use of minority languages

Felicia Briscoe FBriscoe at
Mon Jan 12 18:57:36 UTC 2004


I too was talking about in terms of parental time (concern is one of those
difficult things to acess about a parent don't you think?.  I know many
parents who only want the best for their kids, but single parents often have
to work two jobs to make ends meet and that does sort of eat into the time
that you can spend with your kids and help out at school or with school
work, no?

I agree haveing symbolic, social and cultural resources at the disposal is a
nifty defintion of a great parent, but we need to realize that gaining
access to these resources is very difficult for some parents...don't you


-----Original Message-----
From: Stan & Sandy Anonby [mailto:stan-sandy_anonby at]
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2004 4:20 AM
To: lgpolicy-list at
Subject: Re: use of minority languages

When I made the crack about being a "great parent", I was thinking in
terms of parental time and concern.  Actually, the French immersion schools
in Canada are not usually in the neighbourhoods of the well heeled, and many
of the kids are from French Canadian homes, which form a lower social class
in Canada.  We were told the kids in the Hawaiian immersion program were
largely from less wealthy, "problem" families.

You also speak of the symbolic, social, and cultural resources at the
disposal of "great parents".  Sounds like a nifty definition of a "great
parent" to me.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Felicia Briscoe" <FBriscoe at>
To: <lgpolicy-list at>
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 4:58 PM
Subject: RE: use of minority languages

> Stan,
> I agree about the importance of parents, But being a "great parent" is
> largely (but not totally) contingent upon the resources at the disposal of
> the parent.  It is ever so much easier to be a great parent when you have
> economic, symbolic, social, cultural and material resources than when you
> don't.  Being concerned about education is much easier if  paying the
> electric bill and/or putting food on the table is not in doubt.  And the
> that you think about education often has much to do with your own
> educational
> Also we know of many nations and cultural where being fully bilingual or
> even multilingual is the norm.  So being bilingual in one's first language
> and an official language seems to be fully practical.
> Felecia
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan & Sandy Anonby [mailto:stan-sandy_anonby at]
> Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:16 PM
> To: lgpolicy-list at
> Subject: Re: use of minority languages
> I wish I could be more convinced about the benefits of first language
> literacy.  We put our daughter in French immersion in Canada.  She first
> gained literacy in a second language.  We're under the impression that the
> kids graduating from French immersion schools in English Canada are better
> prepared academically.  I met a cadre of Hawaiian kids who were studying
> a Hawaiian immersion school.  Although their first language was English,
> were told they were better prepared academically than Hawaiian kids who
> educated in English.
> It seems to me that one thing in common with French immersion and Hawaiian
> immersion is great parents!  Seriously though, in both cases, the children
> had parents who believed in a system of education.  This might be
> with the rest of the parents, who didn't think too much about their
> children's education, and were content to drift along with the flow.
> Stan Anonby
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ronald Kephart" <rkephart at>
> To: <lgpolicy-list at>
> Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:29 PM
> Subject: Re: use of minority languages
> > At 9:42 AM -0500 1/9/04, Harold F. Schiffman wrote:
> >
> > >It seems to me in the discussion of the use of Ladin and other
> > >languages, we need to keep in mind what the attitudes of the
> > >speakers are toward literacy in their language, and what it might
> > >mean when literacy in another language might give them more 'power'.
> >
> > Yes. The issue surfaced when I was doing work on literacy in Creole
> > English in Grenada back in the 80s. Interestingly, though, in my case
> > the most vociferous critics were "educators" from Canada and Great
> > Britain, who were convinced that time learning to read Creole was
> > wasted and would produce "confusion" in the kids I was working with
> > (age about 12) when it came time for them to read standard English. I
> > think I showed that this was not the case, and I think that heaps of
> > research in other more or less analogous situations supports this.
> >
> > So, my two cents worth: We need to respect people's attitudes and
> > opinions, but as people whose profession is the study of these
> > issues, we also need to tell them the truth, whenever we can. The
> > notion that first-language literacy impedes or hinders literacy in
> > the "standard" or "official" language is, basically, an instrument of
> > oppression promulgated by people and institutions who benefit from
> > the illiteracy they claim to be so concerned about eliminating.
> >
> > --
> > Ronald Kephart
> > Associate Professor
> > Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminal Justice
> > University of North Florida
> >
> >

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