Bilingualism is an asset for achieving success in life. Based on the analysis of the problems previously mentioned, the bilingual situation described in Puerto Rico and by the academic rationale summarized, it is concluded that the Puerto Rico Department of Education must propitiate the development of a program in which our students become bilingual.
It is an educational goal that will result in academic, cognitive, cultural, social and economic gains. Research studies show the cognitive, cultural and economic advantages of bilingualism (Hakuta, Pease-Alvarez, 1992).
The Department of Education has the responsibility to offer the students the opportunity to team the two official languages of Puerto Rico. Parents may well criticize the Department of Education for neglecting such an important demand in now-a-days life.
By the same token, teachers have the academic responsibility of motivating the students to do so. It is necessary that with this new plan we examine the relationships teacher- student, teacher-parents, school-community and viceversa.
There is evidence that when the teachers conscious or unconscious believe that a student does not progress in their studies he/she is rejected and eventually drops the school. To achieve an integral human being we need a teacher with a high self esteem, who can impact the students and develop their liking for teaming English and improve their Spanish and who will work with the students strengths.
Our culture is mainly characterized by a deep desire
and willingness for relationships, linkages and nearness with others; therefore
we should not be think that that becoming a bilingual person will affect
negatively our cultural identity. On the contrary, it will give us the
knowledge to share our cultural traits, traditions and more with others.
There is a principle that starts that “a man who knows two language is
worth two men". Furthermore, bilingualism is the pathway toward human understanding."
When we study an additional culture beside ours which should occur in the
English class, we learn more about us. We reach the main goal of all educational
system: the promotion of
Dr. Judith Nine Curt, a distinguished Puerto Rican educator urges us to eliminate prejudices. fallacies and myths that were passed on to us by the society and perhaps our own families during our childhood and adolescence years. She continues motivating us to do so if we want to live with dignity in a new humanistic society. She asserts: "By working toward this, we will achieve the main goal of our lives: to raise the quality of our everyday relationships with people and their cultural background".
We must infer that Dr. Nine Curt is encouraging us to develop universal values For understanding others. Language is the tool for this and being bilingual expands our horizons and propitiates a richer life.