Bilingual Education Quote of the Week

by multilingualmania on June 28, 2009

in Anti-Bilingualism, Bilingual Education, Bilingualism Quotes

RonaldReagan2I’ve decided that each week I am going to dig into all of my books and articles and post a quote of the week about bilingual education. Some of the quotes will be positive, and some of the quotes will be negative. Ronald Reagan was quoted in the New York Times on March 3, 1981 as having said:

It is absolutely wrong and against the American concept to have a bilingual education program that is now openly, admittedly, dedicated to preserving their native language and never getting them adequate in English so they can go out into the job market.

The American concept? “Getting them adequate in English”? Hahaha. Am I the only person who sees the irony in Reagan’s statement? He’s got a lot of nerve criticizing bilingual education programs for not developing proficiency in English when he is unable to even articulate a basic sentence himself!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kingpin June 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Very nice writing. I really enjoyed your digs. Keep up the good work.

Sarah March 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

Many people think that by keeping our first language we won’t learn “proper” English and that when we have to apply for jobs we won’t have the proficiency we need. However, many countries teach children 2 or 3 languages when they are young, and they do just fine. Also, many people who only speak English, still don’t know how to write or read well. So the lack of grammar and writing skills has nothing to do with being bilingual

multilingualmania March 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Yes, Sarah, absolutely! I completely agree!

Boris the Spider April 6, 2010 at 6:34 am

Rubbish. The bi-lingual education systems in place usually mean Spanish education. In Orange County, Fl, a group of Hispanics are suing the county because they’re too lazy to teach their kids English and want the school system to do it for them. Ridiculous.

multilingualmania April 6, 2010 at 6:43 am

That’s a big assumption to make, without knowing the parents and children. Besides, is there a problem with Spanish?

Sarah April 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I went to school in orange county.. and I took french, my friends took latin and chinese. Spanish is not the only language that is taught.

adriana martinez April 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I do not agree being able to speak two languages is a gift! i strongly disagree.

multilingualmania April 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Why someone would think that being proficient in two or more languages is not a gift is beyond my comprehension, but hey, to each his/her own.

Kingfrak March 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

Nobody is saying that speaking more than 1 language is a terrible thing. However, people like you, who present bilingual education as a form of cultural rebellion–do great harm to whatever cause you claim to support. Also, it is in the spending that many people have with this. On principal, we shouldn’t spend a dime on an unofficial language.
Why should we?

multilingualmania March 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm

What a great idea! Cultural rebellion! That’s another great quote that I would love to use as an upcoming blog post. As a white woman, that’s exactly what I am dedicated to! Smashing down monolingualism and monoculturalism and promoting multiculturalism!

Tee63 December 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I speak two languages, and I believe that it is a blessing! In American Samoa, we use our primary language in the lower levels, and as they move to higher levels, we decrease the time spent on presenting instructions in Samoan, and increase the time spent on delivering instructions in English. We have been called illiterate and many other things, but as I watch these children grow, I realize that they speak much better English than English speakers themselves. Like Hawaii, the U.S have offered to take over completely; WE REFUSE TO GIVE OUR LANDS, OUR CULTURE AND OUR LANGUAGE! So thank you, but no thank you! We’d rather stay a territory and keep everything! This is a great site! Keep up the great job!

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