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Wednesday, 31 May 2006
RE: BILINGUALISM
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A pal clues me in:
"Derb—-This is actually the big thing for yuppie Anglos, Derb. And it is being done in other languages, though the only other languages I'm aware of children being raised in (where the language is not the native language of the parents) are French and Hebrew (and Hebrew is a special case). In those cases, the effort is entirely private, but there is definitely a trend of upscale urban parents wanting their children to learn more than one language with fluency from an early age. And Spanish has obvious appeal as both a 'useful' language (since so many people in this hemisphere and this country speak it) and a very easy one to learn (relatively small vocabulary, regular grammar, phonetic spelling).  Moreover, there are upscale school districts that have done away with traditional bi-lingual education (which was, truly, segregated education, by ancestral language rather than race) and replaced it with 'dual immersion' where both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers are put together in classes where half the time instruction is in Spanish and half the time in English. Upscale parents love it. These programs made the news when a rich heiress in Colorado spent vast sums fighting Ron Unz's anti-bi-lingual education initiative in that state (successfully, I might add - the first time one of these initiatives was defeated) arguing, basically, that if you brought all these Spanish-speaking kids into regular classes, this would (among other things) undermine these wonderful dual-immersion classes. As said classes were pretty much exclusively for honors students, what the argument meant was: we have to maintain educational segregation to protect our privileged dual-immersion yuppie spawn from being overwhelmed by the great brown hordes. A highly edifying spectacle from a self-professed liberal Democrat."
[Derb]  All right, time to call for the outlawing of ALL foreign-language teaching.  As the hillbilly said:  "If English was good enough for Our Lord, it's good enough for me."  Who's with me?  Come on, America —- Si, se puede!
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Posted on 05/31/2006 3:52 PM by John Derbyshire
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