Bilingualism in the News

by multilingualmania on February 9, 2010

in Bilingualism

Tonight I saw a couple of articles online that just absolutely made my skin crawl!! Meanwhile, I also saw an article on the same website that made me giggle, because if you want to last for a while in the bilingual education community then you sometimes just need a little comic relief.

What set me over the edge, you ask?

Well, apparently a school secretary in North Carolina was fired for violating the school’s “no Spanish” rule. Yes, you read correctly. According to the article, the secretary translated to parents on the telephone and attempted to translate for a parent under distress. The law suit has been referred to the U.S. Justice Department. You can read the full article here.

I don’t even want to dare read the comments on the article, because I am afraid that it will only give me a headache.

I also found another article from about a year ago on the same website about a substitute teacher in New Jersey who had high school students sign an English-only contract. According to the article, the contract contained a clause that stated, “This is an English-speaking school and classroom-any other language other than English will not be tolerated”.  You can read the full article here.

There were also a couple of other articles from 2008 about similar stories of people being reprimanded for speaking Spanish.

And then, right in the middle of it all, there was an article from a year ago about a California based company who is being contracted to provide foreign language instruction for the army. Am I the only one who finds this entertaining and ironic? I bet that if people would stop instituting English-only policies, then the army wouldn’t have to contract out to teach a second language!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

bjohns15 February 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Hey, I wrote a piece related to the story and attempted to provide a solution. If you want to read it, I would appreciate it, as it appears you know much more about bilingualism than I. Here is the link:

multilingualmania February 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for your comment! I will check out your post!

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