Thursday, July 10, 2008


Sen. Barack Obama said this week that Americans need to make sure their kids know how to speak Spanish. Jingoists reared up and said Obama has it wrong -- Americans need to make sure immigrants know how to speak English.

Pollster Rasmussen has it this way:
A national telephone survey conducted last month by Rasmussen Reports found ... 83% place a higher priority on encouraging immigrants to speak English as their primary language. Just 13% take the opposite view and say it is more important for Americans to learn other languages.
It's not an either/or debate -- it shouldn't be, at least -- but it's startling to see how fury over illegal immigration has created devolution among many formerly high-functioning humans. Their offspring will curse their stubborn bones.

Pissed about immigrants not knowing English? Volunteer in an ESL class. While you're at it, learn Standard Mandarin. It's the skill of the future.


Anonymous said...

If I had it my way, Spanish wouldn't even be taught to my kids. Why must we be so damned politically correct to learn their language when they won't speak or learn ours?

Jeremy D. Young said...

My children will be learning Latin, possibly Greek, and most likely at least one other language of their choosing. At their school they begin introducing Latin vocabulary in 1st grade.

I think it is extremely important to teach more than one language to a child from a very young age. They must learn the constructs of language so that they can manipulate and understand them thoroughly.

Honestly, Spanish is a perfectly acceptable second language, but Latin is better because it opens the doors to all the Romantic languages (Spanish, French, Italian). The primary problem in most public schools is that they wait until Middle school, or worse High School before trying to slap a foreign language on the side. Sometimes it's just as much about a foreign country and their culture, instead of the foundations of language, which is also a distraction.

thinkingthings said...

The truth is, whether you like it or not, being able to speak Spanish these days is a ticket to a higher paying job in many areas, particularly in the helping and service professions. If you can speak Spanish and also have a degree in Social Work, teaching, nursing, medicine, etc. you can command a significantly higher rate of pay. The rest of us lemmings who were part of the zeitgeist that said French was the universal language are being left in the dust. N'est ce pas?

As the dude on Weeds said a week or so ago, we've been thinking east coast-west coast for too long. Now we've got to start thinking north-south.

Anonymous said...

The state from which I moved to Missouri offered Spnish, German and French in the Junior High systems. When I moved to small town Mo., Spanish was the only class offered, and beginning only in 9th grade. This was 1967, long before the term "politically correct". It was good then and it's good now to offer and take ANY foreign language at the earliest age possible.