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Old 12-19-2008, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,185 posts, read 43,469,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfilm View Post
Gizmo, as an ESL teacher I'm sure you know the basics of developmental learning insofar as it is indeed far easier for children to accumulate different languages during the exact stages that their brains are developing for understanding same.
Yes, of course... which was basically my point in saying we shouldn't expect immigrants to learn it immediately. It's easier for us to learn as children, so it's always good to teach bilingual skills from a young age. I grew up speaking Spanish, and even though I'm a bit rusty now, it will always be natural to me. Why not give our children this opportunity?

 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:04 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,722,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
So basically you just want everyone everywhere to learn English? English is already dominant in the world, and we already raise our children to speak it - so I think you're asking a bit much for 100% perfection. Would you feel as strongly about this issue if English didn't happen to be YOUR native language? I wonder...
English is the common language of the USA and that's why we should expect immigrants to this country to learn it. We should certainly be raising children in English but that isn't the case in many parts of the country.

I would say the same to an American planning to move to Mexico or Germany -- learn the language of that country. When I travel to Mexico, I don't expect for one minute that everyone there had better be speaking English to accomodate me, if I want to travel around, then I have to speak their language.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,185 posts, read 43,469,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Spanish is the one that's on people's minds because they aren't being told they had better learn Chinese because the immigrants from China are not going to be expected to learn English. Or the Nigerians don't tell us that we'd better learn their language or else.

The problem with Spanish is that's the language that everyone is being told to press one to hear, two if they want English. No one is angry at the Koreans who willingly and eagerly learn English and don't expect their welfare handouts be given to them in their own language.
Everything around here is written in Chinese, and in some neighborhoods you'll find other languages dominant... our voting booklet was in English first, then Chinese, and then Spanish. Heck, even my garbage can has Chinese on it! I personally love the diversity, and recently tried (unsuccessfully) to learn a bit of Chinese myself.

Anyway, I've never been told I HAD to speak Spanish, and the Spanish-speakers around here are generally very gracious - and apologetic when they don't understand you. I work with this population every day, so you can't convince me they are pushy/obnoxious/etc. Not buying it!
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:09 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,722,338 times
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BTW -- I did volunteer at an English learning center. I saw Koreans with their notepads very eagerly and quickly picking up English, I saw Vietnamese who came not speaking a word of English, begin speaking English sentences in weeks. Not months, not years, not decades. Motivated adults can learn another language. I've known Greek immigrants who spoke English with an accent but spoke English and did not expect Americans to all learn Greek.

Of course someone starting to learn will not be fluent but there is no reason they can't use English in a short time. It's all about attitude, just like most learning is.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,185 posts, read 43,469,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
English is the common language of the USA and that's why we should expect immigrants to this country to learn it. We should certainly be raising children in English but that isn't the case in many parts of the country.
Where? I live in California, and all the students here are taught in English... we have some immersion programs and ESL classes for recent arrivals, but those are all optional. I don't even think Los Angeles or San Diego teach in Spanish at public schools, so where are you getting this information?
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:11 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,722,338 times
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But -- if someone believes they cannot learn another language then they need to consider staying put in their own language.

There are Americans who will say they cannot learn a foreign language, so the best thing for them is stay in a country where English is spoken. Same goes for everyone. If you cannot learn Polish, don't move to Poland. If you can't learn English because Spanish is your language, then stay in your country or immigrate to another Spanish speaking country.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:13 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,722,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
Where? I live in California, and all the students here are taught in English... we have some immersion programs and ESL classes for recent arrivals, but those are all optional. I don't even think Los Angeles or San Diego teach in Spanish at public schools, so where are you getting this information?
I live in El Paso. Nuf said. The drop out rate overall, not just here of hispanic kids is over 50%. They are not learning English. They are not adapting well to the culture and language. That high drop out rate is a problem and will be a problem.
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,185 posts, read 43,469,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I live in El Paso. Nuf said. The drop out rate overall, not just here of hispanic kids is over 50%. They are not learning English. They are not adapting well to the culture and language. That high drop out rate is a problem and will be a problem.
That is sad, but it doesn't mean they aren't being taught... they just aren't being taught well, apparently. Maybe our educational system is to blame, huh?
 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,636 posts, read 2,899,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
BTW -- I did volunteer at an English learning center. I saw Koreans with their notepads very eagerly and quickly picking up English, I saw Vietnamese who came not speaking a word of English, begin speaking English sentences in weeks. Not months, not years, not decades. Motivated adults can learn another language. I've known Greek immigrants who spoke English with an accent but spoke English and did not expect Americans to all learn Greek.

Of course someone starting to learn will not be fluent but there is no reason they can't use English in a short time. It's all about attitude, just like most learning is.
And many Latinos are doing that too!

But you just make sweeping generalizations based on your biases.
You and others on here. I met a Korean who spoke perfect English. They all do that!
I heard someone talking Spanish, so all of them must be refusing to learn Spanish!

 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:26 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,722,338 times
Reputation: 22158
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
That is sad, but it doesn't mean they aren't being taught... they just aren't being taught well, apparently. Maybe our educational system is to blame, huh?
Attitudes are to blame. The opportunities are actually there. You don't see Asian students refusing to learn English or their parents insist they be placed in classrooms that keep them from learning English and they don't have an over 50% drop out rate.

Not just the high drop out rate but a sky high illegitimacy rate/teen pregnancy rate is another problem and the result of inability to adapt.

In some immigrant groups, the elderly are brought over and sometimes learn no English ever but you don't see the persistence of the foreign language and lack of English fluency in the next generation or the next.

I see it every day, kids who grew up speaking Spanish and learning some English but very poorly, very little ability to read and write in English, a lot of functional illiteracy, they may speak some English but they're not at all educated in English. We also have immigrants from India and Pakistan who move right to the top because they manage to learn English quite well.
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