian TV). She received an award for the "Most Outstanding Woman of the Year" in 1988 for her ministry to youth. Wynelle speaks, reads & writes fluent Spanish serving as a translator for the Juvenile Courts of Texas which enabled her to be more effective with the youth of today. Wynelle is now hosting her own television program for young people in both Spanish and English.

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