Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.

Friday, February 8, 2008

H.CON. RES. 11 introduced by Mr. Serrano

The above resolution is entitled the "English Plus Resolution. Provision (5) requires the recognition of "... the importance of multilingualism to vital American interests and individual rights" and seeks to encourage opposition to 'English-Only' measures and, and other restrictionist language measures.

This provision is just the opposite of what most people consider to be vital to American interests -- a common unifying language for a diverse culture. Mr. Serrano is a traitor and has only one thing in mind -- official bilingualism leading to Mexico Norte. I guess "restrictionist" has become the new buzz word of some Hispanics.


mirrorism said...

By the end of the year I'll start working at an elementary school (as an assistant) that offers classes that are taught in Spanish 90% of the time and English 10% of the time. These classes are not designed for ESL students, but for those who want to learn Spanish and already speak English at home. These classes are so popular that parents have to pre-enroll their kids while they're still in diapers - and they're available mostly in middle-class neighborhoods.

I've been in one of these classes (to observe for a school project) and its simply awesome, for me, unbelievable; personally I drew inspiration from a scene (really, much more than one) that took place in the cafeteria lunch line and featured kids that you would never imagine speaking Spanish, speaking beautiful Spanish to one another, and, it truly saddens me to say this, but much better Spanish than the Spanish spoken by Hispanic-Americans.

(Which makes my belief that American born and children of Spanish speaking immigrants do not learn Spanish even stronger, but that's not my point here.)

I don't know if these types of classes will stick around or, more importantly, what kind of, if any effect, will they have on the kid's ability to learn English grammar skills -Math and Science are universal-, but it's obvious that there are plenty of Americans who don't mind their kids learning Spanish.

(I've heard stories that their kids speak Spanish to their friends to keep their parents from understanding what they're talking about, sort of like acronyms when chatting on the internet. But again, I digress...)

My point is this; not everyone believes in English-only laws, some actually believe that having their kids learn a foreign language while they're young and able will be beneficial to their development. That in illegal infested Texas! How about them apples?

It has been proven that the best, and for most people only time, to master a new language is before the age of 12; learning a new language is like learning an instrument, they exercise the right (?) side of your brain and help it develop; and it's almost like riding a bike, once you learn it's almost impossible to forget.

Don't blow a gasket though, I didn't get a chance to talk too much teachers about this program, but my impression was that it's only offered in elementary schools, probably for the aforementioned reasons.

ultima said...

"My point is this; not everyone believes in English-only laws, some actually believe that having their kids learn a foreign language while they're young and able will be beneficial to their development. That in illegal infested Texas! How about them apples?"

Mirror: Your comment above is symptomatic of what is wrong in this debate. We too easily slide into the "English-only" vernacular instead of recognizing: (1) we are talking only about "Official English"; and (2) none of the proposals would in any way affect one's ability to study foreign languages at any level.

I studied but did not master both Spanish and German. Some would say that I didn't even master English since it wasn't one of my favorite subjects.

I will concede that children learn languages much more easily than adults and, in fact, as you pointed out, they are fascinated by being able to converse in a second language. My grandson, who is seven, speaks very good German because his mother spoke and read to him in German as soon as he was capable of grasping the words. He spent a little time in a German American school in Minneapolis and is now closing out a year or two in Stuttgart, Germany in a Montessori school and seems to be doing well. I would like him to begin studying Spanish for the very practical reasons we all know about. Whether he will or not will depend on his parents and the availability of Spanish language courses in the elementary schools when he gets back this summer.

Some of the Official English language proposals in congress had to do with strengthening the English language not shutting the door on other languages. I think Official English is the way to do that. I would like to see a policy that says you must read English before you can vote. The objective is not just to strengthen the English language but to make the point that multilingualism is expensive and the money could be better spent on free English instruction for all who wish it. I also believe this is an essential of good citizenship -- being able to converse with one's neighbors in a common language.

It is a matter of intense practicality to allow our schools to offer Spanish at an early age when kids can learn and absorb and practice the language with their friends.

The idea of speaking Spanish so as to avoid parents knowing what's going on is not an altogether positive development. It reminds me of some commercial I saw recently in which kids were protesting the possibility of parents knowing what they are communicating with their cell phones. Parents, of course, are concerned about protecting their children from those who might take advantage of them.

This is also a parallel to the argument about speaking English on the job so that bosses and customers know what's going on and don't feel insulted.

My gaskets are all intact. I think I see a reasonable compromise on this and that compromise would be facilitated by the acceptance of a constitutional amendment regarding Official English with due protection for the study and uses of other languages. Moreover, I believe such an amendment would make it much easier to solve all the remaining problems surrounding illegal aliens and immigration in general.

Elsewhere I mentioned one of the books on the PBS Bill Moyer's list of those recommended for a president to read: "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. I just checked in the library but someone else is reading it right now. I will get it later. It might be something you would like to read to get a perspective on the broader issues of population growth and immigration.

mirrorism said...

Would "Official English" do away with the type of tax-payer funded programs I talked about? If it does I'm totally against it.

You think it would unite America, I think it would divide it because it would give ignorant Americans the idea that we intend to completely eliminate Spanish not just from government forms and street signs, but public and private sectors as well.

If Americans really want to make the nation English-only they should elect those who want to enforce immigration laws and enact more strict immigration laws, because immigration is the only thing keeping foreign languages prevalent in the U.S.

ultima said...

Official English has nothing to do with the private sector. It merely relieves the government of the expense of printing official documents in many languages and in some cases providing interpreters. I have no problem with the latter but only when the person involved cannot afford one -- public defenders. In places where emergencies might occur like hospitals I would have billable interpreters on staff.

As I indicated, I am not opposed to the study of foreign languages and generally in the schools such study is funded by state or local government.

If my prediction for the future of America (Mexico Norte) then it behooves all students to study Spanish starting at the earliest age but after they have some facility with English. This will enable them to at least have some hope of fitting in in Mexico Norte.

ultima said...

A common language has always been thought of as the glue that holds a society together. There are exception like Switzerland with three language but I can't wee where that is any kind of advantage.

We are being divided now by the flagrant imposition of Spanish in the private sector and the cost of multi-lingual ballots and other materials in the public sector.

I'm just trying to Humpty Dumpty back together again. I don't see that as dividing our country but I guess those who favor Mexico Norte see it otherwise and would like us to realize that if rape is inevitable we should relax and enjoy it. Not my cup of tea.

Deborah said...

An Official English policy will and actually does interfere with the public access to study another language. I think it is ignorant to believe that a single language unites a society. I challenge both mirrorism and ultima to think about the values and beliefs that unite society. Switzerland is a great model to look at. You rarely hear about the illiteracy rates and the division that is going on in Swiss with oh my 3 languages. It is to the economic future of our country that we quit hiding behind fears. A multilingual United States is a stronger and true United States.

So many points to consider. English PLUS resolutions will strengthen our country. Currently our philosophy and policies are SUBTRACTIVE and how is that unifying?

ultima said...

"Switzerland is a great model to look at. You rarely hear about the illiteracy rates and the division that is going on in Swiss with oh my 3 languages."

For every Switzerland in the world there are any number of examples of just the reverse. This little landlocked country is not a good example for a nation as large and diverse as the U.S.. I don't know how well the Swiss model is working but for many years, its diversity has been nil. Now with Muslims moving in Switzerland is beginning to experience the problems of diversity and may in time realize that their current model perhaps was a remote cause of the new problem, i.e. that their liberal view of the three sections of their country is what really go them into their current fix. Switzerland will never be the same.