Politics & Current Events
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

More on the English First approach of GOP platform on Education

English First is a national, non-profit grassroots lobbying organization founded in 1986. Our goals are simple:

  • Make English America's official language.
  • Give every child the chance to learn English.
  • Eliminate costly and ineffective multilingual policies

 English First is based in Springfield, Virginia--just outside the

Washington, D.C. Beltway. This location allows English First easy access to Congress to advance our lobbying goals

English First's aggressive lobbying staff is relied on by Members of Congress for information and assistance. As the only pro-English group to testify against bilingual ballots in 1992 and the only pro-English group to lead the fight against bilingual education in 1994, English First is widely respected among both official and unofficial Washington.

source

I am sorry but I have to call BS on this.  "Fighting against bilingual education". . .okay because English is the only language spoken in the world. 

I cannot believe that the GOP supports this approach to education in their national platform.

Re: More on the English First approach of GOP platform on Education

  • "Give every child the chance to learn English"

    I'm calling their bluff. I bet many of their supporters don't support educating undocumented children, or the children of undocumented immigrants.

     And since when does "bilingual" mean "no English"?

  • What is really killing me is the the GOP Education platform is based on the work of a  lobbying organizaition.
  • "Give every child the chance to learn English."  Please.  I think by that, they mean "Make sure children are only instructed in English, regardless of if they understand a word of it or not."
    Apple a Day--My Recipe Blog

    [IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/29mkhvm.jpg[/IMG]
  • Why should a school have to accomodate students who don't speak English?Employers don't have to.
  • is english not already our official language?

    its sad to see people that think being billigual is a bad thing. 

  • image Cooper333:
    Why should a school have to accomodate students who don't speak English?Employers don't have to.

    No offense but that is a very weak argument. There are plenty of things that schools offer and accomodate that employers do not. . .nap time, lunch, breakfast, recess, nurses, sports, etc.

    The idea that they are AGAINST bilingual education is CRAZY.  We do not live in a world where English is the only language.  The world is becoming intertwined everyday.  If we want to compete with other countries, we are going to need to encourage our students to learn the language of some of those countries. 

    For me, my children learning another language is crucial.  It is something I wish my parents would have pushed me to do. I would never send my children to a school that was English only.  That will only hurt them in the long run. 

  • image sugrfrejaz:

    is english not already our official language?

    its sad to see people that think being billigual is a bad thing. 

    Technically, we do not have an official language much like we do not have an official religion.

  • image soontobeka:
    The idea that they are AGAINST bilingual education is CRAZY.  We do not live in a world where English is the only language.  The world is becoming intertwined everyday.  If we want to compete with other countries, we are going to need to encourage our students to learn the language of some of those countries. 

    For me, my children learning another language is crucial.  It is something I wish my parents would have pushed me to do. I would never send my children to a school that was English only.  That will only hurt them in the long run.

    Straw Man Argument: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man," one describes a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view, yet is easier to refute. Then, one attributes that position to the opponent. For example, someone might deliberately overstate the opponent's position. While a straw man argument may work as a rhetorical technique?and succeed in persuading people?it carries little or no real evidential weight, since the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.

    I took a quick look at englishfirst.org.  They are NOT in any way opposing high school French or Spanish classes. They probably fully support students/people who are fluent English speakers learning another language.  That has nothing to do with their concern.

    They believe the most effective society for America is one where we can communicate with each other.  The inability to communicate among groups of citizens will lead to segregation, misunderstanding, and lack of common societal goals. The concept of the American melting pot is broken when large groups of citizens cannot communicate with each other and make no specific effort to do so.  They believe the common ground for communication should be English, since it is nearly universally spoken in the US.

    They oppose efforts at all levels of government that make it possible for non-English speaking people in the US to remain that way.    Providing multilingual governmental services requires taxpayers to fund a "solution" that merely perpetuates the problem. 

  • Deb, you do see the irony in your post, right? A straw man argument about straw men arguments? 

    Bilingual Education teaches kids in *two* languages. English is one of those languages.  Claiming it prevents kids from learning English is as ridiculous as claiming it prevents kids from learning Spanish (or whatever the other language in question is).

  • image debJustDeb:
    image soontobeka:
    The idea that they are AGAINST bilingual education is CRAZY.  We do not live in a world where English is the only language.  The world is becoming intertwined everyday.  If we want to compete with other countries, we are going to need to encourage our students to learn the language of some of those countries. 

    For me, my children learning another language is crucial.  It is something I wish my parents would have pushed me to do. I would never send my children to a school that was English only.  That will only hurt them in the long run.

    Straw Man Argument: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man," one describes a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view, yet is easier to refute. Then, one attributes that position to the opponent. For example, someone might deliberately overstate the opponent's position. While a straw man argument may work as a rhetorical technique?and succeed in persuading people?it carries little or no real evidential weight, since the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.

    I took a quick look at englishfirst.org.  They are NOT in any way opposing high school French or Spanish classes. They probably fully support students/people who are fluent English speakers learning another language.  That has nothing to do with their concern.

    They believe the most effective society for America is one where we can communicate with each other.  The inability to communicate among groups of citizens will lead to segregation, misunderstanding, and lack of common societal goals. The concept of the American melting pot is broken when large groups of citizens cannot communicate with each other and make no specific effort to do so.  They believe the common ground for communication should be English, since it is nearly universally spoken in the US.

    They oppose efforts at all levels of government that make it possible for non-English speaking people in the US to remain that way.    Providing multilingual governmental services requires taxpayers to fund a "solution" that merely perpetuates the problem. 

    I hardly think using the same words and language on the English First website is a straw man's argument.  I am taking them at their word. 

    They say that they are a Pro-English group that has fought against bilingual education.  Until they further clarify their stance then I take it that they are against bilingual education in any form. 

    Like Sonrisa said, you are trying to change/clarify their stance for the sake of this argument.  I am only going off of what they are explaining. 

    On another note, it appears that this is just a group of lobbyist trying to change the face of education.  I would like some background on these lobbyists as to their experience in classrooms, curriculm development, educational administration.  That info is not available on their website.

  • Offering high school french classes is hardly what most people consider bilingual education.
  • image debJustDeb:
    Offering high school french classes is hardly what most people consider bilingual education.

    No, offering an elective course in foreign language is not "bilingual education." But bilingual education does include schools like the charter school close to my house that offers Mandarin immersion from pre-K and is fully bilingual through grade 8. Why on earth should we discourage American children from learning another language through a highly effective method (much more effective than taking two years of Mandarin once you get to high school!!).

    This issue really bothers me. My husband's family has been in this country since before the Pilgrims. They're direct descendants of the offspring of Juan de O?ate's colonists and the native American tribes with whom they intermarried. After the Mexican-American war they moved south of the Rio Grande in order to remain in Mexico, only to be brought in to the US later when the Gadsdon Purchase added that sliver of NM to the continental US. Why on earth should they not have the right to speak Spanish? They're the descendants of the first European settlers in this country. Why are their rights any less than those of the descendants of Jamestown or Plymouth? 

    NM currently has two official languages: English and Spanish. The English Only folks (who are almost all GOP) would force them to remove Spanish. So much for state's rights eh?

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
  • The entire West and Southwest was Espanol long before this "English first" ever showed up. 
  • image mxolisi:

    Why on earth should we discourage American children from learning another language through a highly effective method (much more effective than taking two years of Mandarin once you get to high school!!).

    Nobody is trying prevent English-speaking citizens from learning another language.  That's the straw man argument.

    The English first people and groups like them are trying to prevent the government from facilitating the lack of desire for some non-English-speaking citizens from doing so by offering multilingual services.  If a Mandarin-speaking citizen uses a Mandarin immersion school to avoid learning English, they will oppose it.  I spelled out in an earlier post their general reasons; the inability to communicate in a common language leads to segregation and an unhealthy American society.

    ETA: I'm not especially familiar with the englishfirst.com group, but I note that it's englishfirst, not englishonly.com.

  • image debJustDeb:
    image mxolisi:

    Why on earth should we discourage American children from learning another language through a highly effective method (much more effective than taking two years of Mandarin once you get to high school!!).

    Nobody is trying prevent English-speaking citizens from learning another language.  That's the straw man argument.

    The English first people and groups like them are trying to prevent the government from facilitating the lack of desire for some non-English-speaking citizens from doing so by offering multilingual services.  If a Mandarin-speaking citizen uses a Mandarin immersion school to avoid learning English, they will oppose it.  I spelled out in an earlier post their general reasons; the inability to communicate in a common language leads to segregation and an unhealthy American society.

    ETA: I'm not especially familiar with the englishfirst.com group, but I note that it's englishfirst, not englishonly.com.

    Fine. Tell me why my husband's family, which has been here longer than 99% of Americans should not have multilingual services available to them. If we don't want Spanish speaking people in this country we never should have annexed that land. Period. This makes me livid.They and their ancestors have contributed more to this country than most families. How dare relative newcomers dictate what language their children should be educated in?

    And to tell a state or municipality that the official languages they have designated are no longer valid as we have ONE official language flies in the face of every state's rights argument the GOP makes.

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
  • wow, arrogant much? what a horrible group, could this group be premoting prejudice views?

     

    Slainte!
    my read shelf:
    Jenni (jenniloveselvis)'s book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
  • As for education, I am for bilingual/multilingual education at an early age because I believe it is proven that children can learn a different language quicker and easier the younger they are.  It's good to learn another language for the sake of learning it. 

    Having said that, I do agree with some of Deb's comments.  I find it quite disconcerting how many people there are that do not seem to make an effort to learn English so that everyone can communicate with each other effectively.  Since there are a lot of different languages coming to this country, I think it is important that one language be the focus of all...it's just plain common sense.  The immigrants of the late 1800's and early 1900's were motivated to learn English....they  did not expect the rest of the country to learn their languages in order to communicate, get jobs, etc.  Why should it be different now?  

    And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
  • image 2Vermont:

    As for education, I am for bilingual/multilingual education at an early age because I believe it is proven that children can learn a different language quicker and easier the younger they are.  It's good to learn another language for the sake of learning it. 

    Having said that, I do agree with some of Deb's comments.  I find it quite disconcerting how many people there are that do not seem to make an effort to learn English so that everyone can communicate with each other effectively.  Since there are a lot of different languages coming to this country, I think it is important that one language be the focus of all...it's just plain common sense.  The immigrants of the late 1800's and early 1900's were motivated to learn English....they  did not expect the rest of the country to learn their languages in order to communicate, get jobs, etc.  Why should it be different now?  

    I agree with you, particularly about immigrants being willing to learn English in the 1800s and 1900s and the need for one language simply to streamline the function of the nation.  From my fiscal conservative POV, it's inefficient and expensive to have to provide documents and services in multiple languages, and the language barrier can be quite an impediment; ask anyone living here who doesn't speak English.

    With that said, I am a huge believer in teaching children more than one language, for a variety of reasons, and I don't think it's entirely realistic to expect people living in this melting pot (or tossed salad, depending upon which metaphor you prefer) to all speak English, at least not to the same degree of proficiency. 

  • image 2Vermont:

    The immigrants of the late 1800's and early 1900's were motivated to learn English....they  did not expect the rest of the country to learn their languages in order to communicate, get jobs, etc.  Why should it be different now?  

    This isn't exactly true, though. Many German immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s, for example, never learned English - they had newspapers, businesses, schools that were all in German. It was their children and grandchildren who learned English and assimilated -- much like today's Hispanic immigrants.  

     

    http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/immig/alt/german3.html

     

    By the middle of the 18th century, German immigrants occupied a central place in American life. Germans accounted for one-third of the population of the American colonies, and were second in number only to the English. The German language was widely spoken in nearly every colonial city and was circulated in locally published periodicals and books. When the members of the Continental Congress first met in Philadelphia, they walked down streets lined with German businesses sporting German signs, and their deliberations were reported in German broadsides and debated in German coffeehouses. When the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, a German newspaper was the first to break the news, and German copies of the Declaration were on the streets the next day.

     

    But more importantly, as mx pointed out - not everyone who speaks Spanish in the US is an immigrant! Some have been here longer than your average English-speaking American. Why should they not have the same claim to the language of government and education?

    "I
  • image talltalltrees:
    image 2Vermont:

    The immigrants of the late 1800's and early 1900's were motivated to learn English....they  did not expect the rest of the country to learn their languages in order to communicate, get jobs, etc.  Why should it be different now?  

    This isn't exactly true, though. Many German immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s, for example, never learned English - they had newspapers, businesses, schools that were all in German. It was their children and grandchildren who learned English and assimilated -- much like today's Hispanic immigrants.  

     

    http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/immig/alt/german3.html

     

    By the middle of the 18th century, German immigrants occupied a central place in American life. Germans accounted for one-third of the population of the American colonies, and were second in number only to the English. The German language was widely spoken in nearly every colonial city and was circulated in locally published periodicals and books. When the members of the Continental Congress first met in Philadelphia, they walked down streets lined with German businesses sporting German signs, and their deliberations were reported in German broadsides and debated in German coffeehouses. When the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, a German newspaper was the first to break the news, and German copies of the Declaration were on the streets the next day.

     

    But more importantly, as mx pointed out - not everyone who speaks Spanish in the US is an immigrant! Some have been here longer than your average English-speaking American. Why should they not have the same claim to the language of government and education?

    OK, so most immigrants made a point to learn the English language.

    As to your second point:  Should we all learn Native American languages....since they were here before us?

    A large percentage of this country speaks English..we need to use common sense here.

     

    And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
  • image mxolisi:
    Fine. Tell me why my husband's family, which has been here longer than 99% of Americans should not have multilingual services available to them.

    Because if they can speak English, it's an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars to provide multilingual services.  If they can't, it perpetuates an undesirable situation where blocks of citizens cannot communicate directly with majority of the country.

    image mxolisi:
    If we don't want Spanish speaking people in this country we never should have annexed that land.

    Cite, please.

  • image debJustDeb:

    image mxolisi:
    Fine. Tell me why my husband's family, which has been here longer than 99% of Americans should not have multilingual services available to them.

    Because if they can speak English, it's an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars to provide multilingual services.  If they can't, it perpetuates an undesirable situation where blocks of citizens cannot communicate directly with majority of the country.

    image mxolisi:
    If we don't want Spanish speaking people in this country we never should have annexed that land.

    Cite, please.

    I'm not sure what you want me to cite? I detailed the history of that region in my previous post in this thread. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesilla_Valley

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_de_Onate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadeloupe_hidalgo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_Purchase

    And maybe you think it is an inefficient use of taxpayer funds for the residents of La Mesa and San Miguel, Vado, Berino and Cantillo to be educated in Spanish and have Spanish speaking police forces. But the taxpayers of NM and those school districts disagree. People in those towns--as I noted earlier if you'd bothered to read what I wrote--are descended from those who moved south of the Rio Grande in order to remain in Mexico after the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo, only to be annexed later in the Gadsden Purchase. Unwilling to give up the land of the fertile Mesilla Valley, they begrudgingly became Americans in 1853, but let's be clear that they were not immigrants--they were a mix of Spanish colonists and Native Americans.

    Likewise why would you care if DC decides to print police action forms in 10 languages so that victims of crimes--be they tourists, business travelers, immigrants or diplomats can report crimes in a language they  are comfortable speaking in a time of crisis? I speak damn good Spanish, but I was unspeakably relieved when after my abduction in Nicaragua the police brought an English-speaking officer with a set of English-language forms to take the report.

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
  • image mxolisi:
    I'm not sure what you want me to cite? I detailed the history of that region in my previous post in this thread.

    I want you to cite me or anyone else in this discussion that claims we don't want Spanish speaking people in this country.  That's an inflammatory accusation that hasn't been part of this thread.

    image mxolisi:
    Likewise why would you care if DC decides to print police action forms in 10 languages so that victims of crimes--be they tourists, business travelers, immigrants or diplomats can report crimes in a language they  are comfortable speaking in a time of crisis?

    Making guests feel welcome in our country is terrific. That's not what this is about.  I want citizens of our country to be encouraged to learn English.

  • Wait, are you really asking for a citation that shows a large portion of the US was formerly a Spanish colony and therefore Spanish speaking long before it spoke English?

    Perhaps we should also focus on teaching history. 

  • english first stuff always makes me laugh from a practical standpoint.  if you want to succeed in this country (really succeed), you're going to need to know english.  a lot of times this doesn't happen with the immigrants themselves, but you'd be hard pressed to find a first generation person in this country who does NOT speak english.  english immersion doesn't work for all kids, so bilingual education helps ease the transition. 

    it's much ado about nothing.  occasionally, for example, listening to some pre-recorded voice on my bank's customer service number say "if you'd like to proceed in spanish, please press 1" has yet to tax me beyond measure.

    kiss it, nest.
  • Talk about a straw man argument! If you've never heard anyone say that they don't want Spanish-speakers in this country (or that fine, they can stay, but they'd better speak English--not learn English mind you, but dare not to speak their native language in commercial settings, on the bus or in the grocery store) you don't get out much. I wasn't pointing to people on this board (although the sentiment has absolutely been expressed here in the past, by certain regular posters). My husband and I regularly speak Spanish in public (and French and Swahili) in order to practice. You should see the looks and comments we get. Someone in rural PA once refused to serve us in a restaurant because we were speaking Spanish.

    We're talking about English First.

    They're opposed to bilingual education. You say, bilingual education is a straw man argument, and isn't really a problem.

    They want English to be the official language of the US. You've expressed that you don't think it is a problem if individual states or municipalities choose to use other languages in addition to English for official business.Which is exactly what they have a problem with.

    So do you agree with these people on anything? And if not, why on earth are you arguing with those of us who are criticizing their positions?

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
  • I am all in favor in helping children learn English, but I do not see the benefit of teaching them solely in English and if they can't understand English well enough to learn, simply letting them fail.?

    I also think that this country would be FAR better served if we concentrated on teaching children a second language in elementary school. ?

    "I
  • image cvillebetrothed:

    "if you'd like to proceed in spanish, please press 1" has yet to tax me beyond measure.

    Too bad you missed the thread in which a nestie basically said this phrase was offensive.LOL!! She said there is no way the Spanish option should be placed before the English option!! Oh good times.

    "HOW many US citizens and ranchers have been decapitated in Arizona by roving bands of paperless aliens, and how will a requirement that I have papers on me make that not happen?"courtesy of SueSue
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards