In many ways, I understand how language barriers could be seen as an immediate disadvantage. I think most of this is due to the lack of time for education and the number of students one teacher is in charge of in a class.
In a perfect educational world (whatever that is), a language barrier would actuall enhance the learning experience because both teacher and student would rely on one another and education would be happening two ways. It would take more time. And likely, it wouldn't work well unless the student-teacher ratio was very low.