Latino Parents Decry Bilingual Programs

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Jul 20 13:28:33 UTC 2004

The kids we were working with in Tacoma were getting hooked on television,
and learning English from it, even though they were not going to regular
schools (Gypsies have historically tended to avoid literacy programs in
many cases, because of moving around a lot.)  This community was also
becoming more sedentary, so watching Sesame Street and other children's
programs a lot.  That was our competition--glitzy TV, so we couldn't


On Tue, 20 Jul 2004, Ronald Kephart wrote:

> At 8:36 AM -0400 7/20/04, Harold F. Schiffman wrote:
> >Children are famous for being able to detect microscopic differences
> >in the size of two pieces of cake, so they are also quick to discern
> >differences in the quality of materials...
> Hal,
> My experience, lo these many years ago now, was somewhat different.
> In the mid 1980s I produced some literacy materials for Creole
> English on Carriacou, Grenada. As with you, this was before desktop
> publishing and I had to type them on stencils and then run them off
> on an old hand-cranked Gestetner copier. They were spectacularly
> primitive-looking compared to some of the other books the kids had,
> which of course were in English. Nevertheless, the kids seemed to
> love these things, and even children I wasn't working with would come
> up and ask for a copy. In some cases, these were the first things
> they had ever taken home and read to their family. When I was back on
> Carriacou last summer, I learned that some of them are *still*
> floating around.
> Anyway, in this case I think the kids really were hooked by the fact
> that the books reflected the language they knew; and were willing to
> overlook the non-glossy aspect of them.
> Ron

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