Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Too many revel in blockheaded prejudice: It's embarrassing that people all over Europe know at least two languages, while ignorant Americans thump their chests about how great English is to the exclusion of learning anything else ("Spanish Dip," Amy Silverman, August 4).
Adults who know more than one language have definite advantages, particularly in business. You'd think that alone would overcome this blockheaded prejudice, but, unfortunately, far too many Americans revel in it.
The reason for targeting language-immersion programs to the very young is that the younger kids are, the easier they acquire language. Hello!
Lydia Jane Cypher, Phoenix
Programs a step in the right direction: My two children attended a full-day Spanish-immersion program at their previous elementary school in another state.
My son, now in fifth grade, speaks fluent Spanish without an accent, and his language-arts skills in English are excellent. Learning a second language early in life enhances children's metalinguistic skills, expands their worldviews.
We can't turn back the clock; the reality is that Spanish-speakers, including many educated people who entered the United States legally, are soon going to be a majority in this country, and we need to address the implications from a practical, non-defensive standpoint.
Spanish-immersion programs are a great step in this direction.
Anne Hickling, Phoenix
Prop 203 was a disaster: As the parent of an Anglo child who spent seven years in a fantastic dual-language school in the Creighton district from 1998 through 2005, I can attest to the success of this type of learning.
There was a majority minority population in the school, and the children learned English at a much higher rate than kids in immersion programs. Also, by sixth grade, test scores were equal for native and non-native English speakers.
Proposition 203 did more to undo successful English learning for second-language students than anything else in this state.
At the time, people thought we were crazy to put our daughter through a dual-language program, but all the credible education research proves it's the best way to learn and promote brain development. Today, our daughter, in college now, is fluent in three languages and relates to her peers from other cultures in a way that ambassadors would envy.
All children deserve a good education. Unfortunately, Arizona has decided that only white kids are worthy.
Amy Carlisle, Phoenix
What's there to lose by learning Spanish?: Despite comments made [in this] article, Spanish isn't and shouldn't be about race. It is the most-spoken Indo-European language after English, and I think the logical second language of any English speaker.
There is a lot to gain from learning Spanish — and I don't see what [there is] to lose. I wish I had been taught it at a young age.
People all over the world speak English. Most Europeans speak it. Most countries in the world will try to speak English to accommodate you. You can refuse to speak Spanish all you like, but don't pretend you're gaining something by doing so.
Zach Henry, Phoenix
Steve loves tacos!!: I disagree with your headline stating that Arizona is a "Mexican-bashing" state. We are bashers of illegal aliens, and that's a big difference.
Now, it's true that most [Latinos] living in Arizona came here illegally — and should be deported immediately, whether or not they have cheated their way into green cards or citizenship — but this doesn't mean we don't love Mexican culture (including the food). You liberals just don't get it!
Steve Parker, Peoria
If it walks like a duck, Jeffrey: My question is, why perpetuate [Arizona's reputation as anti-Mexican]? Would you not want to change that?
The article would have been just fine without adding anything else to it. Let the reader make a judgment as to whether citizens of Arizona are against immigrants.
[Was your] whole point to instill or perpetuate that stigma of racist Arizona?
Jeffrey Eckendorf, Tempe
Bet Robert lives in a gated community: Illegal-immigrant-"bashing" actually is the correct term. Arizona has nothing against Arizona citizens who happen to be [native] Spanish [speakers].
Robert Williams, Phoenix
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