24 Reasons to Become a Bilingual Education Teacher

24 Reasons Bilingual Educator

Getting a degree in Bilingual Education has many advantages. While this would be easier for people who are already bilingual, it is certainly possible for anyone with a willingness to learn. There are many immersive programs people can take while getting their Online Education Degree. Bilingual Education is getting more popular with every year that passes, and we only expect the trend to continue. If you would like to have a career that makes you happy, then you should become a Bilingual Education teacher. This is a job that will have you jumping out of bed to rush to the job you love. There are so many benefits to Bilingual Education, and as an educator it will give you a sense of real purpose. Also, it will keep your brain super sharp. We could probably find 1,000 reasons to become a Bilingual Education teacher, but we have compiled twenty four for your pleasure.

Active Language Acquisition

Active Language Acquisition

Often times, when a person is learning a new language, they acquire language in an inorganic way. Charts, flash cards, and other memory exercises are used to gain vocabulary of the target language. Language learners are drilled with grammar rules and conjugation charts. The problem is that this just isn’t the way to learn a language.
As the research has shown, the best way to learn a language is through natural steps. Think about the way all people acquire their first language. There are no charts or rules to remember Naturally acquiring a language is the only way to truly become bilingual. Learning occurs when there is an interaction with the environment. Bilingual education caters to that notion. Bilingual educators get to teach subjects in two different languages. In the United States that is usually Spanish and English, however some schools cater to Mandarin, Arabic, or other relevant languages. Most importantly, bilingual educators can focus on teaching content, instead of useless grammar facts. Language is just something that is. It can’t be broken into separate segments to be learned.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

The demographics in the United States have changed quite a bit over the past thirty years. There is a great amount of diversity, and in some areas, English is not the primary language. American schools are certainly changing to keep up with this trend, and with that change comes opportunity. This is a time in the United States when polylingual candidates are looked at more favorably than their monolingual counterparts. It’s time to take full advantage of that fact and learn another language or two. This will make your resume all that more desirable.
If teaching is your passion, Bilingual Education is definitely something you should pursue. First of all, your degree will open up the doors to the many Bilingual Education jobs open around the country. Also, it will make you a favorable candidate for general teaching jobs, or even careers outside of the educational sphere. Translation jobs, marketing jobs, and much more will soon be open to you.

Recognition

Recognition

Most people don’t choose a career path based on praise from other people, however it is a perk for bilingual educators. People will be impressed by your ability to speak more than one language and your important job title. You will also be admired by the community you will be serving. The fact that you can speak to an immigrant community that might never be able to effectively communicate with their children’s teachers otherwise, can have an immeasurable impact on the lives’ of your students.
Furthermore, your colleagues will see your achievements in the Bilingual Education world as a form of advocacy for multiple language learners, immigrants, and the community at large. There is something extremely intoxicating about being surrounded by like minded individuals. A degree in Bilingual Education will allow you to meet many friends from diverse backgrounds, who all want to come together for a common goal. A life dedicated to Bilingual Education will bring you a lifetime of meaningful professional relationships as well as recognition for a job well done.

End Cultural Discontinuity

End Cultural Discontinuity

Many immigrants or children of immigrants live one life at school, and a completely different life at home. They have to constantly switch who they can be, what aspects of their culture they can express, and even foods they feel comfortable eating in front of their peers. This creates an internal struggle for these children. It is thought that cultural discontinuity may also lead to higher dropout rates. If children do not feel nurtured in the school setting, they will go elsewhere to get validation. This can even lead to acting out in the form of juvenile delinquency.
In a Bilingual Education School or classroom, children are instructed in two languages all day, taught cultural nuances of both cultures, and prepared to effectively code switch throughout their day, so that it becomes a skill, not a nuisance. If you strive to end the cultural discontinuity, you can have a hand in assisting children thrive in their school environment, foster trust, and maybe even help put an end to the school to prison pipeline.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development

Do you want to be a part of improving children’s cognitive development? As a current or future educator, the answer is obviously yes. Study after study proves that bilingualism positively affects cognitive ability. The bilingual brain has the ability to multitask more efficiently, it has an increased attention span, and even adapt to environmental changes better. This increased cognitive function can be measured in numerous ways. For example, there is overwhelming evidence that shows when bilingual people are speaking in one language, the other language they know is also active. That basically means a bilingual person’s brain is always working extremely hard. Being bilingual is kind of like push ups for your brain.
That kind of improved cognitive development can have extreme benefits in the classroom. If students are able to focus better, they will be better equipped to learning in your classroom. You will have fewer nappers to worry about waking up. In addition, the bilingual students will have a greater sense of achievement, leading to a higher level of success.

Cultural Development

Cultural Enrichment

It is often said that Bilingual Education cannot exist without Bi-cultural Education. That is absolutely true. In Bilingual Education, students will be exposed to two cultures simultaneously. They will be armed with background knowledge and historical context of both cultures. Students will be exposed to the issues and cultural nuances of both societies, so that they can seamlessly engage in both groups naturally, without social barriers. This is of course an effective strategy for the students to survive in the real world, where they are asked to speak both languages perfectly, prove themselves in both cultures, and thrive in both environments. It is almost as if they are expected to navigate two different worlds. In some cases, that is exactly the case. While that may seem like a huge amount of pressure, these students will be able to handle in well because they will be given the academic and life skills needed to survive.
Academically, cultural enrichment is something that will ensure higher test scores, especially on standardized testing. Pupils are expected to have background knowledge of the United States culture, including but not limited to, nursery rhymes, children’s fables, and much more. Often times, tests reference cultural clues, without further description, leaving the child to fend for themselves. This is one of the many instances where cultural enrichment will help the child succeed.

Academic Advantage

Academic Advantage

Students who attend a Bilingual Education School are likely to have an academic advantage over others. They will have had years to hone their language skills in an academic setting, allowing them to understand and interpret new information through different modalities. These pupils will not only be bilingual, but they will be biliterate, meaning they will be able to read and write well in both languages. Some current research even shows that students who are taught to read and write both languages from the start, may have some initial reading and writing delays to begin with, but will likely sharpen those skills stronger than their mono-literate peers before middle school.
If these students decide attend college, they will have the added cognitive benefits, fluency and literacy in two languages, cultural background of two cultures, and much more. They will likely outperform their monolingual counterparts, at least in some areas. If anything, it can relieve the student of a foreign language requirement in college, or even better, allow them to focus on acquiring a third and fourth language. Learning a new language is much easier for multilingual individuals. Imagine the power and advantage a person can have with speaking three, four, or even five languages. They would be unstoppable, and they would owe it all to their Bilingual Education.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning Skills

The main job of any teacher is to teach students how to learn. You can teach them facts that will help them with their future, but the most important thing you will teach them is how to think for themselves. You will teach students strategies that cater to their unique learning styles that will last them a lifetime. It is up to a teacher to learn how to unlock the doors to their student’s minds. Are they more visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or a combination?
Once you learn what works for your students, you can teach them how to learn based on the elements of learning that work best for them. Teachers in Bilingual Education have a unique opportunity to also learn ways to increase fluency in two languages. It’s an interesting linguistic adventure that you can take with your students and colleagues. The skills you teach your students will help them throughout their careers and most other aspects of their adult lives.

collaborative learning

Collaborative Learning

Many students work better when they are able to teach others. This is where collaborative learning comes into play. In collaborative learning, children work together in small groups to accomplish academic goals. Children are able to help one another navigate tasks while also reinforcing their own knowledge. During cooperative learning times, children should be left to manage their own work. Also, they should be given time to work out their strategies as a team, without adult intervention.
Allowing students to have time away from guided instruction is essential to their growth. It is even more important in Bilingual Education. This is a time when students will exchange conversations in their target languages. Children can freely express their thoughts and ideas, without fear of judgement from an authority figure. Collaborative learning is a way for children to learn more effectively through informal conversations. This a chance for you to quietly observe the students. Here you will be able to gauge the children’s strengths and weaknesses, and plan more specialized instruction to cater to those needs. Collaborative learning is an important learning tool that all teachers should use.

Increased Fluency

Increased Fluency

Children who are exposed to a second language early in life have increased fluency in that language. Generally speaking, it takes about five years to be proficient in a second language, but for students who start learning in a bilingual program from Kindergarten may become fluent more quickly. People often complain the hardships of learning a second language in adulthood, and science definitely supports that claim. The human brain lateralizes around age twelve, and after that is becomes difficult and unnatural for the acquisition of new languages. If this is common knowledge in the world of education, why do most schools across the country wait until middle school to start introducing second languages to their students?
Students in the United States should be introduced to multiple languages starting as early as possible. There should be bilingual pre-schools geared toward early language acquisition. In addition, all primary schools should be bilingual, or at the very least have second language programs starting in kindergarten. Children that start Bilingual Education early in life are likely to have increased fluency in both languages, and often times show aptitude for learning additional languages later in their educational or professional careers.

Language Barriers

Removal of Language Barriers

Life in the United States can be hard if you don’t speak English. Non-English speakers face hardships due to an immense language barrier. Some people may not be able to find a good job, have friendships or relationships, and quite often they face ridicule and discrimination. As a Bilingual Education teacher, you will have the opportunity to lift language barriers in your community.
Being a Bilingual Education teacher will afford you the opportunity to not only make difference in the lives of your students, but also their families and the community at large. All of the information that you teach your students, they will probably teach to their parent, siblings, and friends. The impact is enormous. Also, if you would like to really give back to the community, you can set up a community center or language learning center. There, people would be encouraged to speak in a combination of English and their native language. You can donate your time to teach them in English, while also allowing them to really understand what is being taught, because you can speak to them in both languages.

Social Advantages

Social Advantages

The social advantages to being bilingual are overwhelming. Monolingual people only have access to a certain group of people, where bilingual people have access to multiple groups. Bilingual people often maintain strong ties to their friends, family, culture, and community. All of which are key factors of determining a person’s personality. Furthermore, bilingual people are also able to not only communicate in their second language, but also make lasting relationships with speaks of that language as well.
There is also quite a bit of researching linking bilingualism with increased self control. It isn’t a far stretch to imagine that people with a higher level of self control also have more meaningful relationships with others. People with more self control over their emotions and word choices tend to be kinder and cool headed. That kind of person is always easier to deal with than a hot headed irrational person. Of course there are monolingual people who are very popular, cool, calm, and collected, but bilingual people might have a slight advantage overall.

Stability

Stability

Bilingualism can afford people with a high level of stability. People who are bilingual can expect to have a stable living situation, a steady income, and opportunities for an extensive network of connections. Obviously, this isn’t true for every bilingual person, but there is certainly a higher level of expectation of stability. Imagine that there are two people going for the same job. One person speaks English well, but does not speak any other language. The other candidate also speak English well, but also speaks Spanish fluently. Assuming they are the same in every other aspect, who do you think would get hired. Probably the bilingual candidate.
Teaching in two languages will ensure your students can achieve a level of success that is going to be imperative in the near future. The globalization and connectedness of the world means there is a higher need for bilingual individuals than ever before. As a Bilingual Education teacher, you will have that level of stability in your life, and you will be able to help others achieve that same level of stability.

Math

Mathematical Achievement

Teachers all over the world see a close link between language proficiency and mathematical achievement. Now, there is tons of research to back up that claim. Fluent bilingual individuals have an increased chance to outperform many monolingual peers. There is a strong connection between math and language. People who have a greater use of languages are able to process and solve word problems faster and more accurately, which can come in handy in real world applications.
Individuals must be extremely skilled in the target language to achieve a high level of success in math, however, if both languages are spoken fluently, there is evidence that shows their math skills are also accessible in both languages. Some studies even show that bilingual students outperform their monolingual peers in mathematical tasks. Being bilingual might not make you smarter, but it definitely works your brain in a different way. It makes you think a bit outside of the box.

Language Independence

Language Independence

One of the many reasons teacher get into teaching is to shape the minds of their students. They want to get them ready for their future and the outside world. They want their students to live and function independently. Just like most teachers, Bilingual Education teachers want the same for their students. By helping their students achieve language independence, Bilingual Education teachers are getting their students ready to forge their way through an ever increasing bilingual society.
When bilingual people settle to a new city, they are more likely to find a sense of community because they have access to a wider section of the city. They don’t have to wait to find a group that fits them, because they will already fit in somewhere. Even when it comes to being lost somewhere and needing directions, chances are they will find someone willing to help them because they speak their language. No translator needed. Bilingualism opens doors to a freedom of location and movement that many monolingual people are afraid to experience.

Creativity

Creativity

Get the paint brushes, microphones, and notebooks ready. Your future students might be artists, singers, and poets. There seems to be a pretty strong correlation between bilingualism and creativity. There are several studies both current and in the past that show bilingualism can actually boost creativity in individuals. That’s pretty awesome if you think about how something as simple as speaking two languages can actually affect every aspect of life. Speaking English and Spanish or Chinese and Italian can help you become a more artistic person.
Teaching children a second language, or simultaneously teaching them two languages at once, is a noble choice. As a Bilingual Education teacher, you will have the opportunity to teach the next Alicia Keys, John Stewart, Banksy, or Rickey Laurentiis. It will give you a great level of satisfaction knowing that the knowledge and skills you pass down to your students, can help them become productive members of society, and also help make it a more beautiful place to live.

Memory Retention

Memory Retention

Do you often forget where you placed your keys? Can you recall what you ate for lunch yesterday? If you are having trouble recalling things and your memory is feeling a little wonky, maybe it’s time to learn another language. Bilingual people have a higher functioning short term memory than monolingual individuals. They also seem to have a higher proficiency of word retention, at least according to current research. Many studies prove that bilingual children have gains in visuospatial and verbal working memory. So, start learning another language to help improve memory. Our guess is the more languages mastered the better.
It is obvious why better memory retention is another benefit to bilingual students. Who wouldn’t want their pupils to retain more of the information that is taught to them? Imagine a classroom of well behaved children, with prolonged impulse control, listening and consuming the information they are given. That is the type of student you can typically expect in a proper Bilingual Education classroom. The effects of multilingualism are felt at any age, but it is best to start the children as young as possible, learning multiple languages.

Improved Self-Confidence

Improved Self-Confidence

There is a theory floating around linking bilingualism to increased self confidence. Several studies are examining the correlation of higher self esteem and bilingual proficiency. The studies show that people who report themselves as bilingual and biliterate have feelings of increased self worth. There is also a strong link between being able to identify with multiple cultural groups and the ability to speak more than one language. This in turn also leads to a higher feeling of peer acceptance.
When you think if the factors that lead to self confidence, it is easy to understand how multilingualism can lead to an elevated self esteem. Firstly, the ability to communicate effectively in one language is usually enough to make someone feel confident in a room full of people. Add another language or two in that repertoire, and you have someone with good self worth. Secondly, being bilingual can lead to helping others, which usually makes decent people feel good about themselves. In situations where someone might not speak English, or an English speaker might not speak your other language, you can help them out when translations are needed. Imagine the boost your confidence can get from helping others divert disaster.
A healthy dose of positive self confidence is key to a successful life. Giving students the confidence they need to be a productive person is one of the most important accolades a teacher can receive. Teaching in a bilingual school will help your students achieve greatness in life, and obviously give you that amazing shot of confidence we all.

Decreased Dementia Rist

Decreased Dementia Risk

Remember the previous post about bilingualism and memory retention? If not, you better pick a language to study fast! For everyone else, there may be more to bilingualism than just short term memory retention. It seems there is a solid link between bilingualism and delaying the onset of dementia. Although the exact reason is unknown, many hypothesize that the switching between two languages takes a certain level of brain power and training that monolinguals don’t have. Just like any part of the body, if you want to stay in shape, you have to exercise. Learning a new language is like jumping jacks and marathon running for your brain. We don’t know about you, but we think learning a new language is sounding very attractive.

Tolerance

Tolerance

It isn’t hard to imagine that bilingual people have a tendency to be more open minded. People who are able to speak more than one language often speak to diverse groups of people, and create relationships with all sorts of people. They get to hear many different types of perspectives and life narratives. It’s kind of difficult to hate groups of people based on prejudices, when you already have such a wide worldview.
In today’s world, there are many who would like to put up divisive walls to separate Americans and certain groups within American society. There is no place for intolerance in an ever growing multilingual society. The world needs to work on inclusive actions, instead of exclusivity. If you truly want to make the world a better place where people of all cultures and races work together, not against each other, then Bilingual Education is the career for you.

Focus

Increased Focus

The ability to speak more than one language isn’t just handy, it’s good for your brain, too. Studies suggest that a bilingual brain is better equipped to pay attention for longer periods of time. Bilingual individuals become so bogged down with double the information, they become good at focusing on relevant materials that should be focused on. Much like a musician’s brain has noticeable differences, so does the multilingual brain. It seems that multilingual brains are more flexible to new information than monolingual brains.
It stands to reason that a bilingual or multilingual brain would be able to focus more effectively. They receive information in multiple languages on a daily basis. Obviously, they would be able to focus for a longer duration of time on a given task. In fact, the more languages someone speaks, the better they are able to focus. So, even if you already speak another language, it might be time to learn another two or three. That increased focus will come in handy as a Bilingual Education teacher.

Literacy

Early literacy advantage

Students who are exposed to more than one language at an early age, tend to have an advantage in literacy over their monolingual peers. Students in bilingual school settings are also exposed to reading and writing in both target languages from a young age. This early literacy approach along with bilingualism creates a well rounded bi-literate student. Many early childhood bilingual programs, including preschools, focus heavily on literacy. These programs are set in place to put bilingual children on a pathway to success. Research shows that early literacy programs have lasting effects that carry on even through adulthood.
It is also extremely important for teachers to instill a love of reading and books to their students. Bilingual Education teachers should frequently do read-alouds in both languages, practice mimic reading, and drawing activities that coincide with books. These activities will help strengthen their literacy, as well as start a lifelong joy associated with reading. Reading time is one of the best parts of being a teacher. Never underestimate the power of a good book, it can open up a world your students never knew existed.

Reasoning

Increased reasoning skills

In the past, there were many connotations with bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Many people feared that bilinguals would have language delays, and even behavioral problems. It was thought that bilingual children would be frustrated because of their language delays, and have impaired reasoning skills. As it turns out, bilingual individuals are actually believed to have increased reasoning skills. The current research shows that there is actually a significant amount of cognitive gains, including rationality and reasoning.
It seems that people who own two languages, are not bound by the confines of one set of linguistics. They can rationalize things in more than one space in their brain. Owning two or more languages through balanced bilingualism, allows for greater academic and cognitive achievements.

Job Satisfaction (1)

Job Satisfaction

When deciding on any career, a major factor that has to be thought about is job satisfaction. A person can be amazing at their job, make a huge difference in the world, and make decent money, but if they ultimately hate their job, and can’t wait to get home, it isn’t worth their time. Luckily, Bilingual Education is a job with a lot of potential for fun. There are always themes and holidays to be celebrated, cultures to be explored, and world events to be talked about.
If you decide to dive into Bilingual Education, your days will be filled with adventure. You won’t get bored with the monotony your schedule, because every day is full of new challenges. This is a career where you will be knocking down walls and busting down barriers. You will go home with a sense of accomplishment that some will never feel after a hard day at work. If you have a calling to become a Bilingual Education teacher, don’t ignore it- Answer!

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