Official English

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Jun 4 21:52:56 UTC 2001

Many Hispanic families in California were tortured with the bullshit
that their children would NOT be tauight English. Naturally, they
were appalled at the idea. In spite of what many believe, immigrants
to the US universally want English, perhaps most dramatically for
their children. Since they were lied to about the goals and prcedures
of bilingual education, some responded to this way. Now, fo course,
since there has been some time for dust to settle, many Hispanic
famlies have elected for the "option" in local communities which
"allows" bilingual education, which is to say, simply, education.
Otherwise the immersion plan (not a real one, if one compares, for
example, Canadian immersion language education plans) is immersion
indeed in which the students never surface. Drowning would be the
better label.

It's too bad that repspondents to this list who have only public
rpress and hearsay information are unwilling to even consider
professional and scientific results, but we made the list for the
public, and, if that's what you want, we'll stick to it, but I am now
even more convinced that this should be a professional list; I spend
a goodly portion of my professional life working on just such
misperceptions and misinformation; I'd like to have a professional
home to keep clear of opinions which I can read every day in my
home-town newspaper. I suggest we bring the matter of access to this
list up for discussion again.


>As a matter of fact, I heard it reported, around the time California was
>passing its anti-bilingual education law, that a number of Hispanic
>families did NOT want B.E., but instead wanted their children to have the
>"immersion" that the law apparently called for, so they supported the law.
>My details have grown vague since then, and I'm not sure I ever heard the
>source of this report.  Did others hear this report as well?  If it's
>accurate, I'd like to know more about the reasons for this Hispanic support.
>Peter Mc.
>--On Monday, June 4, 2001 1:04 PM -0400 Beverly Flanigan
><flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU> wrote:
>>  The point of ESL and
>>B.E. is simply to help kids over the hump.  And by the way, all families
>>want this for their children, even if they never have the chance, or take
>>the opportunity, for themselves.
>                               Peter A. McGraw
>                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                            pmcgraw at

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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