What is Bilingual Education?

Bilingual education is..... good for all education, and therefore good for all children, as well as good for all adult learners!

Terminology and facts about bilingual education:

Benefits of bilingualism: Bilingual children have better academic development, cognitive skills (cognition mainly refers to things like memory, the ability to learn new information, speech, understanding of written material ) and metalinguistic awareness (some examples of metalinguistic skills include discussing, examining, thinking about language, grammar and reading comprehension) than their monolingual peers (Cummins, 2004, Fishman, 2001).

Participation: in bilingual/immersion education provision for a minimum of eight years (Early Childhood included) is best before leaving and changing (if so desired) to English immersion only programmes.

Immersion education:  Māori immersion settings (including level 1 teachers speaking te reo Māori 80%-100% of the day) are bilingual settings because at some point in the programme English is introduced and they support bilingual children as an outcome (Skerrett 2011).

Bilingual education: refers to education using more than one language often including more than two languages (Baker, 2001), and/or language varieties, in whatever combination. This definition of bilingual education includes trilingual and multilingual education. Bilingual education programmes use the language as the medium of instruction (Garcia 2008).

Resource Book:
Bilingual Children: From Birth to Teens  George Saunders (1988) Multilingual matters