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'Mama, would you please speak English!'
Bilingual parents don't always have an easy time leading their kids to be bilingual.
February 28th, 2012
10:22 AM ET

'Mama, would you please speak English!'

Editor's note: Rose Arce is a senior producer at CNN and a contributor to Mamiverse, a website for Latinas and their families.

By Rose Arce, CNN

(CNN) - I am sitting in the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina ensconced in a piece of pure Americana. A CNN debate between the Republican presidential candidates is unfolding beneath a sea of cardboard red, white and blue stars and stripes.

"I favor English as the official language of government and I think that creates a continuity," Newt Gingrich says, punching away at his opponent before a roaring crowd of Southern Republicans.

There was continuity weeks later at the CNN debate in Jacksonville, Florida, where nearly a quarter of the population is Hispanic. "I also believe that in our schools, we should teach kids in English," Mitt Romney says to thunderous applause.

What American - Latino or not - wouldn't applaud for teaching kids to speak English in U.S. schools? I slouch into my seat and wait for the good part, when the sparks of partisanship flare up over the details of what "English Only" means. But, when these go mano-a-mano in the language wars, these guys got nothing on the 40 inch, 35 pound adversary I fight each day.

"Mama, would you please speak English! We live in America," 6-year-old Luna yells at the breakfast table. You see, while the broad national debate is about English Only, in my 1,000 square feet of America, it's Spanish that's causing all the stir.

Luna only spoke Spanish for her first few years, our feeble attempt to make her bilingual in a home with two parents who are fully bilingual. Like generations of Americans with roots in other countries, we thought it would be an asset for her to learn a second language. Then preschool introduced English, but who would push back against the cuteness of bilingual baby talk. By Kindergarten she had drawn the line in the sand. She wanted to speak only the language of her people – the other 5-year-olds in Room K210.

At first we pretended not to hear her and she'd switch back to Spanish. But every time we talked to other people in English, she would lose patience with us. Then we started to respond in Spanish to her questions in English, which led to dumb exchanges like this one: "Hey Mama, you dudes want to hang out at the park today." (Just to give you a visual, she always puts her hands on her hips when she says "dudes.") "Si mi amor," this dude would respond. The next stage sent us South. Say Hola to Spanglish! "Yo quiero peanut butter sandwich en my lunchera, Mami."

We laid down the law:

"Luna, hablame en español."
"NO way. What's with all the Spanish?"
"Es divino hablar ingles y español."
"Great, so you speak both."
"I do already. I want you to speak both."
"Haha. See you're speaking English."
"Luna, por favor. Si hablas español vas a poder hablar con mas gente."
"This is America. Gente should be speaking English."

That settled it. I would become Mama Newt Gingrich. Our house was going Spanish Only. We would not be the parents paying somebody to teach our kid Spanish in High School. We would not be doing some Outward Bound summer trip to Costa Rica. BASTA!  Not raising Hannah Montana after giving birth to Dora the Explorer.

My Latina friends advised: "Just keep talking Spanish to her. Don't make it a fight." But two secretly admitted to shipping theirs off to grandparents in the Dominican Republic.

My own brother revealed that he threatened my niece with a Panamanian boarding school. We turned our attention to our beloved Rosanna, Luna's babysitter who speaks very little English. Not a word of English with Luna, we declare.

Within a week Luna claims to be giving Rosanna "English lessons." My mother comes to visit and I seize her as an ally. Within a day, Luna has her singing Barbie songs on her pink plastic karaoke machine. I blame my partner, who is from Colombia and has an accent.

"It's your native tongue," I say. "Make her talk it!" Luna begins mocking her accent. My partner put her hands on her own hips. So much for that.

We need government intervention. This whole English Only debate has sidestepped the problem bedeviling parents in our nation of immigrants - how do we get our freaking kids to speak the family's native tongue? I waltz into her public school and ask about Spanish class. They offer French in afterschool! OK, French.

Whatever.

"But no one signed up." Ugh. This isn't just about bilingualism; American culture reveres its roots! We are the gorgeous mosaic! A beautiful quilt! Ellis Island, United Nations, the endless St. Patrick's Day parade. We got more taquerias than Tijuana; can't we teach some foreign language to our kids? At the next debate the word English gets repeated 11 times in a state where a 20% of the population speaks Spanish at home. Clearly, I'm on my own with this one.

I pick up a T-shirt at an airport that says "Se Habla Español" and toss it among her clothes. She barely notices. My cousins visit from Peru; their kids speak perfect English. We make a playdate with an anglo kid who is fast becoming fluent. We go to family parties and everyone is joking around in Spanish, but her. I feel my family history slipping away. This is about so much more than language.

The first signs I get that this is turning around come when we travel to visit family in Puerto Rico and Colombia, where my partner was born. Suddenly, Spanish is in the air. Luna shyly chats up her cousins. She orders papas fritas (French fries). She runs on the beach yelling, "Conchas, conchas," shells. When we get back, I sneak in at night while Rosanna is getting her ready for bed. She is chattering in Español. Rosanna grins as I write her weekly check.

But it doesn't really come together until I get the call. This time I'm on the road covering the Republican primary. "Hola Mama," her tiny voice says into my cell phone. "Cuando vienes? Yo te extraño?"

"I'll be home soon. I miss you too," I say in English, deciding not to press my luck.

"Te quiero mas que las estrellas y la luna, Mama."

"You love me more than the stars and moon?! Me too amor."

"Can you bring me something from your trip Mama?"

AY YAY YAY!

The opinions expressed are solely those of Rose Arce.

Posted by
Filed under: Family • Language • Latino in America • Politics • What we think
soundoff (704 Responses)
  1. Bjorn

    Interesting comments on both sides. As an American with Norwegian and German ancestry I have learned about my Grandparents and their transition to this new land.This was 3 generations ago but it does not sound any different than what these new Americans are going through. It is echoed in many of your comments. My Grandparents coming from Norway and Germany were not allowed to speak their home language. They were frowned upon if they could not communicate in English. They couldnt find an insurance company that would sell to Norwegians. So, they created the Sons of Norway. They had to loose their German ness or Norwegian ness right away to find work. So, it seems all new and old Americans face this not wanting to loose their culture. The great part of being here is that you can celebrate both. I am just learning my families culture now.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Aurelia

    I don't think the problem is that people know another language other than English. You can know and learn as many languages as you want, but the fact of the matter is that the main language in America is English. Being bilingual myself, I understand the need to keep in mind of my roots and try to remember as much of my parent's language as I can. However, I worry for these bilingual kids and their non-English-speaking parents. Growing up, it was so easy to fool my parents because they didn't know a lick of English. I got away with a lot that I shouldn't have as a kid. Also, these non-English-speaking parents rely so much on their kids, such as translating bills for them. I would be ashamed to have to resort to getting my five year old for example to translate the health insurance bill for me. What if there is a sudden medical emergency and the parent can't explain what is wrong, what their insurance info is, and then some? I work in public safety and I see it happen all the time. It's sad.

    March 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jefferson Darcy

    Are you tired of paying for illegals, education, healtcare, Food stamps, crime investigation.. etc ?
    Go to this website and register.
    Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
    Once you are registered, go to the "action board" to send free faxes to your state representative.
    They are all typed up and ready to go, you just need to click your mouse to send.

    March 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luis LZ

      "Que?" That's the question I always ask my younger siblings when they speak to me in English. Teaching English to native speakers at school is great, but they should also include a program to help them learn Spanish. What's more frustrating than an hispanic not being able to pronounce words in spanish? or when they try to talk they have to mix in english words because they don't know them in spanish or they simply prefer to speak in spanish. Sure, this is America! but your speaking among latinos son, and until then – Mas vale que hables espanol !!!!!

      March 5, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Luis LZ

        correction- they simply prefer to speak in "english"

        March 5, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
      • kevin

        A program to learn spanish in schools? It's called going to junior high or high school. Foreign language is taught at this level, so just keep going to school until reaching the grade at which another language can be learned.

        March 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maria

    Why Americans had to learn English to be able to work with illegal Hispanics? it should be the other way around ,the Hispanics learn English to be able to work with the Americans who give them jobs....they have FREE evening classes in English !

    March 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joanna

    I came to this country when I was 5 years old from Poland. My parents kept an exclusive Polish only language rule to preserve the language and culture. Of course it was a struggle when I would return from school annoyed that I couldn't speak to them in English. However now at 31, with a child on the way, I plan to speak to my child in Polish too. My husband doesn't speak any other language besides English and we hope to still raise bilingual children. Many kids don't want to stand out in school in the beginning, that's why they want to rebel but in the end, we bilingual children thank our families for keeping strong and the more languages one can speak the greater the opportunity. I now speak four languages thanks to a bilingual start.

    March 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. counselortroi

    As a former teacher who had to try to communicate with "bilingual" students and parents (who were usually monolingual in Spanish), I don't care which languages a person speaks, or how many of them, but everyone should be able to speak English in this country. We have too many languages in this country, and we need to insist that all citizens and immigrants speak English fluently and understandably. We absolutely need English as our common language. No one is being kidnapped and forced to come here, so learning the common language is hardly an imposition. Any language that isn't practiced doesn't stick with you, so "Luna" needs to use her English more than her mom wants her to apparently or she is likely to end up with a thick accent that will be hard to understand. I'd wager that when Luna grows up, her kids will be raised in English.

    March 4, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kelly

    First, as a teacher of monolingual and bilingual students, I think everyone should learn another language. I don't care which is your native language, just learn one. I don't think it will ever become a requirement, but I think everyone can benefit from it. Although my school has given us a firm "English only" direction, I still try to incorporate Spanish into the classroom activities. My monolingual English students enjoy it, and my bilingual Spanish students enjoy being the "experts." I took Spanish by choice in middle school, high school and college although nobody in my family speaks another language. Eventually I went abroad in college and stayed in Latin America. I became fluent in Spanish and married a man from that country. At home I speak Spanish, at work I speak English. My husband is learning English and we certainly plan to raise a bilingual child. The one thing I have to say after my experience is that the people of the world are moving around more. I went to South America and met Australians, Germans, Dutch, Koreans, Irish and Swedes. I had great conversations with an Egyptian. The only way we communicated was through our Spanish. I don't understand the need to "own" a language. In most countries you will find people speaking a myriad of languages. People who so steadfastly insist that "their" language should be spoken in "their" country need to flip through a history book. If you flip back far enough, we all come from the same stock. We're all humans. Enjoy the diversity of the world! Think of all the new things you learn from a new language and culture!

    March 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chuck

    The unofficial national language of the US is ignorance.
    Why should anyone get upset that someone speaks a different language?
    Maybe because it is so inconvenient for those of us who are too lazy or dumb or racist.
    You would probably then say "Let's stop all international business because they don't speak our language."

    March 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      The problem is not that they speak another language, the problem is that they can't speak the language that the majority speaks and they expect the majority to learn theirs.

      March 5, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Marcos

    Who needs Spanish in this country, really??? So you can talk to the leaf blower and the house cleaner? otherwise there is no real reason why someone needs to know spanish in the USA. Even if you go to mexico, the help at the hotel is trainned in English.
    The educated spanish speakers that come here will learn English to talk to you, the only ones that insist in speaking that annoying language are the ignorant, prideful illegals that refuse to integrate themselves and their kids with the rest of normal society and thus create a disturbing minority that makes the educated ones look bad.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Dakota

      The 1950's called, they want their ignorance back.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • 0101101

      "Marcos," that's a Hispanic name.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      Amen ! good saying!

      March 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      My guess is that you only speak one language from your comments. Being bilingual (whatever languages) is WONDERFUL! I have two masters from an IVY league university and guess what, I come from one of those countries you call third world, and yes I speak Spanish to my children. Learning a language opens doors and I want to open all the possible doors for my children!

      March 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squee

      You're a little more aggressive than I'm comfortable with, but muddling through a lot of your Spanish posts today has been a treat! I took a decade of French, but my first immersive experience was in Colombia and I was THRILLED by how much Spanish you can absorb when you try. I'm already losing what little I gained, so trying to struggle through your posts has been super fun!
      Everyone should be bilingual. It opens your brain up to language in general and prepares you to cope with whoever you may come across. I would love to take Spanish classes now, but college is over.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marcos

    If you want to speak spanish just got back to the third world country you came from and speak all the spanish that you want. Harsh but true.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Hold on. Are you Hispanic?

      March 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • 0101101

      'Third world" was a term used during the post-wwii era to refer to countries that hadn't decided between the first world (democracy/capitalism) and the second world (communism). Oh, i'm bilingual by the way!

      March 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emilio

      It's incredible the racism showed up here. The excuse is the language. Some immigrants that doesn't fit into the society and they put all of us in the same bag. As a latino/hispanic I came to this country speaking some English and my kids obviously speaks it better (as a native) I understand that the official language must be English and I do so every time I need it. But the statement "Speak english or go back to your third world country" it's a kind of nazi. You must know it.
      World has changed. This country was made with immigrants. Open your mind. Cro-Magnon era is over.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod

      Marcos, que pasa, hermano? Porque estas angry? 😉

      March 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Symera

    Yes, by all mean – let us become the ignorant, mono=lingual nation the rest of the world believes we all ready are. Our ancestors had it right: speak the mother tongue in the home and english outside.

    My mother grew up not speaking any English until she was in first grade and she was kept back because she needed to sharpen her English. But in high school she had a vocabulary that embarassed even the teachers. Why don't we just stop candy-a$$ing everything and start putting some expectations and responsibility on individuals instead? Accountability and responsibility – what a novel idea ... hey and while we're at it why doesn't everyone stop whining too ...

    March 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. nora

    Bring back the English Language Unity Act of 2009.
    If you want to be in our country, then learn to speak our language.. even if is just basic English.

    There are people from other countries that expect Americans to speak their language when we are in their country, therefore, we should expect the same. Especially those who will *LEGALLY* reside, work, or study in the US..

    March 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • 0101101

      My idea, the No Arrogance, but Righteousness Act (NORA) of 2012.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ashille

    English is the Language of America and I believe kids should learn and master English. Kids can learn a second language but parents shouldn't make a fuss out of it. Some kids are brilliant and would pick up both languages fairly easily. However, a lot of average kids can only excel in one language, so there's no point confusing them all the way. Being in America, priority should be given to English. What's the point of learning Spanish when the everyday language of communication is English?

    I am myself multilingual. I don't find myself privileged in any way because I know 3 languages. People should learn and excel in the language spoken in their country and that would be of any use to them in a business or social context; rather than just to please the sentiments of parents and grand-parents!

    [Latino friends, you guys hold a sentimental value to Spanish because it's your mother tongue, or the language you guys have grown up with. It just doesn't have the same value for your kids. Unlike you guys, your kids are native Americans. You shouldn't feel bad if they don't have the thing for Spanish! You have long left your native countries. Let go of the olden time. You are now in America. Embrace America and the Americanism that comes along with it. You guys can simply not have the best of both worlds. It's either one or the other.]

    March 3, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Aud

      "Let go of the olden times." ? It's not that olden, especially if you're first generation American!

      March 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Randy

    It's a shame how latins or not even just them, french, italian, middle eastern people, etc. are losing their ties to their native culture.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • gabi Patel

      THe kids need to learn English via immersion. 🙂 That is THE only way to learn it. They learn fast! 🙂

      March 3, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • John Bowman

      If they wanted to maintain their culture they should have stayed in their home country and not moved to America, we have our own different culture here, don't move here unless you intend to embrace it.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chuck

        "our own different culture"?
        You said it!
        America – You mean the "big melting pot" founded by people from europe. Maybe if we didn't want to embrace the Native American culture we shouldn't have moved here either?
        Why stop at language? Maybe if you don't like our religion, political party, or hairstyle you should not come here.

        "our own different culture" is one of the most diverse cultures in the world! Something to be proud of.

        March 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mytwocents

    I am a high school math teacher. Math is already a subject approached with anxiety and fear for many students. I try so hard to make math more enjoyable, more easily understood, and most importantly fun. However, math is its own language in itself. As a teacher it honestly and truly breaks my heart to teach students who do not speak English fluently. They look at me like I have three heads and give up before they even begin because they cannot understand the English words, let alone what the words mean in a mathematical sense. Math is one of the most important content areas for students and those that do not speak English have such a small chance at understanding and retaining this knowledge. I do take time and try to explain topics the best I can to my students who do not understand and then continue to explain them using the correct math terms but I cannot spend the entire class teaching this way because it is unfare to the rest of my class who has understood, completed the work I assigned so that I can explain the topic better to other students, and are now sitting there bored. I assign group work and individual work frequently so that I can circulate and give more one-on-one time with the students or groups that need further assistance and students that have a language barrier still tend to fall behind.

    If the American schools could be solely responsible for teaching students English, I do not think by high school I would be facing this problem. Schools alone cannot teach fluency in other languages. I took 7 years of French in school and I remember some basic words and can communicate a little but without the reinforcement outside of school, I lost the language so quickly. Parents need to work with teachers to teach their children English. From a high school math teacher perspective, the best thing a student can do is learn English and be able to keep speed with subjects like math and science. I want each and every one of my students to have success. I wish parents would keep their culture alive by passing along values, beliefs, cuisine, traditions, and even language in a moderate sense ... but not by hindering their children's education by refusing to teach them English outside of school or refusing to try themselves to reinforce English even partially at home.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • mytwocents

      I just reread the first paragraph and it did not come out how I intended. I know someone will pounce on the opportunity to say I don't believe I can teach all students or something along those lines and I just want to say beforehand that I give every ounce of my free-time to any student who asks for assistance and I mold lessons to meet the needs of all of my students. I think every single student should be given the opportunity for success. I just also believe in America that being fluent in English is one of the ways students will have this success. That's all.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        I can empathize. I teach high school science to freshmen. Science has its own vocabulary in addition to the math. Two weeks before block finals, I had a student with minimal English placed in my room. The system does not have an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. How do I include this young man? I get to work 2 hours early and use an on-line translator for the class materials and powerpoint lectures (English first, simplified Chinese following). I have him listen to the text on the computer. I have students help him pronounce the words while he tries to read aloud. The translation is there for comprehension. But the kids (usually) are the best. HIs first sentence in English to me was "That's my cell phone." As for the math–he refuses to use a calculator. I like this kid.

        March 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  16. MaryK

    have many opinions about this article so please forgive me if I digress. This is a typical Spanish immigrant response to her problem! Mr. and Mrs. American Taxpayer solve my problem "We need government intervention”! Is the Spanish immigrant (mostly illegal) population incapable of resolving an incredibly inconsequential personal issue such as, "make my daughter speak Spanish"? No wonder the drug Cartels rule Mexico and Cuba still has a dictatorship in power! Since your feel the need for us to educate your children let's start with you.
    You are in America. We speak English, therefore we teach our children as such. You claim to have taught your daughter to be bi-lingual, yet you state ""Luna only spoke Spanish" for her first few years, our feeble attempt to make her bilingual in a home with two parents who are fully bilingual." "Then preschool introduced English"" I must point out you made no attempts at educating your child to become bilingual you left it up to the American school system to teach your child English! This article is a perfect example the reason why Spanish immigrants are an enormous burden upon the public school system and why America schools are failing our children. They refuse to teach their children English leaving up to the schools. As a result the curriculum then has to be adjusted to accommodate these children, therefore the children of American citizens are held back in there learning process because the Teachers have to spend the majority of their time teaching these children of immigrants basic English.
    It astonishes me you seem to be more concerned with preserving your heritage then the welfare of your child. It has been proven that children who have learned a second language prior to school age are twice as likely to excel throughout the scholastic career versus their counter parts that are only exposed to a single language. However, children who are unprepared to attend school by the age of kindergarten are three times as likely to drop out of High school. How can a child succeed if they cannot understand even Basic English commands such as “sit down “or better yet “go home” The Spanish population has the highest High school drop amongst all ethnicities? It absolutely baffles me that Spanish immigrants come to America, yet fight to hold on to a heritage they left behind! My question to you and the entire immigrant Spanish population that resides in the United State is the preservation of your cultural worth the expense of your children? Apparently it is because even you being bilingual did not provide your child with the most basic tool to assist her in becoming a successful student!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bilingual

      As a bilingual parent, who is raising bilingual kids, I can understand the writer's situation. When my kids were younger, I have rule st house that we don't speak English at home and it worked! What you need to understand is that we are not leaving the kids to learn English at school only, but whenever they are outside of the house, they are talking and learning English. There is no way they can get through with out being able to speak English, but if we don't insist, there is no other way for them to learn their mother tongue. Studies have proven that bilingual kids are faster in grasping complex subjects like Math and I can proudly say that my kids and even we (who were not brought up in this country) speak better and grammatically correct English than many native speakers. As for your comment about preserving heritage, it is important for a kid to know about their roots and be able to keep in touch just to know who they are and there is nothing wrong in that. It would be a shame not being able to converse with grandparents and the kids will be the losers of the wisdom and affection that can be passed down.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • gabi Patel

        learning foreign languages has made my English MUCH better!

        March 3, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  17. SM

    Great article! I think it is wonderful that the mom is encouraging her daughter to speak spanish and be bilingual. Her daughter will appreciate it when she is older and fluent in both languages. Spanish was the first language I learned at home and once I entered pre-K, I picked up English like nothing. Eventually, English became my dominant language and I lost the Spanish I learned. I could still have conversations with my grandma, but it wasn't proper Spanish. Now that I am older, I am trying to strengthen my Spanish skills. My Spanish will never be as fluent as my English but at least I am trying. Once I improve my Spanish, I hope to learn a third language probably of Latin origin so that it will be easier to pick up like Italian or Portugeese. Learning a new language is difficult, I am so impressed by people who are bilingual or multilingual.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  18. canadafirstaid

    Neat stuff – languages, I mean. Our grand-daughters now live in N.J. – having moved there from Montreal, Can. some 12 months ago. They communicate in English, when required or French, if needed. So be it. Leave them some slack and they'll find which one is correct, for the time and place.

    Do not dictate and they'll find their own path (language). Most likely, the same way you did. One quick point, the author's comment "freaking kids" in any language is just plain wrong. Otherwise this article was well done. cfa

    p.s. Our grand-kids also picked up and use several spanish words. Neat, isn't it. cfa

    March 1, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  19. G

    I'm not sure if somebody else has said but do you ignorant Americans realize that if people in this country SHOULD speak ONE language is not English?! This isn't YOUR country, yes you technically won it. through violence but it aint yours. We should all be speaking the various native american dialects and yes you can say that goes for spanish speaking countries in Latin American as well. However, for example, in Paraguay both spanish and guarani are the official languages. I would understand the sentiment if we were in England or France. But guess what I was educated in a British boarding, we were FORCED to learn 2 languages not just one! I was born in the US, my father is from Honduras and my mother is Belgian. They spoke to me in english,spanish, and french. I speak them fluently along with german, italian, and mandarin. Most anglo-americans barely even know english.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • x3zy

      Most Anglo-Americans barely speak English...yet you use the word AIN'T. Um....just out of curiosity. Have you ever heard people who are immigrants from Latin America speak what they consider Spanish? It is more like Spanglish, Indigenous language mixed with Spanish or Indigenous languages all together. All out of curiosity, since you stated Anglo-Americans barely speak English....what percentage of people from Latin America who have immigrated into this country do you think even know how to read or write in Spanish yet alone English?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        The linguistic barbarisms (yes, that's an approved term) perpetrated by folks who anglicise their native language -Spanglish, for example- are perpetrated but poor, confused sots who have assimilated into the lesser parts of American 'culture' (whatever that is) and who have become alienated from the more edifying bits of their own ethnic heritage. That's why I make it a point to spend my vacations with my daughter attending museums, historical sites, concerts and visiting extended family in the place of her birth, as well as exposing her to books and movies from the places of her ancestry and never allowing her to mix her two languages, so that she does not become a cultural mongrel.

        March 2, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  20. Liverpoolfan

    what is the point to learn English if u can speak spanish pretty well................

    March 1, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  21. Wish I Were Bilingual

    What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual
    What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Muttilingual
    What do you call someone who speaks one language? American

    When my M-I-L first came to this country, she couldn't speak English. She wasn't lazy, and she worked hard to master the language ... but I can't imagine how hard it was for her those first few year, because there was nothing but English spoken or written here in those days. A few years ago her mother fell ill and we had to bring her to the US to take care of her. She's not lazy, she's in her 80's and ill, and the evil looks she gets for speaking a foreign language in public are unforgivable.

    Poor people – having to push 1 for English. You have it SO hard!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • x3zy

      Sorry bad the notion that American are the only people in the world who are not muli-lingual is the biggest load of nonsense. That is some sort of pathetic attempt to goad people into learning another language (in particular Spanish) since they don't want to be bothered to learn English. I have traveled extensively throughout the world and finding people who are multi-lingual is a rare thing. Wont find that often in Latin America I am afraid. I that were the case, then how come so many people who immigrate here from that region don't seem to utilize their bi-lingual skills. "Me no speaka English," is a common reply to a question. You feel sorry for people who have to press one for English? Fine. At least I can function in this society in a higher degree yet you don't pity the people who must press two for Spanish. Why not? They aren't bi-lingual either. If they were the whole concept of pressing one or two wouldn't be made and it is made only for them. I dont have anything against learning another language. I just resent the hell out of having to learn another language in MY OWN COUNTRY!!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Bowman

      The name of the country is UNITED States, not Divided States. One common language, no divided loyalties.

      PS. I speak 4 languages.

      March 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jorge

    As a U.S.-born polyglot of Hispanic descent I have no problem with seeing English as the official U.S. language. I do, however, take objection to the stupid people who pretend to be 'soberanamente ofendidos' when I have a conversation that they as strangers have not been invited into, with another person in a language other than English, in a public place. To those people I say-why not just admit that-1. You are incredibly nosy. 2. You want everyone you see to dumb down for your sake. Comprenez vous, peste?

    February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wish I Were Bilingual

      That is so true! Why are people trying to eavesdrop on your conversation with your family anyway?

      February 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Da vero!! All kids should grow up multilingual, whether there is an 'official government language" or not. To withhold that vital part of education from them is downright myopic. Moreover, you're right, if you are having a conversation with someone in a mutually-agreed-upon language, it's nobody else's business what that language is, much less what you are saying.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. sissy

    I lived in a culturally diverse area for four years. I am respectful to everyone. I believe that everyone has value. My usual greeting is, "God bless you and keep you safe". I have said this to tough looking gang members, homeless people, store clerks little old ladies and business people ect. I have ALWAYS gotten a positive response. My message is :'I WISH YOU WELL'. I don't concider a person's age, status, race, intelligence, education ect. I know everyone is in a different place in their journey through this world.I want to show love to everyone. I don't need love in return. I just want to show people one simple way they can pass love on to others. I'm also an advocate of random acts of kindness. I'd like to challege every reader to secretly do something nice today and everday. You may be suprised how your life changes. The positive impact you have on your family, your neighborhood and the world will amaze the recipiants of your kindesses. Don't forget a note: pay it forward or pass it on. This way your selfless acts will grow. Don't forget to hug your family and tell them you love and appreciate them. We never know how short our time is.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian Liberal

      I've often wondered why so many religious people show incredible disdain towards people who are different than them ... while most non-religious people I know seem to like everyone, no matter what their race, culture, color, language, etc. Since when did religion and love for your fellow human get so separated???

      February 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Dios le bendice, Sissy

      March 2, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  24. Astonished

    It is always interesting to read the comments that people write after a story. It's the reason I usually read articles that have controversial topics. From my understanding, two thirs of the people who read the article and commented on it completely missed the point of it. Or they are too ignorant to understand it and are simply hell-bent on trying to get their ignorant American point across, and a third (probably less) actually get it. Felicitaciones americanos ignorantes! You continue to amuse people...

    February 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Nancy M.

    I was raised speaking spanish first and learned english at school, i think that learning two languages is something to be proud of, my sister that knows english and spanish , is teaching first my nephew how to speak spanish first so when he goes to kindergarden with his class mates and teacher he is going to learn english and she dosen't him to forget his two languages.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.D.

      So because your family won't speak English to their children, the already overtaxed school system must do it for you? Taking away class time from all the other English speaking children because you don't want to give up the language "of the old country". HOW IS THAT FAIR?

      February 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Charlotte

        D.D., better check, your ignoramusness is showing. In case you didn't get the memo, children learn language easily and quickly. A child who is introduced to English in kindergarten will have a better command over the language than you currently do. A child who is truly bilingual at an early age (say up to about 8 yrs old) will always have better brain capacity than one who is not (say, for instance, like yourself). People who are so ignorant about the benefits of multilingual education are always destined to look foolish when they discuss the topic. Kind of like you....

        February 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marcos

        I agree with you D.D. I just moved my kids to a different city in California where they don't put up with the whole spanish crap. Why should the school system be burned just because some illegal immigrates are home sick??

        March 3, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • MaryK

      There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your children speak two languages. What I and most people on this site have a problem with is Why would you sister teach your nephew Spanish and Not English at the same time? Why is she so lazy? Why is she leaving up to the public school system to teach her son English! It is a basic skill he should have when he attends school!
      I vote to take all ESL classes out of schools since it costs the states billions of dollars! If your child fails because you were too lazy to him or her English, oh well not our problem!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  26. DamianKnight

    The problem is, America has no official language (as far as I'm aware.) I am aware that certain states have said that English is the official language.

    What we're not realizing is, language is a means of communication. Pure and simple. If we can't understand each other, how can we cooperate and get things accomplished?

    It is my firm belief that English needs to be the primary language. English has been the primary language for hundreds of years in the United States. Those who come here and do not speak, nor try to speak, are missing the point. You're not just coming here because you like the scenery better than your native country. You want to take part in the things the United States has to offer. And I'm all for that! But you can't cherry pick what part of the United States you want...it's all or nothing. One of the things about language is that it conveys a culture. And how can you be part of the culture, if you don't understand the language?

    It makes no sense to me.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Marilyn

    Maybe if there free Spanish classes for non-Spanish speakers like their are free English classes for Spanish only speakers, maybe more people would learn Spanish. And please stop being critical of those people that only speak English. For those of us that are baby boomers (or earlier), we did not grow up in such a diverse culture and being around speakers of other languages was the exception and not the norm. I do resent though that I am told that I should learn Spanish when I am an American by birth and live in the United States.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Dduke

    Greasers......go eat your beans south of the border and take the blacks with you

    February 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • LukeVentura

      Dude.. You don't help here.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Did your mother have any children that lived?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      I'll bet your grade school teachers gave you passing grades for the sole reason of not ever having to deal with you again...I'd also bet your classmates were sad and angry they did.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  29. john

    I learned Spanish in my thirties. I learned by speaking with Spanish speakers, watching Spanish language TV, reading Spanish language newspapers, etc. I am complimented by many Spanish speakers who have not had the same success in learning English despite living in the US for many years. My opinion is that they too watch Spanish language TV, read Spanish language newspapers and speak primarily to other Spanish speakers.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I completely agree. I am in graduate school in a field with a lot of international students (mostly Asians) and most of them only hang around other people who speak their native language. We actually have a real problem with teaching assistants who cannot communicate well in English, and every semester when course evaluations come back saying their students can't understand them, we tell them to get more practice in English.
      But they still speak their native language whenever possible. Though, I think it's a lot of work to become comfortable in another language, and therefore easier said than done.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  30. LukeVentura

    We need to cut off all welfare, aid, benifits, public assistance for illegal aliens,
    which would force them to leave on their own.
    Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
    Once you are registered, go to the "action board" to send free faxes to your state representative .
    They are all typed up and ready to go, you just need to click your mouse to send.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      Legal or illegal aliens do not have any kind of benefits or social assistance. Check the law.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
      • John Bowman

        Immigrants get plenty of benefits in California, the US born children of all immigrants legal and illegal are US citizens and receive everything, which benefits their parents also.

        March 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fred

        Are you saying they do not use and abuse our roads? Are you saying they don't get free schooling? Are you saying they are not protected by our police? Are you saying they do not cost tax payers money when they crowd our court system or jails? I could go on to name all the benefits they recieve but do not pay for but that would be pointless. The fact that they are not paying federal taxes should be enough of an argument.

        March 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Rev. Schaeffer

    Long ago I traveled to Helgoland for a few weeks and spent one evening walking along the beach with a lovely young Fräulein.. neither of us could speak the other's language, but I still remember that conversation fondly. My German still isn't that great but one phrase I will never forget.. Wir treffen uns uhm zehn Uhr üben auf der Treppe...

    Ahora hablo (más o menos) varios idiomas, pero in all my experience working with people from many cultures I have never once been despised or mocked for knowing too much or too little of a particular tongue. Language isn't really important, it's only convenient. It's the compassionate side of our humanity that enables us to get along with each other.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  32. BWC

    Great article.

    While it would be nice to have one common language (English) that is understood nationally, I think being bilingual is beneficial. It opens many doors professionally and economically and it keeps a heritage alive in the home. Working in IT, knowing German or French is helpful for those who work in this industry in Europe. Spanish, of course, is very helpful here in the states and in Europe also. My family is of German ancestry and stopped speaking German in the home when they moved here. I think it's a shame that the language wasn't passed down in the house. It's part of our culture that's been lost and I'm trying to re-learn it.

    I don't see the big deal in the bilingual debate and the argument of English being the "official" language is ridiculous since this is a country founded by immigrants. Someone who only speaks English in America isn't more American than someone who speaks multiple languages. And for you die hard Republicans, globalization of business is a little impossible if you can't communicate. Plus, it's a little ethnocentric to demand that businesses overseas who work with American companies only speak English because that's America's "official language"...

    There's nothing wrong with having one global understood language, like English, for professional and economic reasons, but a second language certainly can't hurt.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Most of your post has little to do with the commentary, or the discussion. Just seems to be a "dig' at Republicans for some reason. What most here seem to be upset about is requiring the local school systems to make her child bilingual. If the school system decides to do that, then they should do it for all..

      February 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Charlotte

        Every child should be multilingual.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawne

      It should be the official language because it's America! Not Mexico, Germany, France.....America. It's not saying that people you can't speak their language, I think that's wonderful....but learn ours....and stop translating everything into spanish or whatever.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Charlotte

        How exceedingly gingoistic of you, Dawne. For your information, America was settled (yes, right here in the goold old U.S. of A) by Spaniards long before the English set foot on her shores. Leaving aside that both were unwelcome interlopers and terrorists who slaughtered the existing population, this "Enlish only" bullcrap is so unbelievably myopic and childish. But that describes the people who blather about it and insist on it, so no surprise there.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        It seems that the general consensus of the monolinguists is that immigrants should speak the language of the country to which they come. Fine. My people met the boats in the 15th and 16th centuries. Let everyone start learning Iroquois.

        March 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Monica

    I can definitely sympathize with the writter of this article. I can understand her frustrations and her wanting to instill the spanish language in her daughter. We want to be able to pass down some of their heritage but most importantly to give them an advantage as adding a language is an assett for any future career. Yes it can be a struggle with your kids, b/c of course they want to be just like their classmates. But they have to understand that they are extra special. I dont think its a job for our government, it all starts at home.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  34. southern

    FYI to the "Mom" in this article...you might want to make certain this little girl understands that she must follow the rules and that you are the Mom and she is the child. You are not someone she can talk down to and refuse. When she is more mature and knowledgeable then perhaps she can negotiate with the expectations. You and your partner must have a united front in order to parent or well you pointed out in the article what happens if you don't.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  35. Tired of illegals

    I hate what has happened in towns close to me. Waukegan Illinois caters to illegals like no other town in America. There are rude ignorant gang bangers all over the place. They all have Wisconsin license plates on the cars in Waukegan and the town turns away and does nothing about it. Evidentally it is easy for illegals to get plates in Kenosha and live in illinois. The town is 90% Mexican. All of the store fronts on Grand avenue are Mexican. What a shame to loose the town to them. The temporary worker businesses all get jobs for the illegals and some of the food manufacturers hire them at reduced costs.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bilingual citizen

      This comment has nothing to do with the article. It looks like you misinterpreted the message. And you used the wrong version of "loose", which means not firm. You should have used "lose".

      February 29, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Charlotte

        You might as well give up, Bilingual. "Tired of" is like all who share his opinion – lacking the mental capacity to even understand what he has read, other than thinking it has to do with illegal immigration somehow. He doesn't understand what monolingual, bilingual, polyglot or other such complicated terms mean, and he and his cohorts are all afraid of that which they do not understand. And yes, most of them fail to grasp the proper use of "lose" and "loose."

        February 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Your town would be nothing without the Latino population. It would be another deserted country-town...

      February 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  36. LukeVentura

    Estimated 7 million non-agricultural jobs are held by illegal aliens .
    Jobs that could and should go to Americans. Push your state rep to make a change .
    Google this: NUMBERSUSA .Once you are registered, go to the "action board" to
    send free faxes to you state representative .
    They are all typed up and ready to go, you just need to click your mouse to send.
    No more illegal aliens in payroll jobs !

    February 29, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Check Alabama for testing your theory that Mexicans are taking agriculture jobs that Americans should have. When they passed a law against illegal immigrants, they scared away a lot of them. Then guess what, no American wanted them jobs, and the farmers suffered to a point that the government is looking at how to bring back the workers (through legal means of course).

      Mexicans work hard at jobs that no one else really wants, i.e. agriculture, construction, assembly lines, etc. So get all your buddies to apply at these crappy jobs and there will be no need for illegals to come around.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Luke, you don't really need to fear the illegals, you DO need to fear the wave of contemporary legal immigrants and incoming residents of the U.S. territories, many who are master craftsmen, professionals with graduate and post-graduate degrees and lots of industry experience, because they will no longer fit your comfortable stereotype of the ill-prepared, timid immigrant who speaks broken English. You need to fear them because in all probability, one of them will be your boss during your lifetime, and he/she will not put up with your whining.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Apathetic

    I love it when people speak non-English languages to me. That gives me the liberty to ignore them. When overseas, if they do not speak English or have an English speaking staff member I take my business elsewhere. The most common complaint of most anglo Americans is that they feel that they are being talked about negatively. In truth, they probably are. But I never worry about that because whatever is said about me is irrelevant because I cannot understand it, hence, it does not affect me. I will say that this will lead me to take my money elsewhere. And in this world, money is always understood quite clearly.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Wow, you are the epitome of the Ugly American! Why the f*** would you expect someone in a non-English-speaking country to speak English to you???? English is not the God of languages, and there should be no more expectation that a Frenchman speak English to you than any Frenchman should have of coming here and having you speak French to him. Not that you'd be capable. If you take your business elsewhere, the merchants abroad no doubt are delighted to see the door hitting you in the backside as you leave.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Dduke

    Maybe instead of writing cry baby articles eg crying minorities, go get real jobs andd CNN can kiss your azz for that

    February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Katzen

      We "minorities" can't get real jobs because you A$$wholes outsourced them.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  39. andrea

    Rose, a wonderful article. I grew up with bilingual grandparents who often spoke spanish around us and expected us to speak spanish in thier home as well. But, I was stubborn and boy am I kicking myself for it now as a young adult. I can read it and write it but my speaking ability is lacking. My dad will not speak it in the house and how I wish he did, it is after all the language of our family. Grandma's recipes are in spanish and I catch myself thinking in spanish after visiting family. Keep fighting to have her speak it at home, she doesnt get it now, but she will one day!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  40. WASP

    reguardless of the language debate, i thought the story was heart warming. i agree we should learn from our past cultures, but come together as americans first and foremost because in america we are all mutts.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  41. Dduke

    Eat your tacos and leave

    February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Apathetic

      Troll guy is trolling.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      It's Comments like yours that show how ignorant we Americans are.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        Not all Americans, Susan. A great deal of you paid attention in school, and are not a stultifying drag to talk to. Then again, you have spectacular gems like Dduke.

        February 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Maria

    In order to be successful in the U.S., English fluency is a must. My parents knew that; they were German immigrants who, when they emigrated, did not speak a word of English. I grew up in a bilingual household but I was English competent when I entered elementary school. You can do both; you can be both. Just don't put the responsibility of learning English on the backs of our teachers and the taxpayers who support the schools. That is an unforgivable demand when we as a nation are falling behind academically....

    February 29, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      Sorry to be redundant. I got the impression my other comment didn't post..... Entschuldigung.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  43. RW

    "We need government intervention. "

    I've lost you here.
    No! I do not want any government intervention in my house. I can take care about it myself just right, thank you.
    My daughter is fully bilingual and is picking up a third language a bit. Like every parent in this situation we both with my wife have to give more out of ourselves to make sure our kid will speak other languages.
    I would rather ask for some government intervention to make sure kids in schools know some proper math and science as programs and books in USA are useless and are teaching tricks and not understanding. Here our government fails, not in your house when you speak English to your kid and are surprised she refuses to use Spanish.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  44. Maria

    Bilingualism is not on trial here. It is a good thing for Americans to be bilingual (not necessarily Spanish). I grew up in a bilingual household; my parents were German immigrants who did not know English when they emigrated. My sister and I were both English language competent when we entered elementary school (btw: we both have Ph.D.s – Danke Schoen Mutti und Vatti). To be any less would have been perceived as shamful by our parents. What I object to is the abbrogation of responsibility for English language fluency to the school system. The hubris of it is beyond belief.

    If the goal is a bilingual education (hopefully not Hispanic pride) -do it with your own time and resources (as our parents did) or mandate that a foreign language (not necessarily Spanish) curriculum be implemented in American schools. We do have to compete in a global market and knowing even rudimentary Chinese, Hindi, Russian, etc. would be a positive thing.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  45. TERE

    We are puertorrican and in my house, husband and two teen-boys, se habla espanol. I blame parents for not enforce their own language in their kids. English, their are going to learn anyway, your language, their are going to forget very soon unless YOU enforce them to speak. If you talk to your kid in your language and he/she respond in English, YOU are the reason why your kid are going to forget your language.IS NOT RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY ONE BUT PARENTS TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  46. El Americano

    My ancestors migrated here from Germany about 200 years ago. I've taken German classes. I can understand some Spanish. I am an American. I speak English. I'm not going to the extra effort to 'educate' myself in Spanish just to accommodate immigrants. When I go to places like Cancun I do not see anyone other than those who cater to tourist or want me to buy something speaking English. I don't see that in most other countries I've visited either. Why should Americans be forced to 'adapt' to accommodate this?

    I encounter Asians, Middle Easterners, Europeans, etc who have successfully immigrated to the United States, learned English and done quite well. Where does it stop? If we suddenly increased our population to about 20% British immigrants do we need to change our driving lanes?

    I think it is good to have a sense of where your ancestors came from and maintain some of your ethnic culture. However this is NOT Mexico! It's a non-violent attempt at trying to expand Mexico's border. Do not come to America to take advantage of the infrastructure, economic opportunities, civil liberties and all of the other benefits we've taken over 200 years to build only to try and force it's citizens to adapt to your culture. I can think of no other country on the planet that would tolerate this.

    For those of you out there who are on the same page, keep up the good fight. For all of those who disagree, it's all good until culture extends beyond restaurants, ethic items and Cinco de Mayo. It's interesting when I observe people barking about being more open and tolerant, yet create expensive exclusive enclave neighborhoods that are predominantly ethnically Nordic white. How hypocritical is that?!

    February 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  47. Phil

    @ Corbit

    My response "speak English or go back home" stems from all the crap I hear (or see) when I'm out in public. I know it's easy to speak in a language that comes natural to you - however, make an effort to make English your spoken language if you're going to live in America.

    I don't want to see instruction manuals folded in such a way that Spanish is the first thing I see. I don't want to see everything written in two languages when I go to the store.

    Go to Home Depot or Lowe's this week... Everything is written in two (or more) languages. It is one of the very few things in life that offends me. The other thing that bothers me is how insistent people are to prove to me that there is a god.

    I might not have the best grammar, but I've been speaking ONE language for 39 years.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • bilingual girl

      ONE language – and it shows! This kind of thinking is ignorance due to a lack of eduaction

      February 29, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Phil

        Bachelor and Masters in Electrical Engineering. I'm also an amateur astronomer and physicist. I sincerely doubt that I "lack" in education. Tolerance? Perhaps. Who cares about that? I can be as intolerant as I want. But I cannot be ignorant or dumb.

        February 29, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        Someone is ignorant if they are mono-lingual?? How ignorant are you?

        February 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TERE

      HAS SIDO UN IGNORANTE POR 39 ANOS!!!!!!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • TERE

      LOL!!!!!!! HAS SIDO UN IGNORANTE POR 39 ANOS!!!!!!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • UK

      Apologies Phil, but you do sound a tad ignorant indeed. Sorry to point to that.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • RW

      Prostactwo wychodzi tutaj jak sloma z butow. 🙂

      February 29, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • TERE

        LO MISMO DIGO YO.....:-)

        February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Phil,
      What gifts you may have in intelligence you seem to lack in social skills. Social skills are also important.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Phil

        I understand the world is very diverse. But if you choose to live here, please be able to speak our language to a degree that I can understand. If I choose to visit another country that does not speak English, I will have to learn enough of their language to get by...but I wouldn't go there and expect them to comply with what I understand nor would I move there without first mastering their language. I'm smart enough to learn it.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      I don't know what school you went to but my high school had a requirement that every student must study a foreign language for at least 2 years in order to graduate. This was back in 1968. Maybe if more schools had the same requirement, more citizens of the US would have a second language.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • patty

        Amen! We should begin a second language when children enter school - most likely kindergarten. The earlier the better as their acquistion will be that much easier. Stop the insanity of starting second language skills when children are in middle school and high school. They should be fluent in a second language by then and be working on a third. The more we can instill in children the love of others - we have far more in common than uncommon - and other cultures similarities and differences the better we will be as a U.S. and a world

        March 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • patty

        Amen! We should begin a second language when children enter school - most likely kindergarten. The earlier the better as their acquistion will be that much easier. Stop the insanity of starting second language skills when children are in middle school and high school. They should be fluent in a second language by then and be working on a third. The more we can instill in children the love of others - we have far more in common than uncommon - and other cultures similarities and differences the better we will be as a U.S. and a world.

        March 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Phil, your comment reminds me of something my late, eloquent grandmother used to say-"Es alegria compartir con una persona sin instruccion, pero con mucha educacion; pero es un fastidio lidiar con una persona con mucha instruccion, pero sin educacion alguna."

      February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        I don't believe the problem is lack of education, but more ignorance than anything else.

        Immigrants have no expectations of Phil to learn Spanish, but because he doesn't understand what is being said, he expects them to speak English.

        February 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Wrong, Phil. You DO lack in education, even if you finished some technical degrees (what, no Ph.D.? Then you should get off your high horse). Moreover, it's the hight of childish ignorance and bad manners for you to think that people are going to speak to one another in YOUR language if they are more comfortable conversing in their own native tongue. WT*F do you want eavesdropping on them anyway? Mind your own business and let people who are better educated than you – including those who have the neurological connections that allow them multilingual fluency – to mind theirs. Jeeze what a meathead.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Scott

    I am in the Army, and my wife is from Mexico. I learned Spanish while dating my wife, and me and my wife taught Spanish to my 3 kids as the primary language, then they quickly learned English once they started school. Being Bilingual has helped me in my career, and it will help my children.

    A lot of wife's family has been here for years, but is still not proficient enough in English to use it. Who cares...They are the most honest, caring, hard working, close knit family people I know. This may be America, but we are a melting pot. Most American's are something to akin to mutt dogs. We don't know where we come from, and most don't care. A lot spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, but skip the rest of the year. Then we feel justified to criticize a race of people that is more culturally sound than we are.

    NOTE: When someone is speaking Spanish, they are not talking about you. You are not that important and the world isn't concerned with you, much less some hard working Mexican sending most of the money he earned to his family in Mexico while working 12 hour days, for less than minimum wage, without any benefits or certainty that they even will be paid at all. And then they have to deal with people who hate them just because they choose to retain their culture and speak Spanish instead of speaking English to make you happy.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      Excelent comment. The more people travel and see, the better they are. In any country.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • MaryK

      Right so we should all stand up and salute all the illegals who have stolen American jobs, lie to welfare agencies, lie on there tax returns and teach there children for free, just because they are close knit? First of all you may want to take an English class, based on your writing you either lost your skills while becoming a Mexican or you didn't have them in the first place.
      Secondly, if they are such honest hard working people, why can't they take go home and work to control of there country?
      Thirdly, you obviously have a comprehension problem because nothing you wrote was in relation to the article!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Darrell

    It's great for kids to be bi-lingual. but in this climate of HUGE budget cuts it is unreasonable to ask schools to start new programs that will cost thousands of dollars school distracts don't have in the budget. I say be proactive and create a group of kids to learn a language. Parents involved in the kids education will change them for the better. And just because a school offers a language you don't want to learn doesn't make it a bad option.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  50. José Morón-Borjas

    Our two kids grew up in Venezuela. Our problem was to teach them English, and they learned it at home. We never faced any problems. They speak both languages naturally. I think people in the United States are making a problem out of nothing. The official language is English. Nobody is questioning that, but nobody is forgiving anyone to use other languages a home.
    There is a lot of experience in the U:S. Lots of people from other countries have made the U.S. their home and you cannot escape the advantages of having citizens who speak more than one language.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      The official language in the US is not English. There is no "Official" language.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  51. Charly Brains

    Se habla español! pero no solo español sino: mandarin, ruso, hebreo, francés, aleman, portuges, sueco, italiano, tagalo, etc. Este es el gran tesoro de este pais!!!
    Sorry for the folks who doesn't speak spanish... (perhaps you might like to try google translate) it's just too bad and sad to solely speak one language in this country compose of many from all corners of the BIG WORLD... 😉

    February 29, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • blcole3915

      My spanish is rusty- but got it all but "sueco". Will have to google that!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
      • Magnimus

        sueco is Swedish.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      I think that it is a good thing to speak other languages. I also think it is sad that some look down on others for speaking only English. The vast majority of people in this country function very well for their entire lives speaking English only. If you speak a second, or even third language, it does not make you superior. Don't look down on others..

      February 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        We won't knock folks for being monolinguistic...if they stop knocking us for being who we are (Hispanic, not illegal).

        March 2, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  52. Jim

    It seems from the posts here and my own personal experience that it is the Spanish-only crowd that seems to have a problem. Whether German, Polish, Russian, Hindi or whatever, immigrants generally don't have a problem. They adapt and they learn, even "wiv a berry dick akzent". I have a great deal of respect for people who are making this kind of effort. Their kids are the ones going to college and getting good jobs. Then the people who complain about their particular native language not being taught in school or getting "lost" are the one who get lost themselves and end up being forced to learn English phrases like "do you want fries with that burger?" Sorry, but it seems that this is only the spanish speaking immigrants. Why?

    My wife is German and I am American. Our kids are both bilingual. My wife had only a very simple English vocabulary, but in less than four years she was completely indepedant and was serving as translator when relatives came to visit. There is no reason why these people can't do it themselves. I refuse to accept that they are all idiots. Could it be that they are just to frakin' lazy? If not, then why?

    February 29, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  53. AGrey

    I don't care what country you are from or what language you speak in your home. All that matters to me is that the immigrant citizens of this country, or immigrant parents of citizens of this country, love this country as much as a native born American, respect it, and the doctrines that make it what it is, and pledge their allegiance to it.

    If you want to fly the Mexican flag in your yard, fine. But fly the American one higher.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      "But fly the American one higher."
      Right on!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ImpishLisa

      Amen!
      And I don't see Mexico having American holidays.It's lame, We're once again giving in to others. People don't understand the clannishness of Mexicans. My daughter has a mexican friend and her parents gave my daughter spanish books, cds and such that were VERY expensive. and I made her give them back. we live in America. She shouldn't have to learn spanish to be allowed to hang out with their kid, but that is what they are trying to make my daughter do. I refuse. I don't need the girl's parents trying to change my child to suit their own wants.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  54. cam

    wow, the negativity and intolerance of some of these comments! i think it's sad that we, americans in general, are so adamant about NOT wanting to encourage bilingualism in this country- fine to have English be the official language, but that doesn't mean it has to be the ONLY one, nor should it...
    i wonder how many of these people actually realize that despite much of the world learning English as a second language, [how much to compete with our ever-expanding business and tourism investments- outsource much?] "French is the official language of 32 countries. In all French-speaking countries, French coexists with one or several official languages, mother tongues, or national languages. Thus French has the double privilege of being a common language for very different peoples and a means of communication between the other languages and cultures it coexists with...In most international organisations, for instance the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the World Health Organisation, UNESCO, and UNICEF, French is an official and working language. Likewise, the Olympic Charter has designated French as an official language ever since 1896."

    http://www.francophonie.org/IMG/pdf/Press_Kit_French_language_in_Olympic_Games-2.pdf

    February 29, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  55. OH MY!

    Why would anyone want to teach their children a language that is used in a loser country, which was so bad amd uncivilized, their parents or grandparents had to run away from it, and to a civilized nation that naturally uses the few western Europian languages that is known the world over, and associated with non-backwards, non-primitive civilization.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Magnimus

      So that when they meet insufferable bigots like you they can pretend not to speak English.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      It's because they don't want their kids to be as primitive as you.
      By the way, what country are you talking about? Spain is in Western Europe, and there are many countries where people speak Spanish. But I am sure you never studied geography.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
      • hehe

        looks like you two aren't fluent in sarcasm.

        February 29, 2012 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      You do realize Spanish originated in Spain, a western European country? Technically it's a "white" language if you look at it in that context.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Kasia

    This article is strange. I am Polish and I understand first-hand how difficult it is to raise a bilingual child. First of all, it was difficult for my child to learn two languages at once, when all other kids were learning just one. At first, I thought that if I spoke Polish at home, she would learn the proper English at school (without my accent) and proper Polish at home. But when she started school and had some problems with English, the teacher advised me to switch to English. I did and now, as an A+ college student, you would never tell she had any problems. But she knows Polish very well too. When she was at school, I decided not to make it an issue. We spoke English, Polish, and a weird combination of the two at home and she learned to love it and cherish her Polish roots. But it was never a struggle. I let her decide which language she wanted to speak. At one point, she would answer me only in English, even if I said something in Polish. Then, when she was a teenager, she asked me to teach her how to write in Polish. English is definitely her first language, but Polish is not far behind. My point is, we are in America and we need to teach our children the language of this land, no matter where we come from. If they see, we cherish our roots, they will feel the connection too, but this is their decision to learn two languages. We cannot try to prevent them from speaking English.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  57. Chapis

    My husband is German and I'm Mexican. My son speaks German, Spanish, and English fluently. Since he was a newborn i have spoken to him in Spanish and my husband in German. When he was little many people said that we were wrong and we were going to confuse him. Also that he was going to have problems in school. I must say that being multilingual has been a fantastic tool in school specially in reading and writing. He can easily carry a conversation with his Oma und Opa as well as with his abuelito y abuelita (They don't speak English). Many times he has been the translator for me (my Geman is very basic) or for his father. In conclusion, there are no cons on being bilingual or multilingual, the pros however are endless.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  58. joe jones

    The real absurdity here is politicians claiming to have answers to all life's problems and the power to solve them when the reality is the President is just an executive–the one who carries out the will of the legislature and the one who obeys the laws laid down by the judicial branch.

    But you dolts will continue to cheer every time your candidate says something completely out of his control like he's in favor of religious this or against planned parenthood that or going to make english blah, blah, blah.

    The reality is he's not going to do any of it. Never has never will. Not within his power. But all you dolts are clueless and of course jump up and down and get all giddy every time your candidate promises something he can't possibly deliver.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  59. MaryN

    Tolerance of differences is one of the great gifts the U.S. has given the rest of the world. Do we all practice it? No. But it remains one of the American ideals, and like many of the others - like fierce protection of freedom of speech - it will eventually win out because we know it is right.

    The language question comes down to this: Don't tell people which language to speak in their homes. DO insist people speak English in public discourse. If there needs to be a law enshrining English as the national language, then so be it (though it shouldn't be necessary). Otherwise, encourage the speaking of different languages, and the learning of them.

    The immigration question comes down to this: You obey the laws and respect the customs of the land. You do NOT attempt to transplant a tiny slice of your home country here and expect to co-exist comfortably. You adjust. Kids know this, as the author has effectively shown.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jade

      Very concise and well-said.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • easternpaman

      i totally agree with your post..

      February 29, 2012 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  60. Jomama

    This article is a joke. I agree that we should speak multiple languages as an educated population. I also believe that we should speak our native tongue first. If I were to move to Germany to live and work, I'm learning German. Why is it acceptable here to live here 25 years and speak only 12 words of English. It boils down to laziness. But, that's okay! America needs someone to wash the dishes and pick the green beans. Viva Los Estados unidos! ( funny how that auto-corrected in English at first)

    February 29, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  61. Glenn Millam

    One of the oddest things I have found is that, when someone who speaks english goes to a foreign country that does not speak english, the natives will often deride the tourists for not understanding their language. The reason I say this is that, as the most widely spread language, and the international language of business and air travel, the english-first speaker faces a dilemma others don't... which language to choose to learn as a second language. For all others, english provides a pretty good choice as a second language. There are more mandarin speakers, but they are mainly concentrated in China. English is all over the world. So, as an english speaker, should I choose mandarin? Or spanish? or how about the elegant french? Maybe german, or clean and simple russian? What is the best investment of my precious time? Most english speakers don't bother, because there is no clear answer. English has been all I have ever needed to communicate to other humans.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryN

      The study of another language teaches you things about humanity in general that nothing else can. Why have certain phrases stuck in English when an English version will suffice? Take the word "rendezvous" for example. The English word "meeting" doesn't convey the nuances of meeting with a certain purpose in mind, perhaps under cover of scrutiny. So "rendezvous" persists. Among many others.

      As for those in other countries who sneer at your efforts to converse, learn this phrase in their language: "Sorry to discover you're just as ignorant as you say we Americans are."

      February 29, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  62. Nina

    English may not be the official language of America, but it is most definitely the dominant. If this woman can't persuade a 6 year old to speak spanish in her own home, she's probably going to have much bigger problems when the girl becomes a teenager. I think being bilingual or even multilingual is an advantage in this day and age but it doesn't necessarily mean our grade schools must offer it. If you want your kid to learn your mother tongue then do so in your own home or other after school programs. Stop complaining because there are so many American households where the children learn a different language at home from their parents. America consists of people with all different mother tongue's and with all due respect, don't consider yourself priority because there's a growing number of Spanish speakers in America. The people of this country as a whole should not need to cater to your needs because at the end of the day it was you who made the choice to come and even stay in America. If you go outside of this country, to one that is not dominantly spanish speaking, you communicate in english. It is far more beneficial for the young kids to first learn english and then learn other languages if they choose to.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Andy

    Anybody who's traveled around the world knows the ability to speak English is a lifesaver. No matter where you go it's not hard to find somebody that speaks English whether it be Europe, Africa, the middle east, Asia etc. U.S. media in English is exported around the world and foreign cultures gobble it up from a very young age. I was on a plane flight from Kuwait to UAE, two countries whose official languages aren't English about a year ago and the captain and all of the flight attendants could speak English. Make sure your children can speak English.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TDC

      Andy – I agree with you that English is a lifesaver, as it is sort of becoming the neutral language of the world, but a quick note on your example. All pilots operating out of major airports, so including all commercial airline pilots, are required to speak English fluently, as are flight attendants to my knowledge. In the case of pilots, it has to do with standardization of air traffic control around the globe. If a pilot coming into New York cannot understand the tower's direction, that could go pretty badly.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  64. mashiour

    21st February is Inl. Mother language day, the reason east pakistan impose urdu as mother language to west pakistan in 1952, where as 99% speak in bangla in west pakistan, student and people demonstrate and police killed the protester. we all must speak and teach our kids the mother language what ever it is...and kids can learn multi language easily...so no worries

    February 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Name*

    Well you can move to TX where we have dual programs starting from Pk!! The kids are teach in both Spanish and English.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Thats sad. This is America, an English speaking country.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  66. The Flamingo Kid

    If you cannot speak English then you should not be in this country.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portia

      Most of our great great grandparents didn't speak English, and came to this country (one of acceptance) for a better life.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        I'm sure what he's referring to is that some people live here for decades and never learn the language. That's just plain wrong and disrespectful to the host country (the US). If you can't be bothered to learn our language, yeah, you should leave. There are plenty of resources, many of them free, to help foreigners learn English.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Jeremy

        And I hate when the argument comes down to "well we have to accept them." Sure we do and we should; but they are making NO EFFORT to be accepting and welcoming of us. It's really just a one-way politically correct street where we are expected to be "culturally sensitive" and never question and respect them and all this and they continue to separate themselves from other Americans and never give an ounce of that respect back.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        What most people don't know, because they are too closed minded and busy being a bigot to learn, is that there are almost zero 2nd and 3rd generation Mexicans in the US that do not speak English fluently. The one's that don't know English are the first of their family to come here. Which is exactly how this country was made. My wife's parents came first and speak very little English, but all of their children speak fluent English. It is the large amount of new immigrants coming here every year that makes it seem like they are not making the effort to learn English.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        Nice try Scott, but what's your point anyway? Even first generation immigrants can (and a great many did) learn our language. So, you're giving them all a pass? How absolutely Liberal of you. There are so many millions of first generation illegals here that we're pushing 1 to speak English. That's a huge problem and there's nothing racist about wanting immigrants to respect our country and our language and ASSIMILATE, as well as to obey our immigration laws.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      The big underlying difference is previous generations of immigrants at least made an attempt to be part of their new country. Yes they tended to live in neighborhoods with similar ethnicities, but they weren't averse to mingling and adapting and having their children learn the language and history of their new homeland. Hispanic immigrants seem so intent on closing themselves off to everyone who isn't "la raza" and carving out "Little Mexico" enclaves where they live.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  67. Es Stupido

    From the what I gathered from the writers insistence on using the word "partner", this little girl has far greater obstcles to deal with than what language whe speaks. Poor child!

    February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      I noticed that too. The author strikes me as one of those knee-jerk "jump on any leftist bandwagon cause you see" types that are every bit as obnoxious as tea party hardliners.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  68. cubana

    I speak in spanish to my kids and they answer in english. I'm fluent in english but sometimes I experience problems with some americans who complaints about my accent being too strong. Some even asked me to take lessons, and my answer it is always the same: do you speak spanish or another language? guess what? they don't speak a work in another language and they are intolerant to people who speaks english but with an accent. I like the idea of raising multilingual kids, but at the same time, learning the language of the country of residence is very important.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ant301

      LOL! My house – different language, same story.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryN

      Keep up the good work - ignore people who make fun of your accent. Myself, I love accents, no matter where they're from 🙂

      February 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Why should they speak anything other than English? This is America, not Mexico.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I don't have a problem with accents, at least you're trying. Classes wouldn't really fix it anyway.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Enrique

    The real question should not be if learning more than just English is something to be encouraged. This should be a given. The question must be: should everyone be forced to learn English regardless of them being able to learn many others. In my opinion, the answer must be categorically YES!

    These two goals are not mutually exclusive. They are both desirable and obtainable.

    The real issue comes when some people wish to have the government offer services in other languages as a way to ease the burden on immigrants who do not speak English. Presumably, recent immigrants. It becomes an issue because English only becomes a proxy for how welcoming we are to new immigrants, and what kind of immigrants we should welcome. Those who favor a wider immigration door, tend to favor multilingual government services; those who prefer to keep the door shut to non English-speaking (or any) immigrants favor English only laws.

    People who favor open (legal, of course) immigration doors often find racist or xenophobic motives on those who would prefer to keep the doors closed, because the battle if fought over language rather on the merits of immigration itself.

    What are the benefits of having 10 Million Mexican immigrants in this country ? (speaking of the legals only. The illegals are another story) Should we continue to let this number increase over time? Should we strive to maintain the historical ethnic mix among the different ethnic backgrounds? Is that even morally right ?I can see why white Americans may feel angst at the prospect of becoming a minority in the U.S. I can also see how Mexicans would be very wary of seeing Mexico change its ethnic mix towards a majority black population, or India becoming majority Han Chinese, or Nigeria becoming majority Arab. Ethnicity matters, just as religion and language does. Claiming that we should keep our eyes closed and hope for the best in the spirit of fairness is naive at best and hypocritical at worst. America needs immigration badly if we are to continue to be a leading world economic power, but ignoring the difficulties of integration and accommodation is not the way to go.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryK

      I agree and the reform needs to begin with the boarders are closed. All illegals who are not a productive citizens should be deported this includes receiving all illegals who are receiving public assistance in any form. All public assistance for anyone who is not a fifth generation citizen can not receive any form of governmental assistance. If you did not give away welfare, medicaid, wic, ssi, public housing these people would not be here. Anyone who is not a United States citizen who has committed heinous criminal should executed.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  70. espanol

    NO SE CUAL ES EL GRAN DILEMA!!SI MUCHAS PERSONAS HOY EN DIA QUIEREN APRENDER ESPANOL!!ESOS QUE DICEN MALOS COMENTARIOS ES PORQUE ESTAN FRUSTRADOS QUE NO PUEDEN APRENDERLO.SI TU NO TE AS DADO CUENTA MAS DE 60 PORCIENTO DE LA POBLACION HABLA ESPANOL O QUEIRE APRENDERLO. EDUCATE!!

    February 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • responder

      I see you're asking for a landscaping job.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Portan

      Is a shame you not even know how to write properly in spanish!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • MaryK

      I don't need to learn Spanish you should learn English! Obvisouly you can't write in English or you would have made you statement in English and Spanish!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Jade

    I think it is great to have a bilingual child, especially sharing in parental heritage.

    However, I think english, in the USA, should be the primary language. Everyone should learn it and know it. If you want to have your child speak another language, great! But english first.

    I say this because this argument has no place whatsoever for being PC.

    This country is a great melting pot indeed.. but one that speaks english in its schools and governments, in its stores and businesses and everything else. I think it is about time to make it official. It is not being racist - it is about making sense.

    Having said that, spanish would be a great class to have children take at least a year of, since it is close to our boarders. On top of that, there are many countries in this world that have people of all ages fluent in two+ languages. Spanish is on our continent, on our boarder. English first though.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portia

      Haven't things been working fine without "making it official"? And why now is it "about time", when we have more Hispanic citizens than ever? Let me reiterate, Hispanic citizens, i.e. AMERICANS with the same rights as any other Americans. Why make it harder for them?

      February 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jade

        Quite obviously things are not "working fine", as this is now an issue. It hadn't been an issue before, because everyone was either speaking english or knew that it was unofficially the official language. This isn't a bi-lingual country just because more hispanics are entering it. Shall we start having our public schools only teach in mandarin chinese because you want to be politically correct? I'm sorry, but I prefer logic over political correctness, and I'm not afraid to say what needs to be said. Your problem lies in your thinking - hispanics are NOT the only people who might speak a different language. Yet you want to single it out. Much easier to go with what has been working since this country was formed, and speak the established language. It seems rather absurd to change this country to a spanish-speaking nation because nobody wants to offend a few people who think that they have the right to have everything be spanish just because that is what they choose for themselves.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portia

      And when I say things are working fine, I mean, most people in the USA speak English, and most people already think of English as the official language of the US.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • ohsnap

        Maybe, but I think English should be made the official language. If people live here, they should be required to speak English. Personally, I'm tired of pressing 1 for English. I'm also tired of not being able to apply for jobs because people don't take the time to learn English so bi-lingual skills are necessary. Don't misunderstand, I have no problem learning another language. I resent being FORCED to do so in a country where the language of state, etc is English. Years ago people made the effort to learn. Now, they don't. And it's mostly Latinos who don't. I have neighbours from Nepal. The grandmother is learning English and it is amazing how much she has learned in a year. She makes the effort. It would be nice if other ethnic groups did too.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  72. Learn

    I am a natural born american in my mid 40's and mono lingual. What a shame I grew up in such a pervasive ethnocentric environment where learning foreign language was discouraged. You see, most Americans today don't realize how educated our founding fathers were. They spoke multiple languages, except of course John Adams. He struggled so on trips with Ben Franklin who was able to communicate so well across languages.

    Of course, my daughter is bi racial and she definitely speaks two languages (she learned English second...cause English is such an easy language). Her Mandarin is excellent and she translates for me all the time (6 years old). It is awesome. She also speaks some Spanish and is learning more every day.

    One of the biggest problems with our great country, this United States of America, is that Americans have become idiots. They don't want to speak another language because that would force them to learn. We have, as a people, become to lazy to learn. We want easy. We like easy. Hey, its easy. This is why we can throw all of the money in the world into our education system and still come up with dismal results. No one wants to learn anymore.

    We want conformity. We want everyone to speak, act and worship like us. Why? Because ignorance is the breeding ground of fear and fear is the breeding ground of hate and prejudice. When I here people like Romney and Santorum speak, it just makes me feel sad for our country. We used to be the best but we are being beat out. We don't know it though because the TV doesn't tell us that information. It tells us to crack open another soda and relax on the couch.

    My daughter is a top student at her school. However, the school is about 80% Indian, 18% Asian, 1% Caucasian (white is not a race by the way, neither is black) and 1% other. Why? Because the Indian people and the Asian people value education. They respect teachers and they encourage academic success in their children. White America is so scared of this reality but they continue to sit on the couch.

    I do agree with one person on this forum. Keep doing what you are doing. You all are just making it that much easier for my daughter to reach the top. Your children will be working at the convenience store or maybe even end up in jail. My will be at the top, wealthy, successful, educated and happy 🙂

    Enjoy the couch and all the English that comes over your idiot box.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I don't think conformity has anything to do with it. There fifty different states, different laws, different cultures, and even different dialects. The one thing that is common is our language so that we can work together. It's not ignorance; if anything, it reflects a high degree of intellect to realize that communication is key to a successful society. Inability to communicate causes distrust through misunderstandings and segments society. There is nothing worse than not being able to communicate to others around you. I watched this happen numerous times over the years to new immigrants or spouses of immigrants who rarely leave home. It leaves the spouses highly reliant on either their spouse or their kids. Immigrants still try to keep their foot in their native land as it makes it difficult to move forward and be part of the community around them. I don't think we should have a law stating that English is the official language but there is real benefit for having people to be able to communicate with each other and associate with it other. It prevents arguments and ill-will. Move forward please.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Mike

    My Grandparents came to this country not knowing English but Ukrainian. Learned in a hurry to get a job and support their family. Why speak English because ALL the government notices I read at work are in Spanish and English. Cut out ALL Spanish and make them all speak English or get out! Just like my Grandparents and earn a living.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Stella

    My parents were immigrants who didn't speak English when they arrived but were eager to learn it and did so. They didn't see it as a dishonor to their roots. They saw it as an honor to the new country that took them in and offered opportunities they could never have gotten had they stayed home. The whole tone of this article annoys me, parents who seem ashamed their daughter wants to speak English. Knowing many languages is great but that's not what happens in these families. They only want to speak Spanish. Anyone who lives in Los Angeles can tell you many immigrants here seem militantly opposed to speaking any other language than Spanish. TV commercials and many road signs here are in Spanish only and no one cares whether Americans like it or not.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logan

      Hispanics do dishonor to the United States by not learning English, we can not count on hispanics to defend our country. Hispanics are just naturally lazy. And usually theives also.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susana

      I think you are missing the point. It is not that the author is ashamed her daughter wants to only speak English, at least that is not how I read it. I think she is trying to give her daughter an asset, that of being bilingual, and to have her be also proud of her spanish roots. I myself face her very same situation and totally understand her position. I want my girls to speak both English and Spanish but since English is the predominant language in my area (Ohio), guess I have to try harder. 🙂

      February 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • grif

      It's true. For instance if I move to Colombia, I'm sure they speak English there, maybe other languages. But let's be honest, if i don't learn Spanish, i don;t survive. That's how it is, that's the animal I would face and no doubt their people would have it no other way. Same with all other countries. They are proud of their language and they should be. Why not here? Why use America for it's freedoms and then hide in your secular societies, mocking and disrespecting English and our roots. Listen, if you want to mock America and our freedoms, our past, then go do it in your own country looking in. You can;t have it both ways. People think of Americans as arrogant, yet we cater and pamper to a wide range of ethnicities. Good luck having that done (not in tourists spots) in other countries. Quit being arrogant people, respect our past and acquiesce to the meaning of being American.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portia

      "that's not what happens in these families"

      Who do you think this was written by? It was written by a member of "these families" so it makes zero sense that you could deny it. But I suppose you know "these families" better than the author of the article.

      I grew up speaking only English and I would have been so happy to have learned Spanish (or any other language) at a young age. Being bilingual gives people a ton of opportunities, be it travel or work related. Being bilingual is also great for your brain! From the NY Times: "Among other benefits, the regular use of two languages appears to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease symptoms". That's great for the individual, and great for our country!

      February 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Jay

    Just makes me think about my ancestor, my great grandmother on my father's side. My father had asked her to teach him German and she flat out refused. She say everytime "we live in this country now and should only speak English to move forward." My father used make a little fuss when he reflected about it that it would have been nice if she had taught him a little but she wanted to be part of everything here. I get why the parents want to share but I think the little girl is right. She is exactly as my great grandmother and just wants to move forward. IMy kids are learning a second language but they choose to do this. I'm glad that none of our ancestors had pushed us to try to live in the past. God only knows what the mixed language would be because of our diverse past. Englo-Franco-Swahili-Spanish-German-Dutch-Cherokee,etc,etc, etc. Maybe just American would work?

    February 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin H

      I want to remind people of something that many have forgotten. Many who came to the United States – especially in the late 19th and early 20th century bought into gingoism. My first German ancestor arrived in Pennsylvania in 1734. That's quite a bit before we became a country. My people settled first in Pennsylvania, then moved to Ohio, then Michigan. Before WWI Germans often formed settlements where only German was spoken. Others chose to speak it in the home. Still others would not teach their children to speak. The German my people brought with them is no longer spoken – except by some Amish sects. When I was an 7th grader we could choose to learn a language starting in Grade 8. I had always been interested and elected to do so. By the time I was in 9th grade I spoke German fairly fluently. I was the first in my family since my great-uncle and his mother to speak German. I spoke it to my mother often even though she didn't understand me – she began to. She enjoyed it. It reminded her of her grandmother who when exasperated would say "dunowaro" which is borrowed from the German "donnerwetter" which is no stronger than "thunder weather" which pious people said instead of swearing. If I hadn't learned German part of my history would have been lost. Last year I helped my aunt translate a military passport from her great-grandfather – 1885. Without my translation I'm not sure how many pieces would have been put together. Few in America spoke only English – and many not a word from early in our history. Learning a second language – English – has been part of the American heritage for more than 200 years. We are a nation of immigrants.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        Your story is interesting and has merit, but it doesn't speak to the real problem Americans are having in our country. Quite frankly, in the long and storied history of immigration into the United States, there has never been a group that has so largely refused to learn English, and that has forced their foreign language upon the nation to the point where we are constantly told "Press 1 to speak English". It has never happened before. So, what makes Spanish-speaking people more special than any other foreign language speaking immigrant group to come here? Boy, am I waiting for an answer to that one!

        This is why English does need to be declared the official language, because undeniably it is. Not to do so risks fracturing our country by language, and that could never be a good thing. Being bilingual or multilingual is a good thing – no doubt. But being so necessarily means that you can speak and understand English. If you cannot, think about getting educated (it's truly never too late to learn), or else think about going someplace where your language is the primary one and stop invading us.

        February 29, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  76. Dave

    I agree with in the article in the sense that children should be multilingual, and try to keep their native roots. The problem comes when immigrants dont know english, and send their 5 year olds to school where they struggle for 3-4 years and fall hopelessly behind in academics. Maybe the article can attack this issue rather than soapbox a democratic issue during the republican primary

    February 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • latuya83@hotmail.com

      Hey idiot a 5 year old can learn any language ina matter of months.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  77. Tom

    If you'er to lazy and indifferent to learn our English language and culture, go back to the dump of a country u came from.. Take your family and posse with u!!

    Hatsa la wiedersehen

    February 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellyh

      Hey, Tom
      Imagine trying to work 8 hours a day, then spending 4-5 hours a night learning a language? You try it, then maybe a rational person would take a rant written by a brain-damaged five-year-old more seriously. I hope you get better.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susana

      I think the author is fluent in both English and Spanish. You are missing the point. Geez. 🙂

      February 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • no habla espanol

        No, you are missing the point. The problem isn't that the author wants her daughter to be bilingual. If anything, the author is DISCOURAGING it. She goes so far as to tell those associated with her daughter to speak spanish only to her, and you don't see a problem with that? This is not about her wanting her daughter to be bilingual, it is about her wanting her daughter to value spanish above english. If she values that so highly, she needs to take her a$$ back to Mexico, or the Dominican, or wherever they are from. This is America. Our heritage is english. If you want to come here to take advantage of our freedoms, then show a little respect and fully assimilate into society. To put it perfectly, you don't get a little bit pregnant. I am so sick of seing Mexicans waiving the Mexican flag in this country. If you are so proud, go back and actually try to change it!!!!! Truth be told, this is the precise isse that drives most people against immigration- that so many come over here, take jobs, many don't pay taxes, many more send money out of this country back home to their families, waive the Mexican flag, and not only resist learning our language, but actually try to make it so that we should have to learn theirs. Why should I have to learn another language because people come here refuse to learn english? If I want to go live in Mexico, I'll learn spanish. If I want to go live in Canada, I'll learn french. If you want to come here, learn english, or get out, it is that simple. Stop trying to turn our country into yours. If you are "so proud of your heritage," then what the hell are you doing here?!

        February 29, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        @no habla espanol: So very well stated.... thank you!

        February 29, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Tom, look up the difference between "too" and "to".
      I bet you also don't know the difference between "your" and "you're".

      February 29, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
      • sdf

        Why on earth would you try to educate that bigot?

        February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      How about learning how to spell and punctuate correctly Tom? Maybe then your words will matter.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  78. Xav

    Many "latinos" have this idea of Spanuish being a second class language. Most of Spaniosh spakers come from very classist societies... English is so much elevated. Maids and kitchen people slapeak Spanish! (I am being ironic, of course)

    February 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xav

      ¡Ay, qué horror, provengo de una familia y de en un país que hablan español!
      Si fuera que proviniera de Europa del norte donde se habla alemán, sueco o gaélico, seria otra cosa… como Santa laburo, que habla alemán en la entrega de los Óscar ¿cómo se dice "so cool” en alemán?

      February 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Logan

        I guess you think posting in this will make you look smarter? WRONG, it makes you look like a racist.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peacewalker

        Wie Toll!

        February 29, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Logan

      Spanish is a substandard language. All Airtraffic control towers in the world must speak English and all maritime communication must be in English also. Spanish does not have enough adjectives for use in Science and Business. There is nothing wrong with speaking both, it is just that English is the superior language.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kellyh

        Superior language? The way white people are superior to blacks. Good to know you think that way.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aimee

        English is only "superior" because we are the business language of the world. Give it a few years and all traffic control towers and martime communication will be in some form of Chinese dialect. The business language of the world will change with the turn of the tide.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Andy

    I think mom screwed up. She should of encouraged speaking both languages instead of drawing a line. Of course the kid is going to rebel.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • latuya83

      People are so stupid especially you, she wants her child to only speak Spanish at home so that she can be bilingual, the child is naturally going to learn and have English be her first language because that is all she will speak outside of her home I.e. with her classmates and the whole world around her. If she doesn't learn Spanish at an early age when its very easy she might never learn it.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
      • no habla espanol

        Did you really just call the poster stupid? Did you not deduce through the author's postings of her daughter's reactions to her statements in spanish that her daughter is already fluent in spanish? This is not about her wanting her daughter to learn spanish, this was about her wanting her daughter to keep spanish as her primary language. That's fine by me, if she wants to move her daughter back to where they came from.....

        February 29, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Curses, Phonics!

      Should've, as in should have, not should of.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  80. laura

    Through the years, I have come to the conclusion the people determine the language not the government. It cannot be forced on them. So many hispanics do not know English and don't desire to learn it. Somewhere the school system has failed the children. They offer the bilingual classes. They should offer it only in English. Children are like sponges they will pick up English fast. I believe providing bilingual classes to grade school is an example of wasted resources.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aimee

      You, obviously, have absolutely no background in Education. If you did you'd realize that English Only instruction fails at teaching anyone whether they be Hispanic, Indian, Asian, or African. A bilingual education is far superior to an English Only model. And with bilingual education native born, English only speakers can become fluent in a second language. Win and win.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        Again, Aimee, nothing wrong with learning more than one language. The problem here is that there is no excuse for Americans to have to "Press 1 for English" in their own country. The language here IS English. No problem and good for you if you know more than one. I do myself. Again, that's not the point nor the problem here.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Magnimus

        I think the problem with bilingual education is that many students use it to create a comfort zone that they do not dare leave. When I moved to the US, I made a decision to immerse myself in the language. I watched TV in English, I read the newspaper in English, and I forced myself to think in English. Within six months I was taking honors English classes; but I was the exception rather than the rule. Given the current requirements for graduation, including an English proficiency test, I doubt many of the people that started school at the same time I did would even graduate today.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  81. Espanoool

    Hablo Ingles, Espanol, he Italiano, publicamente y privadamente. Mi hija asi ya habla Ingles y Espanol igualmente, y ahora a ver si la puedo animar con el Italiano (u otra lengua) Me encanta oir otros lenguajes tambien, pues es una forma de conocer otras culturas.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Espanoool

      No podria imaginar una Opera traducida, igualmente que me parecen horribles las peliculas dobladas a otra lengua. Se trata de naturalidad y libertad, y no de ir cagao porque algun ignorante derechista nos diga que idioma tenemos que hablar.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Magnimus

        La mayoría de operas son interpretadas en varios lenguajes, y lo de los doblajes de películas depende. He visto películas dobladas decentemente, aunque muchos doblajes son horrorosos.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Espanoool

      Si me dirijo a alguien, es otra cosa. ..

      February 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Just Observing

        Totalmente de acuerdo estoy!

        February 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Espanoool

      Algunos Latinos prefieren auto discriminate y ocultar su lengua fuera de casa, como si eso los hiciera menos latinos...ha!

      February 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  82. WeNeedToSpeakMoreThenJustEnglish

    People – it has been proven that children that grow up in bi-lingual homes have higher IQs. They tend to be better educated, smarter, and get along easier with other cultures ... my 4.5 year old speaks English, Russian, Spanish and Hebrew (in order of mastery) and we are working on getting her to speak Chinese ... so let me put it this way – keep on telling your kids to speak only English – more opportunities for my kids in this increasingly global world – somebody has to work in McDonald’s after all.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • x3zy

      I don't believe you. Twenty years ago, nobody ever demanded that people in this country be bi-lingual just to exist. People just want society to suddenly start learning Spanish since you couldn't be bothered to learn English. I have nothing against learning another language, in fact I encourage it. I just resent the hell out of being told I need to learn another language besides English in my own country.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • JT

        I must agree with x3. Learn all the languages you can; I'm all for it. But I also believe that we're doing children living in America disservice by not teaching them in English.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • no habla espanol

        i couldn't agree more, well said

        February 29, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • grif

      And with that cynical and arrogant remark I'm sure your kids are just sweet as can be. Funny how i notice a few bilingual kids working at mcdonalds, better yet, taco bell. Maybe they had arrogant pos parents like yourself teach them multiple languages. When my unilingual ass rolls into one of my 2 stores tomorrow i'll ask how being bilingual is treating them. Better yet, I'll ask there drug dealer that usually stops by around closing.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Espanoool

        You have two stores, and wasting your time writing here 11 in the night? Guess what, I am one of your imagined stereotypical bilingual worker reading CNN at working hours!! BURRO!

        February 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crazy Cow

      quit lying. I.Q. is genetic and cant be manipulated by learning language.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      I do speak more that one language; But only English in America, German in Germany and Spanish in Argentina. When in Rome.... It is all about communicating with the people of the "original" founding country.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cap'n Rita

      I certainly hope your arrogance isn't diminished by the fact you can't apply the language. Your screen name would indicate a lack of understanding between "then" and "than". Yes, I would like fries with that.
      p,s, I spoke German until I was 4 (upon entering American Kindergarten). I now also speak French, Italian, some Swahili and am currently learning Irish Gaelic. To pay my bills I work as a retail manager. Hardly what anyone would consider an "intelligent" job.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • See saw sallie

      a reference please...to that point that it has been proven multilingualism boosts IQ or that research says the same

      February 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peacewalker

        http://knol.google.com/k/benefits-of-multilingualism#

        February 29, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • tmoney

      it's than, not then, maybe you work at mcdonalds.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  83. Josie

    I just don't get it. I lived the first part of elementry school over in Germany. We had to take English, but then we also were required to learn German. I remember going to a near-by sachool and we would talk to them in German and they would have to answer us in English. Sadly, I moved back to the US and didn't use the German anymore. By high school I could read it, and understand a little bit, but really not speak it properly anymore. My high school made taking a foriegn language manditory to graduate. They offered Spainish, German, and French. I took German, first as a review and then as a way to continue using it. I've had to use the German a few times after getting out. Now I am in college and am required to take a foriegn language. People keep telling me to choose Spanish, I'm going to take German again and see about traveling there for a bit. Now my best friend only took Spainish in high school to learn how to write it. She came from a bilingual home, and now her own daughter is being raised the same way. There is nothing wrong with learning another language.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Amy

    You should follow the dual immersion model used in public schools throughout California.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Carol

    Most countries in Europe, Asia, speak several languages. This is the only country who seems to discourage this. Thank God my parents spoke to me in Spanish growing up, therefore I am perfectly bi-lingual as well as are my siblings. My dad's phlosophy is English will be spoken everywhere else, so learn another language at home. I believe it is sad and ignorant for those who don't believe in bi-lingualism.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SPEAK ENGLISH

      The difference is that Europe is a continent of small and condensed nations of MANY languages, therefore there is a geo-political need for Europeans to be multi-lingual. Now, if you had half a brain or any respect for the English speaking heritage of this country you'd see that America is a very very very very big country on a continent that speaks primarily only three languages en masse: Spanish, English and French. Therefore, there is not, historically speaking, a neccesity for Americans to be bi-lingual as Europeans and some South Americans are. There are no multiple countries with varying languages near by, so you're pathetic little argument for our being more like Europe is stupid, narrow-minded and a true revelation of how anti-american Latinos are.
      You people want to change everything in your image. You ignore the experience of Native Americans, Asians, African Americans and expect to be the focal point in everything. It is utterly disgusting. There is more than one linguistic group in this country and thats why english must be upheld as our sole common language. It is has the been the one identifying factor that has helped us remain American and not with all due respect to our lovely neighbors up North, Canadian. We are not canadian. Canadians are Canadians. In fact, if some of you Idiots bothered going up there to look around, you;d see, IT IS NOT AMERICA. STOP COMPARING OTHER COUNTRIES TO AMERICA.

      AND SPEAK ENGLISH!!!

      February 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • WeNeedToSpeakMoreThenJustEnglish

        Forget history for a second: let’s talk future ... 1.5 Billion Chinese, 1.5 Billion Indians, 300 million Russian Speakers (not sure on Spanish speakers across the globe probably 500 million or so)... seriously dude... you should say speak English and start learning some other language too or the only job you and your children will have is working in the McDonalds ... not a bad job but not the best job...

        February 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • juanmoretime

        Spanish, English, French and you forgot Portugese (Brazil). Geopolitical? You contradicted yourself, WE live in a geopolitical world, were a second, third, fourth or fifth language always comes in handy.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aimee

        Now if you had half a brain you would realize that the Founding Fathers considered establishing French as our official language and banning English. We do not have an official language established because our forefathers were competent to reason freedom of speech, and that includes a foreign tongue.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        @WeNeedToSpeakMoreThenJustEnglish: For starters, here's something for you. As far as your 1.5 Billion Indians – "The official language of the Republic of India is Hindi with ENGLISH (CAPS mine) as an additional language for official work."

        Now I don't know if you've ever gotten out of the country, so it may or may not surprise you that English is spoken almost worldwide to some extent or another. It is almost a universal language. As a nation, we most certainly won't be learning Chinese or Hindi or even Russian as a second language, en masse. And how many Spanish speaking countries have populations that largely understand English? I'd certainly have to learn their language in order to function there. I think "Don't ask of others that which you are not also willing to do" is appropriate here.

        SPEAK ENGLISH is right in what he says. Latinos only think of their own language, but there IS more than one linguistic group in this country – Spanish isn't the only one. It's just the only one that has so largely refused to assimilate and is forcing their language upon an unquestionably English-speaking country.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • x3zy

      That is a myth! I have been to Europe many times and I can tell you for a fact that many Europeans are not multi-lingual. The English and Irish certainly are not. The French do not speak anything else other then French out of principal. Many people who visit France are shocked and rather annoyed at the lack of translation services that exist, even in tourist sites. I will admit that people of the generation that were in WW2 are multi-lingual out of necessity. Many times there countries had changed boundaries and governments due to years of wars, treaties and other calamities. The younger generation are certainly not becoming multi-lingual.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Made in Ireland

        The Irish are most certainly multilingual, I myself learned English, Irish, French and German till I was 18 and could converse quite well with natives. others in my school also took Spanish AND Latin. Most Irish people have a minimum 3 languages.. So to the person who claims that the Irish are not multilingual, that's a crock... Visiting a country doesn't make you and expert in their language abilities

        February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • x3zy

        To Made In Ireland: Um, no I am not speaking on experience of visiting the country as a tourist. I am speaking as a person who had family there. My father and mother are from Ulster and they have family in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. I actually could obtain British citizenship through them if I went through the paperwork. My father did learn Latin in school and my mother learned German and French in school but they are hardly proficient in it. People there learn languages in school but to what level? So what if they took it for a few years? Kids in the United States learn foreign languages as well in school but not to the level where you can become very fluent in it without constant use of it. I have no idea where in Ireland you are talking about when you claim that people are multi-lingual. My cousin from Belfast is but he majored in international business in college and studied many languages as well but that is it. I have met people in Ireland who can speak Gaelic and English but that is it. I have never met anyone who comes from Ulster or Ireland who speaks a minimum of three languages. I am sorry but I don't believe that for one moment. Are you trying to convince me that Irish farmers and Dublin workers are all speaking multiple languages? The fact that there are few mulit-lingual people there has become a challenge for them. Read the link below if you don't believe me. Are you really from Ireland or are you one of these people from Boston who call themselves Irish?
        http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/ibec-calls-for-integrated-language-education-policy-522030.html

        February 29, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
      • x3zy

        Hey Made In Ireland, Here is another link that backs up my statement: Ireland is the only European Union country, apart from Scotland, where learning a foreign language in school is not compulsory.Ireland has the highest proportion of citizens in the EU (66%) who say they do not know any other language apart from their mother tongue. Here is the link below:
        http://www.educationmatters.ie/2011/10/07/66-per-cent-of-irish-can-only-speak-english/

        Anyway, you were saying that people in Ireland are multi-lingual and I was a crock......

        February 29, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Boo

        Bull!!! I don't know what part of France you went to but I went to Paris a few years ago and I met alot of French citizens who spoke English. I spoke French but if I had trouble, they were happy to oblige and spoke in English. And the people I met seemed pleased when I tried to speak to them in French. What you said about the French is a damn lie.

        February 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  86. jeff_000

    It isn't just speaking American English (not the King's version)... It is also the fact that we do not consider ourselves all Americans... We are segragated more than we were before the civil rights act... Now we are Hispanic American's, or African American's, or Asian Americans or whatever... The question I have to ask is why anyone who claims to be an American would put another country first when they describe their nationality... I am American, 100% born and raised and proud of it... Since I am white I guess that means I need to be saying I am Caucasion American I guess, althought I have some European genes I guess I am European American... Of course I could research it further and maybe find out I am actually Irish American, or German American, or who knows what... Too much trouble, I will just stick with American, was good enough for my fore fathers and it is good enough for me..

    February 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bogusboggs

      Well said......
      Respect for all cultures includes respect for the dominant Anglo culture in America.
      There is NOTHING wrong with learning other languages and respecting the cultures of others who come to America, but remember that respect and tolerance is a two-way street....

      February 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • lili

      Thank you sooo much, jeff_000!! I agree with you 100%. I am have the blood from 8 different nations, yet I was born and raised American and that's what I claim to be! I, too, don't understand the need to put prefixes of other nationalities before American. Most African Americans weren't born in Africa. They were born American. Same with most Europeans in this country. And now there are many Asians who have been in this country for a few generations...also Americans. I agree with some others on here who have noted that it seems Hispanics (not from Spain) want to be identified most adamantly as Mexican-Americans, etc. If you live in America and are a citizen, you are American. If you are here applying for citizenship, it is to become American. If you are here illegally, you shouldn't be here. But if you are, it's obviously because you've risked a lot to be American, or at least, to profit from being treated as an American. I think as you do, jeff, that by identifying oneself as a "something-American" it just serves to separate us. So no matter what your status here, it behooves you to speak the language of America, which is English. Speaking English doesn't mean the people from England are superior. The language we ended up with is just the dominant one in which we communicate, do business and conduct our affairs. I don't hear any other nationalities complaining about speaking English here. Why do so many Hispanics complain? I'm not being sarcastic or facetious. I really am curious.

      March 8, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  87. Josh

    Why is it so important for people to "hold on to their roots"? Especially when this means forcing them on a child that doesn't want anything to do with them?

    It's the same deal with people of cultures that are English speaking. I couldn't tell you the number of times third generation Irish individuals went off on tangents about their culture, one that they're not longer a part of. If you've lived in a country your entire life, why is it so important to hold on to cultural roots that are meaningless and little more than tradition? Don't force these sorts of things on your children.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  88. rgcnn

    Wait, so just because think that English should be the only official language in US you are labeling me a racist, KKK, and a Taliban wife material? Now your true colors shine,

    February 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      Sure wish white people would have bended over for us black folk the way they do for latinos. I don't get it. We get enslaved for hundreds of years, they sneak over a border and all the white people start kissing their rear ends just because they clean their mansions and feel guilty about it.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • no habla espanol

        Wait, since do white people kiss the asses of latinos? We don't. We try to fight the fact that they are trying to force their culture and language onto us, and we get labeled racist for it. And another thing, get over the whole civil rights thing already. That was decades ago. Many of the racists that treated blacks like dirt are dead, many of the ones left alive have evolved. I really wish blacs would stop holding it against people who had absolutely nothing to do with it. We'd change it if we could, but we can't. Not to mention, whites were enslaving white for centuries, long before they started enslaving blacks, and the sad truth of it is blacks were sold off by BLACKS to whites. You need to learn history prior to what you consider your own. Then you need to wake up and realize that you were never in chains in a cotton field, and that nobody alive today has done such a horrible thing. Your ancestors would be disgusted that you tried to put yourself in their shoes................

        February 29, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        @no habla espanol: I get your points and they are good ones about the Latinos, and white racists being dead or having evolved as far as their treatment of Blacks. But just at the end there you state "Then you need to wake up and realize that you were never in chains in a cotton field, and that nobody alive today has done such a horrible thing."

        Here I need to bring up something in response. Maybe you heard about the incident last year where an 18 year old young man purposely went out to "f*** with some n*gg***" and ran over and killed a black man he found standing in a parking lot? There was a case just a few of years ago in Texas where some white guys grabbed a black man, tied him to a rope from the back of their pickup and dragged him down the road until his body was unrecognizable. So yes, somebody alive today has done such a horrible thing.

        There's still a lot of bad stuff going on out there and we need to be aware of it. That said, this is really about assimilation and respect for the United States as a host country to the foreigners that come here. Your point about us getting called racist for objecting to a group forcing their language onto us is on the mark. I would submit that those who want to force their foreign language on us are the true racists in this.

        February 29, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  89. dd

    Costa Rica teaches English in grade schools because English is the world language and they can get better jobs with American companies who come to Costa Rica or to work with companies that work with US companies. Kids learn English in Europe! It is a shame that Spanish and Ebonics are destroying the skills of Hispanics and Blacks. If you visit China, you can get a free tour guide by promising to help them with their English. People complain about making English the only national language. I guess they want to isolate Blacks and Hispanics from the global economy, keep them stupid, unskilled, and poor.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  90. MaryN

    As I see it, the author is just feeling kind of a tug between old and new, which millions of immigrants and their children and grandchildren have felt since non-English speakers first arrived in the New World. I applaud her for encouraging her daughter to speak both languages so as to preserve the heritage - so long as English comes first. I believe English should be the national language - I, too, have lost patience with people who not only refuse to speak it in publicly necessary situations like store transactions, but are proud of the fact.

    Those who have said it is disrespectful not even to try speaking the language of the country you are in are right. Whoever said businesses are enabling this behavior by printing everything in 3 languages etc. are also right.

    Having said that, English will win, eventually. It has happened across all cultures immigrating to the U.S. within 2 generations. For my part, I celebrate those immigrants who have chosen to continue remembering their heritage through festivals, church socials, etc. because I feel it enriches all of us Americans. It reminds us where we came from, and it is enjoyable to eat different foods, enjoy dancing, music, etc.

    Their languages will not usually survive here - the author accepts that, even as she feels a bit nostalgic for the change. But I think "transplants" really should continue getting together to celebrate the "mother" culture once in a while. It makes all Americans better Americans.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lesley Dean-Jones

      Very well expressed. In this global culture how can anyone deny the advantages of being fluent in English. For many, many reasons, how can anyone deny the advantages of being fluent in more than one language. Children's brains absorb language in a way that grows increasingly difficult for adults. There is no need for bi-lingual education for young children. They will adapt to whatever language surrounds them. We should also not postpone teaching native English speakers a foreign language until high school.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • MaryN

        Agreed. Foreign languages used to be taught in elementary schools, but have not been for many years. I studied French as a child, when things truly are absorbed more easily - now my youngest is actually at university in France, studying French herself, under threat of expulsion for speaking English! Good for her and good for me too, to reconnect and refresh 🙂

        February 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susana

      I totally agree with your assessment of the article. I, like the author, feel the pull between the languages. I am fluent in both English and Spanish and wish my daughters would speak more Spanish, while I understant they will still have English as their main language.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • MaryN

        Yes, I can see how it must hurt a bit. One realizes the reality of assimilating, but it does take adjusting.

        I kind of like the idea of the parents speaking a mix of the languages in the home - those of my friends who had first-generation parents tell me they learned the language a lot more easily because the parents chose to speak the first language when they didn't want the children to know what they were talking about! 🙂

        February 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  91. SPEAK ENGLISH

    Anyone who refuses to speak English to their children in this country should be cited for child abuse. Then, the child should be taken from the home and given to a person who actually loves the child and wishes to empower them, RATHER THAN DEFEAT THEM BY GHETTOIZING THEM LINGUISTICALLY! Ty as they may, Latinos will not be successful in the spanification of America. They better learn to assimilate like everybody else has because we are not going to change our national language and unity to accomodate them, and then they will be left behind economically. We will spill blood of the illegal invaders before we loose our Republic's common tongue to their arrogance and selfishness.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • What

      Do you realize how many spelling mistakes you've made in your comment? I guess you need to learn English, too

      February 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scott

        If you think he misspelled anything, then perhaps it's YOU that needs to learn English. Yeah, he left out an "r" in "try" just like you forgot a period. Big deal!

        February 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • RealEnglish

        Apparently Scott most likely has an adequate grasp of the English language, but would benefit from some reading comprehension review. First, we will certainly not "loose" our language as if it's held together by laces. Second, "spanification" is a social phenomenon that doesn't exist. That would be like saying my actions as an American abroad are "Anglocizing", which is an actual linguistic term, but not an ethnic one. Because what the original poster is most likely afraid of the most is demographic change. And the demographic involved are called Hispanics. And on a personal note, I would highly doubt that the author doesn't love her daughter very much. I would have loved the opportunity to grow up bilingual and visit Germany. And I believe that American kids aren't so soft that they can't handle some different food, different cultures, and rougher lifestyles. They'll grow up resilient, more independent, and will have the ability to sell American ingenuity to other countries.

        February 29, 2012 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Observing

      Wow, just wow. Ignorance at its best. I bet Rick Santorum has your vote too. What scares me more is how much you believe the bs you are typing.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • URANIDIOT

      ..."We will spill blood of the illegal invaders before we loose our Republic's common tongue to their arrogance and selfishness." Are you a Taliban propagandist? You definitely have the touch!

      February 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Spanification????!!! It's apparent you're having trouble with English – jeezy creezy!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  92. angelad

    Kids will speak whatever language (or languages) they have to – to be understood. You can not negotiate that or try to convince them otherwise. Kids can easily speak one, two or more languages fluently but only through daily exposure. The author of this article was not consequent with her child, she realizes that and she regrets it now. Only the parent is to blame, not the child, school, friends or surroundings. PS: I know what I am talking about, my kids speak English and German fluently and it was not even difficult.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  93. JR

    America should be English and Spanish just like Canada is English and French.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      WHY, this country was colonized by people who spoke English. Mexico and many south American countries were colonized by SPANISH SPEAKING people. that is why immigrants from latin American countries speak SPANISH. Latin American countries are NOT bi-lingual countries, I would have more sympathy for the Spanish speaker if their own native countries showed the way by putting up all signs in both languages conduct all classes in schools in English. In fact do everything that they accuse us of NOT doing. Why must we be more accommodating than latin nations.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • WeNeedToSpeakMoreThenJustEnglish

        Only if you consider, Texas, California and Florida were NOT colonized by English speaking Europeans.... and do not get me started on Louisiana … so perhaps short lesson on history would be nice.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kendal

        Actually, this country was colonized by people who spoke English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and German.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Guest

        I find this funny. My mother and her family are immigrants from a spanish-speaking country from latin-america and they speak spanish fluently. But as a child, they would always tell me "Gute Nacht" right before i would go to bed. Their grandmother (my great-grandma) would also tell them "Gute Nacht" before bedtime when they lived in latin america. Keith, if you didnt realize this yet, "Gute Nacht" is not spanish.. so YES in latin america, spanish is not the only language.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scb

        Remember the Alamo? Why do you suppose California cities have all those funny Spanish names? How about the French and Indian War or the Louisiana Purchase? The Pennsylvania Dutch? The United States has a much richer cultural heritage than you know. Unfortunately this kind of ignorance gets deeper every year public schools are forced to teach to the achievement tests. This is why history matters, because without a knowledge of where you come from it is extremely hard to correctly interpret what is happening now.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • colonization?

        Arguing language based on original colonization? Before it was the United States, there were plenty of other people living on the land that didn't speak a word of Dutch, French, English, German, etc.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • easternpaman

        Alaska was first colonized by the Russians and somewhat by Spain, hence Valdez. Remember "Exxon Valdez"?

        February 29, 2012 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Elena

        Actually St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the US, was settle by Spain not England. So Spanish was the first language of immigrants coming to the US.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Bowman

      Why not French also, and Russian, and Dutch? Various parts of the USA were previous colonies of those countries. Why doyou think Spanish be given preference over those languages? Maybe because you are a La Raza Cosmica racist?

      March 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  94. american

    Rule #1 Speak the language of the country you live in...period

    February 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Absolutely!!!

      February 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      US doesn't have a language.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Keith

        Oh yes, why did you write your post in ENGLISH.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • LOL

        Because you are typing in English and this website is written in English. Next time, post a counterargument.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Josh

        If you can't deduce the national language of the United States of America (Even the name is in English), then you've got much larger problems.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Amy

        Oh, you mean Los Estados Unidos? The U.S. has no official language. Any high school social studies class will reveal that.

        February 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • atroy

        So True....we still use the language of our original oppressors....the Brits!

        February 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • massms

        Lol ~

        Of course, the US has a language, it's English and has been for centuries. The fact it's not "official" is an excuse for lazy immigrants who either don't want to learn it or lack the ability.

        atroy ~

        And Hispanics sttill use the language of their oppressors...the Spanish.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • BeReal

        @massms: Props to you. Nicely done. And @atroy: We use American English, not British English. We've taken the language of our oppressors, improved it, and made it our own.

        February 29, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Observing

      Si te escribo en español, no vas a entender nada, ignorante. (Shall I translate that for you oh monolingual man? If I respond in Spanish, you won't understand anything.)

      February 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maria

        Typical Hispanic ignorant and nasty....you should write in English this site is in English ,go to Telemundo or Univision those are yoru sites lol lol you speak here English in America ! if you don't like come back to your Country!

        March 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Maria

    Bilingualism is not on trial here. It is a good thing for Americans to be bilingual (not necessarily Spanish). I grew up in a bilingual household; my parents were German immigrants who did not know English when they emigrated. My sister and I were both English language competent when we entered elementary school (btw: we both have Ph.D.s – Danke Schoen Mutti und Vatti). To be any less would have been perceived as shamful by our parents. What I object to is the abbrogation of responsibility for English language fluency to the school system. The hubris of it is beyond belief.

    If the goal is a bilingual education (hopefully not Hispanic pride) -do it with your own time and resources (as our parents did) or mandate that a foreign language (not necessarily Spanish) curriculum be implemented in American schools. We do have to compete in a global market and knowing even rudimentary Chinese, Hindi, Russian, etc. would be a positive thing.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  96. adda

    Great article! As an immigrant and a mom i can totally understand that feeling. We practice the samewith our 4 yr old. We are from India. some of the comments here are some dumbest things i have ever heard! People claiming that trying to speak two languages hurt! Research shows multilingual kids always do better in academics! And some of you are even talking about 'if you want to speak spanish, then stay there, why here' etc. You know what the land you live in, is a land of immigrants. So please brush up your knowledge before leaving random comments. I will definitely agree that one should learn to speak fluent English. but dont give up on your native language. It will help your kid having different perspectives in life while looking into a problem or looking for solution! and it definitely make them broad minded and world friendly. My 4 years recently asked me, "Mama, there are people who does not understand English and people who does not understand Bengali. But thats ok. I can talk to both and help them". So heres a proud immigrant mama!

    February 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      It has nothing to do with "research shows multilingual kids always do better in academics"(I don't find that believable btw) or how intelligent the kids are, it has to do with PERCEPTION from the teachers. If a child is brilliant but cannot communicate it effectively, that can be a problem. The issue is not mastering the language the child is using in school. Maybe the writer's daughter wants to practice more in English.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Ben

    I am Hispanic and I learned English as a second language while I was living in my native country. I totally agree that our kids' first language should be English. However, I still try to speak Spanish to them at home, but I don't force it. I think that whatever they can get, even if it's a little, will be helpful later on. I don't have a problem with people wanting Hispanics to learn English. However, this "English only" policy causes people to make very racist remarks.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • HispanicMan

      You're 100% correct. Thank you for such a logical and simple to understand opinion of how it is here in the U.S.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duryea

      My husband is from Puerto Rico and I am from a Polish background. Our children only spoke Spanish at home until they went to kindergarten and then learned English in school and it has served them well to be able to communicate in Spanish within their places of employment with employees who do not speak English or those who need help translating Spanish into English.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
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