There are several issues in bilingual and ESL education. First, are we providing each LEP student with an education that will encourage and enable them to succeed in society as adults. Another issue is the training that is offered for teachers and educators to provide them with the skills needed to ensure that they can impart a quality education.
In addition, because of their limited English proficiency LEP, students can have problems with lesson comprehension, idea expression, self-esteem, and motivation and general communication skills. After all how motivated can we expect students to be if they are unable to understand the lesson due to a language barrier. Furthermore, without motivation and a desire to learn what kind of future will these students have in society. Again, sitting in a room trying to understand is very frustrating for the students as others around them are grasping and understanding the concepts that are being introduced. This can raise the level of the stress that the students feel which will increase the affective filter and decrease learning. Therefore, diverse teaching methods, tools and educator training need to be implemented in the classroom.
Moreover, I would like to state again that bilingual and ESL education is a crucial element in our education system. Children should expect us to provide them with a quality education that will enable them to succeed by teaching them the skills and tools that they will need to become productive members of society. We must give every child the tools and skills that they need to become successful leaders. We can do this by establishing and supporting special language programs in our schools.
Although bilingual and ESL teaching methods have evolved greatly, a few traditional methods are grammar translation, audiolingual, and the direct method. First, grammar translation also known as the “Prussian Method” consists of reading and then translating into LI and the rule for L2 would then be applied. This method does not produce oral communication but focuses on reading and writing skills in the target language. Then there is audiolingualism, which grasps the idea that language is acquired. The audiolingual method focused on listening and speaking skills and not on reading and writing. Finally, there is the direct method which also known as the Berlitz” method which focused on immersing the student in the target language.