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post #61 of 73
Oh, and my friend Miguel who spoke Spanish as his home language failed Spanish class and I got an A. Who can speak it better... him, of course!

I don't think your troubles in English class we the result of not being able to learn it. If you don't mind my asking, was your teacher an EFL teacher from America or was she Taiwanese? It may have had more to do with her methodology than with your ability.

I'm glad you like it here!

Many people from Mexico come here as a last resort. They are truly refugees. I've seen the places they come from in the poor parts of many border towns and I wouldn't want to live there either, there are mountains of toxic waste piled up from American companies taking advantage of the fact that there are NO environmental regulations, many live in shantytowns in houses made of garbage with dirt floors... You know those commercials about adopting a kid for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day? It looked like that. (Not all, or even nearly all, of Mexico is like this. They have a growing middle class and an upper class, shopping malls, movie theatres, etc... It's just that the poor people in Mexico are significantly and ridiculously poorer than the poor people here). Really, the conditions are almost unbelievable that humans live there.

And some Mexican immigrants are jerks. Just like some people of any variety or color are jerks. I'm sorry that happened to you, but the girl does not represent Mexicans or Hispanics or illegal immigrants of any kind, which I think you know. It is hard to get over. I still feel uneasy around a certain group of people because of something that happened to me.
post #62 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
But we already did, and now we are reversing that. Driver's Liscense exams are available in Ohio in more than 200 languages. English-Only laws take that away...
The debate is not really whether we should spend the effort required to change how we do things to accomodate immigrants, it's whether we should undo what we've already done. Nobody is asking you to learn Spanish to accomodate them. And also, the papers being sent home with your child from school, remember that other parents cannot read in English and would have absolutely no way to communicate with the school if they did not do these things. The children are learning English, right? We cannot expect people to arrive here already knowing English.

In Alaska, they passed an English-Only law which was later overturned, in part because many of the people in Alaska spoke native languages. Local officials and teachers were often bilingual in these languages and suddenly could not communicate at all with the students' parents. The officials, who had run their election campaigns bilingually, could no longer communicate with their constituents.

We are in no way talking only about illegal Hispanic immigrants when we say everything should be in English, which is often forgotten. There are millions of legal immigrants here from all over the world. In Ohio the second highest number of immigrants are from subsaharan Africa. There are also many many many people here who speak native languages. English-Only laws also take away their right to speak that language, which is why they were overturned in Arizona as restricting freedom of speech.
No offense intended, and I hope this post doesn't come across as harsh. I really like you Zissou's Mom!

So how many languages should we print everything in? Printing driver's license exams in 200 languages is ridiculous (and expensive). And even with printing it in 200 languages, we probably haven't covered half the world population. What if someone comes from a country that doesn't speak one of those 200 languages that the test is given in? Also, if you're going to drive here, you ought to know a few English words like Stop, Slow, Yield, speed limit, etc, otherwise, you're a danger on the road.
post #63 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws
No offense intended, and I hope this post doesn't come across as harsh. I really like you Zissou's Mom!

So how many languages should we print everything in? Printing driver's license exams in 200 languages is ridiculous (and expensive). And even with printing it in 200 languages, we probably haven't covered half the world population. What if someone comes from a country that doesn't speak one of those 200 languages that the test is given in? Also, if you're going to drive here, you ought to know a few English words like Stop, Slow, Yield, speed limit, etc, otherwise, you're a danger on the road.
I live (and travel) in Europe, and traffic signs are generally accepted symbols, not words. If it works here, why shouldn't it work in the U.S.? Because of globalization, I'm used to labels on grocery products, or users' instructions, being in at least 6 different languages.
Trade is global, and China has the world's largest population, and exceptional economic growth - are you going to be willing to learn to read and write the language, or will you insist on translations into your native language? English is the international language right now, but please remember that that used to be the case with Latin and French.
post #64 of 73
I'm not offended at all! Don't worry, it takes alot more than civil disagreement to make me angry or upset.

Our traffic signs are pretty legible whether you can speak English or read anyway, Stop is a red light or a red octagon, yield is a yellow triangle, etc. Three of my ex boyfriends have been colorblind, and I think they're at a greater disadvantage than someone who can't read English, but they could all drive just fine if not better than me. Also, people who speak English only are sometimes illiterate, but they are allowed to drive too, and vote. Functioning in our society has never been limited only to people who can read English.

Printing driver's exams in so many languages may have been expensive to develop. However, it isn't really any more expensive to do once the translations are already done, it's just an extra version. In many places they are on a computer already, and you can imagine that a different translation really is no extra expense. And, it gives people jobs to translate them.

Expecting our society to be monolingual is sort of impractical. There are legal immigrants here from all over the world. I'm not sure where you are from, I know where I grew up it seemed like everyone was exactly the same, but go to any crowded place in any large city and you will soon find how many different languages are spoken here. When my grandmother's parents got here from Wales, they spoke perfect English, but if they had been from Germany of Italy or any number of other places they wouldn'tve. In nearly every American's family tree there is someone who first came to America and did not already speak English very well.
post #65 of 73
If you translate things into Chinese you have to take into account the political sensitivity of simplified versus traditional Chinese. I would not be surprised if that is the cause of WWIII.
post #66 of 73
If your gonna live here then Yes you should speak English
post #67 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
I'm not offended at all! Don't worry, it takes alot more than civil disagreement to make me angry or upset.



Printing driver's exams in so many languages may have been expensive to develop. However, it isn't really any more expensive to do once the translations are already done, it's just an extra version. In many places they are on a computer already, and you can imagine that a different translation really is no extra expense. And, it gives people jobs to translate them.

In nearly every American's family tree there is someone who first came to America and did not already speak English very well.
You're such a nice person, really!

So what if someone comes from a country where we don't have a translation yet? Like, I don't know, some obscure country in Africa. It will be expensive to find, recruit and hire someone to make a new translation. Are you supporting merely keeping the translations that we have, or also making new ones?

If I move to Obscure African Country, then I will learn Obscure African Country language. Everyone needs to learn the native language of the country they choose to live in.

My great grandparents came over from Sweden. They learned to speak English. They had to just to get along.
post #68 of 73
There is a problem with "just getting along" however. Many people who come here as children who go to a immersion school-- which is illegal, but done anyway-- where they are forced to just "get along" or sink-or-swim basically end up not being able to speak or write or read either language very well. They can speak but not read/write very well in their native language, and they can sort of speak/read/write in English, but not very well, often.

Most people in other countries speak more than one language. For instance, many of the people in "obscure african" countries speak French. Which we have a translation for. People from India are often more than bilingual, and we are likely to have a translation in one of those.

If we do have an immigrant who speaks only a language that we do not already have a translation for, then yes, we should do one, because it is highly likely that soon more people who speak that language will come here.

I think they changed the law in Ohio since a couple months ago though, because their website now says "17 different languages" and then says to contact the local BMV for info on alternative languages. Also, you can only get one of these liscenses if you are a legal resident, so the argument about wasting money on illegal immigrants does not work for this state, though it might in others. I believe that anybody, especially legal immigrants who pay taxes just like the rest of us, should get the extra services they might need, especially something like being liscensed to drive. If they aren't, they're just more likely to drive illegally so they can still go to work and support their family.

The same is true for things like translators in court. It violates our own constitutional rights, more than one, to force someone to stand trial in a language they do not understand. Nobody would even consider forcing someone who was deaf to face a trial without an interpreter to sign language. Why would we expect someone who is LEP to stand trial in a language they don't understand?

As for claiming that you would learn whatever the language is where you move to-- are you currently native-level fluent in more than one language? Alot of immigrants do speak English, just not very well. It is hard to learn a new language, and it is even harder when you are socially isolated by policies like English-Only laws. And when they try, people yell at them (you know, like somehow someone who doesn't understand you will understand you if you yell?) or can't or won't understand them, etc. Most immigrants want their children to learn English but find it difficult to do so themselves, and you absolutely cannot say "I'd just learn the language" unless you have done so before, and have moved somewhere with a different language. I am school-fluent in Spanish, but I've been to Mexico and couldn't understand a word anyone said.
post #69 of 73
The "sink or swim" is actually a very good way to learn a new language, in my opinion.

In the U.S., the level of English you have is usually directed related to how far you live away from the nearest Chinatown.

I came to U.S. to a white school and I did well. My sisters, however, immigrated into Chinatown. They learn English extremely slowly.

Why learn English if you can watch Chinese TV and flirt with Chinese young men?
post #70 of 73
Studies have shown that sink or swim is the absolute worst way to learn any language. Yes, you will have to learn it. I did mention that social isolation is a factor in not learning the language.

When you went to the english-speaking school, did you actually receive NO help whatsoever with English? Was there no ESL program at all? Did you get exactly what all the other students get and then just fail papers and classes if you did not understand what was going on? If not, then you did not learn English the sink-or-swim (total immersion) way. This is illegal, and has been for a few years.

Like I offered earlier, I just completed a ten-page research paper on the topic that I would be happy to share with anyone.

Saying that total, unaided immersion does not work as well as other methods is not just my opinion. That is the truth, backed up by numerous scientific studies and whole school districts in areas with many LEP kids findings.
post #71 of 73
I was only in ESL for one semester, but it hurted my GPR (or GPA ) tremendoulsy.

In Texas, there are laws that say that if you earn a A in ESL, it means a B in regular classes, a B means a C.....etc. .....etc. I had perfect scores in all of my classes and yet it still severely restrained my chances of getting scholarships in college.

It was not worth it for me.
post #72 of 73
The fact that your school had a terrible ESL program doesn't mean that it's a bad idea. If anything, you should be mad that your school cheated you out of learning English the best way for you, not convinced that being forced to do it the way you did is the best.
post #73 of 73
You got me wrong. The school was WONDERFUL. There was even a retired college english professor teaching ESL. He did it for love and not for money.

I was just saying why take ESL if the state legislature says if you take ESL you must forfeit one point from your overall GPR or GPA for the semester. I would rather take my chances in a real class instead. Even if I fail a class in the regular section I would still end up with a higher GPR or GPA than what I would get with perfect scores in the ESL program.
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