The political shifts of the 20th century greatly curtailed bilingual efforts and recent political views against it have raised the issue once again. Advocates of an English only system have pointed to the need for national identity, but this approach has led to the sink or swim attitude of educating our students and the effect on the student and society can be detrimental and the cost is certainly high.
Students need to progress into our language as well as our society. With a bilingual program, students are taught the desired English, yet have the chance to explore other subjects in their native tongue. This keeps the student on pace and their additional knowledge aids in the learning of English. If a student gets left behind in the sciences, math, or current events due to a lack of English skills, that student will not develop the necessary skills and requirements at an important point in their education. Students who are not struggling with the language barrier are more interested and involved with the material and subsequently perform better.
Bilingual education is not a replacement for English, it is a valuable addition to the curriculum. Bilingual education not only provides the only workable approach to teaching non-English speaking students, it also has advantages.