Free Book Review Sample - Reading Reflection

Type of paper: Book Review

Topic: Language, Education, Students, Bilingualism, English, Community, America, United States

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/19

As my group discussed my idea about the readings, opinions were torn in two. Some members of the group agreed with my opinion while others did not. The readings presented two arguments about language pedagogy. Some groups find bilingual education as the best way of teaching LEP students in order for them to be proficient in the English language as well in their own native language. Arguments such as immigrant students’ needs are different and should therefore be addressed by not assimilating them with local English speakers because it would be difficult for them to get by prove to be sound. Joining LEP students with native English lanugage speakers will create the ‘sink or swim’ phenomenon as LEP students will end up lagging behind in the lessons and be less competitive because of the difficulty to understand the lesson taught in a language that was not their own. Similarly, education taught in the English language alone is perceived as racial oppression (The Political Paradox, p.91). The other side of the argument points out to the idea of limiting the students’ educational oportunities if they are to be given bilingual education (The Political Paradox, p.95). This can also give rise to ‘caste-distinctions’ (The Political Paradox, p.101) as children will be separated through language when they are all in one country. Both sides present sound arguments that are worth taking into consideration. However, like the people supporting either side, a concensus is hard to meet. This was also the same in my group’s discussion. After fully understanding the readings, I found myself agreeing on the proposition that LEP students undergo ‘sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period’ which will not exceed one year (The Political Paradox, p.103). I believe that as children of immigrants in an English-speaking country, they will enjoy more the benefits of coming to America if they are able to compete equally against everyone else, and this starts with communicating in a single language. One should be able to express him/herself in a language that will be understood by the majority, and in America, it’s English. As such, people who migrate in the country should learn how to speak the lanugae. However, teaching it in a ‘sink or swim’ manner will not encourage learning but will result to low self-esteem which will further hamper learning. Some of my groupmates readily agrees with my idea, stating that it is difficult to be forced in a group when one lacks the ability to communicate using the majority’s language. The ‘sheltered English immersion’ will serve as a buffer in the transitional period. On the other hand, some group members opposed this idea as this would only delay the learning of the language when it is already a neccessity to learn because they, the LEP students, are already in America where the majority speaks the language.
As it was also difficult to meet a concensus within my group, I have endeavored to get the opinion of three different people regarding this issue by interviewing them separately. Hearing the opinions of the three people that I talked to had me, at some point, questioning my own opinion. The person I first interviewed was a Spanish American mother who has a son in high school, and when I asked her if she prefers for her child to be taught in two languages instead of pure English, she readily answered yes. Her argument was that language tells a person’s ethnical identity and enables one to be part of a group, so taking away one’s language equates to taking away one’s ethnical identity. This argument bears similarity to Kroskrity’s idea as discussed in Dominguez’s study, stating that “identities may be linguistically constructed both through the use of particular language and linguistic forms’ (p.165) and that these associates one to a specific group which communicates in the same language. With the second person that I talked to, who was a Chinese American college student, I asked if she agrees with the idea of the Spanish American mother about the importance of retaining one’s language after migrating to America. The student explained that bilingual education promotes retention of one’s ethnic identity, but this may also prevent one from exploring his/her competitiveness in the academic or corporate setting. Ethnic identity defines a person, but when in another country, there should be a certain degree of assimilation that will put one in equal footing with the rest of the population of the said group. The person added that language may help in retaining one’s identity, but that it is not the only one that can do it. Culture and tradition can promote one’s language, and these can still be continuously practiced inside the homes, or wherever family members and friends are. The last person I talked to, an American father whose two children are both married and are currently residing in Canada and San Francisco, fully agreed in implementing bilingual education. I asked him if he believes that the Bilingual Education Act was intended as an anti-poverty initiative meant to overcome the educational disadvantages of language-minority students. He replied that bilingual education is better for LEP students, as they won’t be forced to learn English and forget their own language in the process. Like one of the arguments presented in the readings, he also believes that learning to speak more than one language fluently is highly beneficial in this day and time. He further explained that learning English may turn out to be slow in bilingual education, but it will guarantee language fluency as it was learned slowly but in a steady pace. Mastery takes time, according to him, and retaining their original language which they also speak fluently is an added benefit. The group discussion and the interviews reinforced my initial idea that the issue on bilingual education will always promote contradicting views from all stakeholders. The arguments presented by both sides are all sound and practical. Education will provide students with the strongest foundation in life. Along with other concerns in the field of education, choosing the best method of teaching in order to guarantee effective learning should take top priority. This explains why the issue on bilingual education is such a controvesial one. Everything should be taken into consideration before coming up with a decision. The current debate proves that there will aways be two sides of the coin. Coming to an agreement may prove to be difficult and may take a long time, but not impossible to achieve.

Works Cited

Crawford, James. “The Bilingual Paradox of Bilingual Education.”
Dominguez, Karen. “Filipino American Teens’ Attitudes Towards the Use of Tagalog at

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WePapers. (2020, November, 19) Free Book Review Sample - Reading Reflection. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
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WePapers. 2020. "Free Book Review Sample - Reading Reflection." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved March 30, 2023. (
"Free Book Review Sample - Reading Reflection," Free Essay Examples -, 19-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Mar-2023].
Free Book Review Sample - Reading Reflection. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 19, 2020. Accessed March 30, 2023.

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