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Learning English As Second Language Essay

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way,” says Frank Smith. According to the American Community survey, 21% of children age 5 to 17 spoke a language other than English. Some people believe that learning a second language takes away from learning other subjects. That may be true, however studies have repeatedly shown that learning a foreign language helps you in all subjects. Educating students early in a foreign language will benefit them because it increases their ability at problem solving, it gives them the capability to communicate with and accept people from other cultures, and it leads to a great performance on standardized tests.

First off, students should begin learning foreign languages at a young age because it increases their ability at problem solving. Caroline Edos goes on to say that “bilingual children have been found to have better skills at problem solving” (Source D). Learning a second language can lead to greater advantages in problem solving because it is a cognitive ability.  Therefore, they are capable of performing mental skills at a higher capability. Although some people believe that learning a foreign language takes away from other relevant subjects earlier in life, studies have shown that it improves their academic skills in all areas.

Secondly, students should learn foreign languages early because it gives them the ability to communicate with and accept other cultures. Abbott says that “[children] also are open and accepting of people who speak other languages and come from other cultures”(Source A 1). This explains that if they learn the new language, they will be more familiar with the people that speak it. Someone explains that high schools should have “the ability to communicate using a variety of tools in multiple situations and cultures, particularly as a member of a team” (Source B 2). High schools should make foreign language a priority because students should have to ability to communicate in these different cultures. Others may say that if you are learning a foreign language,the accent tends to remain, however they say that mixing languages together in the same sentence is a normal and healthy phenomenon.

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Finally, educating students early in a foreign language leads to a greater performance on standardized tests. A graph shows that the earlier a child learns a foreign language, the easier it is for them to learn in general (Source C). Therefore, these children are more successful and tend to outshine their fellow classmates. Caccavale explains that “students who are learning a foreign language out-score their non-foreign language learning peers in the verbal and . . . the math sections of standardized tests” (Source A 2). Although some believe learning a language takes away from the study of mathematics, the change in performances on standardized tests demonstrates that understanding the language improves their mathematical ability.

Learning a foreign language young benefits children in many ways. First off, teachers and parents should educate students in a foreign language at a young age because it increases their capability in problem solving. In addition, it gives them the ability to communicate with and accept people from other cultures, Lastly, it leads to a greater performance on standardized test due to many studies. Clearly, learning a foreign language at a young age will provide numerous benefits and advantages that will be beneficial to children their whole lives.

English As A Second Language Education Essay

3495 Words14 Pages

English As A Second Language Education

When the English as a second language learner (ESL) or the English language learner (ELL) students have achieved English proficiency, it helps students to develop their understanding of mathematics. Students then effectively use mathematical tools, charts, patterns and other strategies, as well as their prior learning experiences to make connections to solve related problems. The majority are able to transfer their manipulative exploration to solving problems with pencil and paper. Students use multiple solutions and strategies when they solve problems. They express their mathematical thinking through drawing, writing, and speaking. Students socialize their intelligence through playing games…show more content…

They need to understand all the strategies because strategies help students make meaning. The myth is until students learn English, there’s no point in trying to teach them content-area subjects. In reality, it is not necessary (or desirable) to wait until students are fluent in English before teaching them subject matter content (Carpenter, 1995). In fact, one effective way of learning a non-native language is to study content area subject matter through the media of the non-native language (McKeon & Samway, 1999).
From my own experience, many ESL/ELL students gravitate towards mathematics and towards fields where mathematics is essential such as physics, economics, engineering, etc. They assume that their language deficiencies will not handicap them as much as they would in other fields. They believe that the necessary level of English proficiency is lower in the study of mathematics because of the symbolic nature of the subject. Although learning English is essential for school success for all language minority students, the acquisition of English alone in no way guarantees that ESL/ELL students will succeed academically. Since understanding develops out of what people already know, teachers who teach for understanding constantly try to connect new problems to their students’ prior mathematical knowledge and backgrounds.

ESL/ELL Students’ Academic Advantages & Challenges

ESL/ELL students have knowledge gained in their country of origin, and this knowledge

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