[lg policy] blog: How do I tell someone they need to start speaking English more?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 12 14:07:03 UTC 2010

How do I tell someone they need to start speaking English more?

July 11, 2010 - 9:39 am 12 CommentsMy company requires for all to
speak English. We have a Delivery driver that speaks VERY little
English (he speaks Spanish ONLY). And the reason he was hired was
because my boss’s daughter felt sorry for him. Now, I speak spanish
(now, it’s not perfect- but enough to get by). And I’ve been speaking
w/ him in spanish. My boss told us to speak English, because that’s
the only way he’ll learn. And he still speaks spanish to me. How do I
nicely tell him not to speak to me in spanish anymore? He is mad
because he has to speak english. But he knows he needs to speak it if
he wants to work here.

I feel like if you come to this country at least make the effort to
learn to speak our language. I think this country accomodates
immigrants and it’s not fair.

He’s lived in this California for over 25 yrs, and he hasn’t taken the
time to learn it. He’s told me his children dont know how to really
speak spanish. My mother has been in this country for over 25 yrs too,
and she learn to speak it, it’s not perfect but she hast aken the
effort to learn it. My job deals with the African-American community,
so you definetly need to know how to speak english. And me being half
Black and Half Latino I get the best of both worlds.

You can just tell him by example. When he starts speaking to you in
Spanish just answer him in English…everytime. If he ask you why you
are doing this just tell him that the boss says that you have to speak
in English and that you don’t want to make him mad.

Posted speaking |

12 Responses to “How do I tell someone they need to start speaking
English more?”
Princess Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
Say, I can’t speak with you anymore unless you speak english
References :

onefootnaked Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 3:47 pm
You can just tell him by example. When he starts speaking to you in
Spanish just answer him in English…everytime. If he ask you why you
are doing this just tell him that the boss says that you have to speak
in English and that you don’t want to make him mad.
References :

Nightchild Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 4:15 pm
i agree he is in america he should have known our language before
coming here just stop talking to him in spanish if he says something
you understand in spanish respond in english!
References :

north Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 4:38 pm
Be truthful with him. Tell him what the company policy is and that
unless he makes an effort to communicate in english, sympathy will
only get him so far – but no further. Also let him know that you have
been directed to conduct business with him only in english.

The english language is difficult. Give him a list of words he needs
to get by in his duties as delivery person – perhaps a tape of the
words in spanish and the english counterparts. That way he will be
able to at least stay on good terms with the company.
References :

Wurm Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 5:03 pm
Just tell him flat out. Stop talking to him in Spanish and if he
speaks in Spanish to you, ignore him. My mother came from Germany and
learned English. My father came from Ukraine and learned English. I
have neither sympathy nor tolerance for this.

You are absolutely correct when you say they are accommodated. This
gives absolutely no incentive to learn.
References :

SalesDude Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 5:15 pm
call him a puto and see what he says
References :

drshorty Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 5:24 pm
You have no control over what language your coworker uses with you,
but you can control what language you speak to him in. And since your
company’s policy applies to you as well, it’s wise of you to follow
it. Your bosses will decide whether they think his way of following
the policy is appropriate. Obviously, by switching over to speaking
English to him, you might have to explain to him that you’re doing it
because of the company policy. He does not have to speak English back
to you; that’s his choice. Imagine how frustrating it would be to want
to communicate with someone when you know they can understand a
language you speak but you are supposed to only communicate in a
language that you barely know. I can’t blame him for wanting to speak
Spanish with you.

If it makes you feel any better, your speaking English to him will
actually help him learn English. When you speak to him in English that
he can understand, it will be providing appropriate input in English
to him so he has some English in his mind when he is ready to speak
it. Think about it this way: if he doesn’t hear any English, how will
he be able to speak it even if he wants to? And at this point, he has
very little knowledge of English to draw on, even if he did want to
speak it. Neither you nor your boss is an expert on language teaching,
I assume, but your company can hire inservice English teachers for its
staff, too. It sometimes bothers me how so many people believe they
know the best ways to teach and learn languages when they haven’t
studied the field at all — sometimes their opinions are way off. I
assume the people at the company who made this policy are not up on
the field of second language acquisition either.

You’re in a tough spot, but I’d say do what you must to keep your job,
and then do your best to speak English that is understandable to your
coworker. That will help his English, too. And you won’t be blamed for
encouraging him to not follow the company policy. And, if you dare,
you might encourage your company to revisit their policy and make sure
that it’s reasonable and informed.
References :
I’m a linguist and a language teacher, and I teach people how to teach

resiste_lfc Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 5:29 pm
You should come to California… here the boss has to learn to speak
Spanish…. is seen as an advantage if the boss speaks Spanish, more
business, this is why we accommodate Spanish speaking people…. money.
This is wrong, this is where the people’s hypocrisy come in play,
don’t advertise in Spanish.
References :

bonsai bobby Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I agree 100%!!

I would encourage him to take an english web-based or other course.

….and just continue to dialogue in english with him…he needs to
accept the fact, that he is in the U.S.A., and that so far the
official language is still english.

Es apregunta muy bueno.
References :

Yo Si Y Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 6:22 pm
Your so cute~
And yes you are right, my parents have been in this country for about
30 yrs. or more and my mom speaks both languages with no problem she
even volunteers in my son’s preschool~I’m Hispanic and I’m very
bi-lingual good Spanish and good English! Thanks to my parents. Have a
wonderful day Black-Latina beauty.!;)
References :

vik Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Just tell him "Tenemos que hablar Ingles en el trabajo. Cuando estamos
fuera del trabajo podemos hablar en espanol."
References :

Sheriam Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Just keep speaking English even if he gets mad about it… I fully agree
with you that he should learn! Unfortunately, if he’s been in the US
for that long and hasn’t made the effort I’m not sure if you can get
him turned around…. I worked with a guy like that for a while when I
lived in Wyoming. I don’t speak any Spanish so it was a lot of
pointing & gesturing… even for things that came up every day or every
week, he just didn’t pick up even those simple, recurrant phrases,
while he had been in the country for several years. On the other hand,
a guy who worked in the kitchen at college (Lamar Colorado) was always
asking us for new words, asking us to correct him if he made a
mistake… I’m always sad to hear of those who refuse to even make an
effort to learn the language, it’s those who give immigrants a bad
name and others like that hardworking guy at college suffer from it.

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