abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Jun 4 13:54:53 UTC 2001
Dennis P commented:
[re my comments] are straight from the misinformation generated by Mr. Utz
No bilingual education program in
the US ignored the pervasive need for English in this country and no
children, even those whose native language was treated as a resource
rather than a burden, were being done a disservice. Frank's
information is eventually from those whose goals, in my opinion, are
racist and xenophobic, and I will stand by that as much as I am sure
that Frank is no racist or xenophobe himself. That persons who are
not familiar with the tradition and facts of US bilingual education
have been taken in by them (through an honest interest in the welfare
of our younger citizens) is understandable, . . .
First, I don't know who Mr. Utz is. My comments were my own observations
reacting to the recent ADS thread.
As for "No bilingual education program in the US ignored . . ." that seems
so broad a generalization that on its face it would seem very difficult to
justify. There is evidence of some students in quite advanced grades (into
high school) who are not fluent in English despite such programs.
I also would not agree with the statement that I have been "taken in". My
views are my own, based on my take on the situation. It is a reasoned
position. It is incorrect for my personal views to be characterized as
"inherited" from some other person or group when no evidence of this exists,
and certainly Dennis (whom I have never met or talked to) could not have
known such about my views.
I agree with Dennis that this discussion is relevant to the list, as it is
language-related, even if it is a matter, too, of public policy.
Again, my point is that there are other ways to view the "official English"
effort than to say that it is purely an effort of racists and xenophobes,
which I certainly am not. I do strongly believe that all Americans,
immigrant or otherwise, should be encouraged to become proficient in English
if they are not, and that such a goal would be a good use of federal
funding (granted, a different point, and not part of the bill as it was
So once again, I see no harm in such legislation, provided that the sponsors
of it also agree to support adequate federal funding for ESL education when
needed. In other words, help people to achieve this goal, which is, I
believe, for their own good and that of the country. I say this with all
respect to other languages and cultures, which individuals and families can
and do use and cultivate in their homes and neighborhoods -- all to the
(of Italian and Polish heritage; two of my three grandparents were
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