I the lecture with Barbara O’Toole is by

I have a mixed opinion on having English only policies in
English primary schools in Ireland. Broadly speaking, we can teach English to children in two ways. The
first way of teaching what we discussed in the lecture with Barbara O’Toole is
by throwing them in the deep end into a classroom where English in the only
language spoken. I believe that this method of teaching English does not
benefit the children where English is an additional language. This method
of teaching English also leads to children sitting in silence with a complete
lack of understanding and results in no learning. Both native speakers and
children with English as an additional language become mutually frustrated with
this. Some people may question whether English only policies in schools may
lead some non-native children to feel a loss of heritage (Findlaw, n.d.). However,
one advantage of English only policies in primary schools is that allowing
children to only speak English makes them more likely to intermingle with one
another. One problem teachers may encounter when teaching children with English
as an additional language is that they would have to acquire a basic
understanding of the various languages spoken by these children in their
classroom. This can be a lot of extra work for the teacher on top of their
already heavy workload.

Another way we can teach English is by starting children
out in the shallow end, by allowing them to speak their native language in school
starting off, and progressively speaking less of their native language and more
of the English language as they move up through school (Guerra, 2014). This
method of teaching English in schools allows children to remain feeling
comfortable on classrooms and allows them to understand and learn in the
classroom. I agree with Swains ‘Output Hypothesis’ where it is believed that
children need to “use the language meaningfully in order to develop proficiency”
(Cameron, 2001). Although some people may think that by allowing children to
speak languages other than English as their main method of communication in
primary schools, children’s ability to learn English is inhibited. I completely
disagree with this opinion as it is important to ease them into learning a
brand-new language rather than completely drowning them in a new language. 

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