Culture

English Doesn’t Always Have to be the Official Language to Get to the Head of the Class

English Doesn’t Always Have to be the Official Language to Get to the Head of the Class

LatinaLista — The more it looks like the Senate is making headway in crafting an immigration reform bill, the more small towns across America want to put their own individual stamp of authority on immigration reform — by trying to force an issue that was long ago recognized as a non-issue — making English the official language.


Case in point: Hampshire, Illinois.
It seems that though the town has a smaller Hispanic population than its neighbors, it passed a resolution last April 19 recognizing English as the official language EXCEPT for health, safety and legal situations.
The town recognizes that in these cases it's important that the person receiving the instructions understand them for their own good.
So, why insist that English be the official language?
Unless, it is nothing more than an attempt by the city council members of Hampshire to criminalize a certain group of people by targeting their native language.
A lot of these people who propose that English be declared the official language don't get the fact that they can't eradicate Spanish with a simple resolution or ordinance.
Nor do these same people understand that speaking more than one language is the way of the world we live in today.
They should take a look at a school in Texas where Anglo, English-speaking families choose to enroll their children in a program that not just teaches the students simple Spanish vocabulary — but how to simply be fluent.
At Bedford Heights Elementary, sixteen students, for the last six years, have been enrolled in the school's Spanish immersion program.
Raising their hands in class, they called maestra (teacher) and counted uno, dos, tres and took lessons in ciencia y matematicas.
And now as these students enter junior high, they are well on their way to being bilingual and starting their next phase of Spanish instruction.
The plan is that the students will continue in the immersion program until they graduate from high school.
So far, it's been an experience that has proven to be an asset to these young people.
The school knew it would be a hardsell to most families and so they've created an online video at their web site having the children explain, bilingually, what they've gotten out of the program.

Two 6th grade Spanish Immersion students explain in a video why they like speaking Spanish.
(Source: Pegasus News)
It's obvious that these children feel a certain amount of pride and accomplishment when speaking Spanish.
It's ironic that children born into Spanish-speaking families should be made to feel ashamed when speaking unless it is English.
What kind of message is that?

More in Culture

481946_436661759711621_1747570271_n

Video: New documentary explores how epic film GIANT changed the lives of film’s Latinos

Latina ListaApril 15, 2015
A1tsfeYpspL

Book Review: First-of-its-kind anthology delves into Latina spirituality

Latina ListaApril 14, 2015
prado-760x416

Spain’s Prado Museum opens doors to blind visitors with special “touch” exhibit

Latina ListaApril 8, 2015
Octavio Solis #3

Q&A with Latino playwright Octavio Solis

Latina ListaMarch 16, 2015
61eGX6fzyDL

Review: Author explains why Latinos missing out on citizenship empowerment

Latina ListaMarch 9, 2015
JP-READING-articleLarge-v2

Looks like children’s book publishers need longer time-out to improve diversity in titles

Latina ListaFebruary 26, 2015
20141013170712-Rex_Poster

Viernes Video: Aspiring Colombian filmmaker mixes zombies and westerns to create an unique horror short

Latina ListaJanuary 30, 2015
mmcbd-cbc-collage

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Spotlight: Meg Medina

Latina ListaJanuary 23, 2015
cover

The Educational Revolution of Mexican American Studies in Arizona

Latina ListaJanuary 13, 2015