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Old 11-15-2012, 11:02 AM
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
17,916 posts, read 24,361,392 times
Reputation: 39038


Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Hate to sound harsh but this is only part of the answer, and it also has a lot to do with laziness, hegemonism and triumphalism as well. Perhaps a bit of a superiority complex as well.
That, too, is only part of the answer since there have been many cultures of lazy, hegemonic, triumphalist people who were and are adept at more than just their native language.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:44 AM
Location: SW France
16,672 posts, read 17,437,937 times
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Originally Posted by Serena Sattar View Post
English is the universal language and I think the world would be a much better place if every person learned to speak english fluantly.
..and spell it properly too!
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:16 PM
4,857 posts, read 7,611,888 times
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

For example, in places in the U.S. where hispanics are the majority like El Paso, Miami, the Rio Grande Valley, and where Spanish has a significant presence (thought not official I realize), the vast, vast majority of anglos are still monolingual in English and can't speak much Spanish beyond si, no, buenos dias, por favor and adios.

The hispanic majority speak english to the anglos making it pointless to learn spanish beyond si, no, por favor etc.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:25 PM
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If you add up all the Americans citizens who are bilingual, the number is probably pretty high.

But you have to look past the idea that "American" means white, middle class folks who travel to Europe and only know english.

Go to any Chinatown or Greektown or Vietnamese neighborhoods or the whole southwest region..ya know what I mean..you'll find many, many people who are 3rd, 4th, 5th generation American and are bilingual.

If the question is "Why don't english speaking Anglos/Black Americans like to learn other languages?" The answer is because they don't have to.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:15 PM
Location: New York metropolitan area
1,316 posts, read 1,586,730 times
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Because English is the international spoken language in the world (used to be French).

When you visit any international country, you speak English with people you do not know/understand the local language.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:48 AM
7,855 posts, read 10,291,736 times
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anyone who wishes to see the english language become completley dominant should watch the movie starship troopers , its set ( on earth ) in buenos aires yet might aswell be san diego
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:54 AM
Location: Europe
1,646 posts, read 3,488,519 times
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Originally Posted by Nunnor View Post
Because English is the international spoken language in the world (used to be French).

When you visit any international country, you speak English with people you do not know/understand the local language.
It depends on what country you visit and how many language you can speak
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:25 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,127,435 times
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The answer is simple: because they don't need to.

English is already the de facto language in most fields of importance (medicine, business, etc.).

Not everybody is cool like us and is interested in such things as foreign languages. Most just want to come home from a long day at work and watch ESPN and see how their favorite NFL team is doing or go on Pinterest and look at pictures of brownies. They do not have much interest in the more sophisticated or complex things of life.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:45 PM
Location: Eastwood, Orlando FL
1,260 posts, read 1,688,935 times
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I've been studying German for 4 year, French for 3 and Italian for one. The problem is, I can only learn so much from computer programs and web-sites and here in the US I don't get a lot of practice. I just' spent a month in Europe and every time I tried to speak French or Italian(didn't go to a German speaking country) I was answered in English. There is no way I will ever actually get fluent unless I spend quite some time in an Italian, French or Spanish speaking country. That's something that's not easy for most Americans to do
Many if not most of us do take 2-3 years of a foreign language in school. Since most of us never have a chance to use or improve it, we lose most of what we learned. I remember very little that I learned in 3 years of Spanish class
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:03 PM
Location: Where the heart is...
4,927 posts, read 5,316,274 times
Reputation: 10674
Default Quite true...

Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There is a very simple explanation for this. Second languages must be imprinted before the age of about 12, during the years in which multilingualism is perfectly fluid and natural, and the public education system in nearly all English-speaking countries discourages (in some cases punishes) the learning of a foreign language at the elementary level. By the time time an English speaking child is exposed to the opportunity to learn a second language, bilingualism has become an arduous, mentally-challenging chore for which older children and adults have little enthusiasm, and do not regard as fun.

I say this as an embittered victim of the linguistic provincialism of a mono-lingual childhood environment

and how very sad that we missed the boat on this as in many metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. there is the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Federal mandate which ensures ESL instruction to foreign born students who are or may be LEP (Limited English Proficient). In the process it seems we have left U.S. born children behind in the foreign language acquisition arena. My children speak only two languages other than English and I don't believe that is nearly enough in light of the global community we currently live in.

With Lau v. Nichols the U.S. Supreme Court guaranteed children an opportunity to a "meaningful education" regardless of their language background. No longer would limited-English-proficient (LEP) students be left to sink or swim, offered no help in understanding their lessons, and shunted onto dead-end tracks for slow learners. Henceforth the schools would have to assume responsibility for overcoming language barriers. The Lau decision did not prescribe a pedagogical means to this end; "affirmative steps" might involve bilingual instruction, English as a second language (ESL) classes, or perhaps some other approach. But the mandate was clear: language-minority students must be ensured access to the same curriculum provided to their English-speaking peers.

No event affecting the schooling of language-minority children has occurred in a social vacuum. The Lau ruling itself followed years of protests, organizing, and litigation by language-minority communities seeking a better deal for their children. Feeling that pressure, in 1970 federal officials directed school districts to respond to LEP students' needs, issuing a memorandum that laid the groundwork for the Supreme Court's reasoning four years later. In the aftermath of Lau, a coalition of Asian, Latino, black, and white parents worked to ensure that San Francisco schools settled for more than minimal compliance. The result was a state-of-the-art bilingual education plan that stressed the maintenance of students' Chinese or Spanish skills after they learned English. (< I don't comprehend this at all as I would think the Chinese or Spanish language skills should be taught and encouraged at home by the parents of foreign born students and not at the exclusion of U.S. born students for an opportunity of a foreign language).

Language Rights in Education

History of Bilingual Education

1923 Meyer vs. State of Nebraska
  • Based on a Nebraska act passed in 1919, this court case reaffirmed the Nebraska policy that no person should teach any subject to any person in any language besides English.
  • No foreign language may be taught (with the exception of "dead" languages) before the student has passed the eighth grade.
  • English should be the mother tongue of all children reared in Nebraska so that they may become citizens of "the most useful type" and so that public safety is not imperiled.
  • The first modern Bilingual Education program was developed for Spanish-speaking Cubans and Anglos at Coral Way Elementary School in Dade County, Miami, Florida. The program was supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Bilingual Education |

U.S. Students Hurting in Foreign Languages

U.S. Students Hurting in Foreign Languages

Seriously, I really love this article!

NYC Public School Mandates Arabic Language Studies for All 2nd Through 5th Graders

PS 368, a public elementary school in Manhattan, New York, has implemented a school-wide mandate that is capturing headlines. Principal Nicky Kram Rosen is requiring all 200 students in grades second through fifth to spend two 45-minute sessions each week learning Arabic.

The requirement, which will begin next semester, is intended to help bolster the school’s standing. Rather than focusing on more common (some would argue even more useful) languages like French or Spanish, Rosen has chosen Arabic in an effort to achieve an International Baccalaureate, which would apparently be a wonderful sentiment for the school’s reputation.
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