Importance of Bilingual Education

Most of you will be aware of the importance of globalization. The spread of the internet is already making way for a more closely knit "global village" and this will only become more so in the future. More and more people are taking up learning a second language as it not only helps to broaden their perspective and become sensitive to other people's culture but also gives a sizable boost to their career prospects.

Of all the languages that have gained importance in recent times perhaps the most sought after language today is Chinese, more particularly Mandarin Chinese. As this is the most widely spoken language throughout China, and China becoming the most important manufacturing and business hub of the world in recent times, many people have resorted to taking up studying Chinese. This trend has gained great popularity in the United States as many colleges and schools have started offering courses in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. However the west has a lot of catching up to do if it hopes to match the monumental effort been made by the Chinese to educate their youth in English. Consider the facts: about 50,000 of the 504 million total students population of the United States is studying Chinese; this in stark contrast to the almost 200 million students in China studying English. Of course the good people in the White House have something to worry about!

If we continue to keep business opportunities in perspective then also the heavy amount of out sourcing of manufacturing to China brings the importance of studying Chinese. In fact many companies naturally prefer to hire persons who are bilingual and fluent in conversing in (Mandarin) Chinese.

Although most will prefer to take up the study during their college, it is highly recommended that a language be learnt as early as possible. A small child picks up a language much faster than an adult. The National Research Council's study "Preventing Reading and Learning Difficulties in Young Children" states that children who are exposed to learning and reading at an early age make the symbol/language connection more accurately and are more likely to be learning the language much faster.

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