You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish
Andrew Leonard of Salon gives us Obama’s thoughts (presented at a town hall meeting) about bilingual education:
“You know, I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about, “We need to have English-only.” They want to pass a law, “We want English-only.”
“Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=4866. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.
“You know, it’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=988, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is, “Merci beaucoup.” Right?
“You know, no, I’m serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get ajob. You are so much more employable. You can be part of international business. So we should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they’re 5, or 6, or 7 than when they’re 46, like http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=5094.”Whoa. Reporting live from the United Kingdom, I have been assured that the typical Brit does not speak many (i.e., any) languages other than English and a smattering of American. Apparently Obama is aware that culturally, Britain is not part of Europe, and he assumes we know it as well.
But the real comedy gold is this:
“Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.”
Really? Will that help me or my children communicate with the immigrants from Vietnam, or China, or Poland? Who knew?