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Bilingual Education Research Paper: Structure and Organization

These days, bilingual education is becoming more and more important. The composition of much of the industrialized world is changing, immigration is going on in full force, and more and more people are seeking bilingual instruction for their children. As this movement continues, it becomes more and more important for educators and researchers to learn what the best methods of teaching second or third languages to children are.

One way to share your knowledge, learning, or research on the subject is by writing a bilingual education research paper. These papers are sometimes assigned in language education courses, educational psychology classes, or even as part of basic teacher training. An increasing number of instructors are trying to learn more about bilingual education and incorporate it into their lectures. Below are some hints on how to structure and organize your research paper on this topical, important subject.

Cultural Scope and Context

Begin your paper with a strong introduction that makes note of the current situation. If you are writing about the United States, point out the increasing number of students who speak Spanish as a first language, as well as the numerous immigrants from countries in the Middle East and Africa. Provide some insight into the current need for bilingual education to hook the reader’s attention and tee up your point.

The Problem Statement

After your introduction, state directly what the current need or problem is. Do there need to be more resources that are in multiple languages? Does instruction need to be better tailored to ESL students’ needs? Is there a dearth of bilingual instructors? Focus in on one problem currently vexing the education system and state it clearly. This is the problem your paper will address at length.

The Research

After stating your problem of interest, spend several paragraphs describing various pieces of research that lend insights into how to improve bilingual education. Research may come from developmental psychology, social psychologic, cognitive science, education, or linguistics. You may wish to cite a mixture of these sources, and include some policy descriptions. State the research in a way that is easy for the reader to understand. Do not assume your reader has a background in the social sciences; assume they are a concerned teacher.

Recommendation and Conclusion

After outlining the current state of research on the problem, make a policy proposal or recommendation for ways to improve bilingual student education. Do not choose a policy or teaching method simply because you like it, or because it is cheap, or anecdotally effective. This is a research paper, after all, and you should focus on what is empirically supported and cost effective on paper. Build your conclusion around this idea and remind the reader of the problem, then detail how this solution might help to fix the problem. End with a hopeful statement about improving the state of bilingual education in this rapidly globalizing educational climate.

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