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Old 09-28-2006, 01:27 PM   #121
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Why don't community colleges make it away for immigrants wether legal or not that there are classes to lean to speak english for free that are available to them?
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:35 PM   #122
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Why don't community colleges make it away for immigrants wether legal or not that there are classes to lean to speak english for free that are available to them?
Community colleges aren't usually in the business of passing out free classes. But there are plenty of churches and non-profit organizations that do such things.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:47 PM   #123
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Originally posted by maycocksean
I know. That was my point. I'd wager that Papua New Guinea's problems are not strictly the result of too many languages either.
Not strictly, they've got more than one, I'm sure.

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Yes, but historically we've not had nationwide mandatory English only laws. English came to be "dominant" naturally if you will.
English became dominant as a result of non-English speaking citizens accepting the fact that in order to communicate, they had to learn the language, rather than push a recessive language on the rest of the country. If you read my last post, and thought about it, you would know that California adapted one long ago, as did we on a national level during World War I.

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Perhaps if the French had one the French and Indian War we'd all be speaking French. The dominance of English in the world has everything to do with our dominance politically and economically in the world and not the other way around.
I can at least partially agree with the last statement. The global economic environment understands that if you want to make a lot of money on exporting, English should at least become a second language in non-English speaking countries.

But here's the difference - we aren't FORCING them to learn English. It's just giving them an opportunity to boost their GDP. In America, it should be the same way. English as the official language, don't criminalize Spanish, but for goodness sake, do not encourage ourselves to become a multilingual state. Yes, I agree that we can welcome visitors, but to become national citizens, English is a must.

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A similar comparision could be made to Greek during Greco-Roman times--another language that became dominant without a bunch of laws having to be passed. Rule the world, and your language will rule as well.
Are you implying that we should maintain English as an unofficial national language? If so, how can we possibly keep it that way? Is it always a vice to propose legislation, even if it can benefit society?

Linguist Ekkehard Wolff estimates that 50% of the population of Africa is multilingual (Wolff, 2000).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multili...in_communities

They don't have the greatest economy either.

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I think you're bringing up a new issue here. Bilingual education is not what we've been talking about and there are a different set of issues for that subject then whether the sign should read "Goodbye (Adios)." Maybe it's been the fuel in your fire this whole time but it's the first time it's been mentioned.
It has nothing and everything to do with multi-lingual accomidations. It should not be a luxury to know English in America, but a necessity. It should not be a luxury to know Spanish in Mexico, but a necessity. It should not be a luxury to know French in Quebec, but a necessity. When we start dropping the dominos, one thing will lead to another. First, we've got multi-lingual voting ballots in certain areas of California and such. This has escalated into tax-funded translators for students in some areas. These translators should be translating for the deaf and the blind.

If you're willing to learn English, submit to health tests, find work, pay taxes, and abide by our laws, then I WANT you to live in America. It would be an honor to have you here.

But if you're choosing not to meet these prerequisites, not even half-way, then you are coming with an entitlement mentality.


Quote:
No one's arguing that it isn't a good idea for people to learn the main language of the country to which they move. We all agree that it only makes good sense. And again, I really believe you overestimate the number of people who "don't want to learn English." My impression is EVERYBODY wants to learn English. (And I might add that even proponents of bilingual education may not be suggesting that some people should never ever have to learn English). We're simply arguing against the need for legislating it.
On this we disagree - every American citizen should be able to speak basic English.

Without legislation, how can you maintain English as an unofficial national language?
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:49 PM   #124
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Have you read any of Richard Rodriguez's books, Justin? He's a Mexican-American writer who opposes bilingual education for, I think, somewhat similar reasons to you. Although I don't personally agree with him, he's a wonderful and thought-provoking writer; some of his books, probably especially Hunger of Memory, are easier to read than others. You might want to check him out if you haven't read him.

Please give yourself a break and come back to it later, though, next time you feel upset enough to start cursing people out.

LivLuv makes a good point that it's a far more thorny problem to teach basic language skills to adults than to children, since adults are past mandatory schooling age. I believe it's in fact the case that one must demonstrate some proficiency in English to become a naturalized citizen, though some exceptions are made for long-term older residents, probably for the reasons maycocksean mentioned. Not long ago I read a story in our local paper about the problems faced by local non-English/non-Spanish speaking immigrants who run restaurants (a common enough occupation, more so in some communities than others perhaps, for people who arrive without many skills, as there's often a bit of an established network they can tap into with this trade to get them started). Anyhow, here in Indiana, one problem these folks face is that the state is under no obligation to provide food service manuals (which must be followed to pass health inspections, and are written in quite technical language, not the sort of stuff they teach you in basic ESL courses) in any language other than English. There is an edition available in Spanish, only because a local Spanish-speakers' advocacy group took it upon themselves to plan and fund a translation. But if your language is Cantonese or Vietnamese, say, too bad--you're out of luck, and the result is that speakers of these and other languages who can't fully understand the English manual often wind up losing their businesses for repeatedly failing inspections, usually over rather minor points. So, one example of how difficult the problems can be in many areas for older, monolingual immigrants--they may well have enough English to hold a basic conversation, read street signs, etc., but they don't have the kind of technical-language competency they'd need to satisfy the trade requirements for certain careers, and as it stands many states don't really provide them anything other than sink-or-swim as a motivation, which may not be financially or otherwise feasible for them to surmount.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:50 PM   #125
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I did not curse anyone out. What is the title of his book?
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:03 PM   #126
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He has four books that I know of--Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez; Mexico's Children; Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father; and Brown: The Last Discovery of America. I haven't read Mexico's Children but of the other three, I'd say Hunger of Memory is probably the easiest to get into. It isn't only about bilingualism, it's a collection of autobiographical essays basically, but all the basic points of his opposition to bilingual education are in there.

I was referring to your post that maycocksean replied to and asked you to take it easy...you many not have been cursing at anyone but still the eruption was uncalled for. We all get spitting mad sometimes, I do too but that's when it's a good idea to step away from it for awhile.
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:05 PM   #127
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Ok. I apologize for the outburst.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:27 PM   #128
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Gordon Brown the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke on this subject at the Labour Party conference this week. He said the following:

And let me say something which I know is controversial but I know needs to be said: If we are to uphold these values that matter most we need not only respect for all traditions but also a common language.
And in addition to rules for managed migration and the decision we will apply to Romania and Bulgaria, it is right that people who come to and are in this country to stay learn English; Have some sense of what it means to be British, of our history and our culture; And through citizenship tests and citizenship ceremonies take British citizenship seriously

Obviously the inference is that it will be mandatory for all immigrants to learn English if they intend to stay in this country. How this will effected is another matter but I do agree that any immigrant should be expected to learn to speak the principal language of the nation they move to. Besides such issues as integration there is also a real cost factor - another report out today http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...378527,00.html has shown that the cost of paying interpreters to help at police stations alone is a staggering £21 million pa and rising each year.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:14 AM   #129
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
rather than push a recessive language on the rest of the country.
I think this may be the key issue which I'm challenging (though to be honest as I'm following this discussion I'm moderating my views perhaps a bit more in your direction). I just don't see that some accomodations for a large group of people who speak a language other than English qualifies as "pushing a recessive language on the rest of the country." When they make it mandantory for all U.S. children to speak Spanish fluently to pass grade level or something like that, then I would say, yes we're pushing a recessive language.

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
If you read my last post, and thought about it, you would know that California adapted one long ago, as did we on a national level during World War I.
I read all your posts and your history of language legislation seemed to be more rooted in nativism and an undercurrent of prejudice than common sense.

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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I can at least partially agree with the last statement. The global economic environment understands that if you want to make a lot of money on exporting, English should at least become a second language in non-English speaking countries.

but to become national citizens, English is a must.
On this point, I do agree. Yolland pointed out that some basic knowledge of English apparently is part of the citizenship test. I guess I would argue that additional legislation beyond that isn't necessary.

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Are you implying that we should maintain English as an unofficial national language? If so, how can we possibly keep it that way? Is it always a vice to propose legislation, even if it can benefit society?
No, but I guess I just don't see English as "under threat." I don't see English being overwhelmed by a tide of Spanish anytime soon. . .or ever really. And even if Spanish was "seeping into the language" Muggsy made a good point. Language is dynamic and it's a fools errand to try and somehow keep it "pure." Similar to the issue of keeping races "pure." In the wide scope of history whether English lasts "forever" will have much more to do with how America fares than what other languages appear on our signs.

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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Linguist Ekkehard Wolff estimates that 50% of the population of Africa is multilingual (Wolff, 2000).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multili...in_communities

They don't have the greatest economy either.
Yes, but again correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation. Remember Africa was partioned by Europeans ignorant of the cultural, ethnic, and language groupings in Africa. People of different and often warring groups were thrown together willy-nilly. Any "language profusion" issues within Africa have as much to do with the history of European imperialism as anything else, and the multitude of languages in a single country is probably the least of the problems caused by that imperialism.

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
It has nothing and everything to do with multi-lingual accomidations. It should not be a luxury to know English in America, but a necessity
I think it already is, even if it's not a legal necessity.

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
If you're willing to learn English, submit to health tests, find work, pay taxes, and abide by our laws, then I WANT you to live in America. It would be an honor to have you here.

But if you're choosing not to meet these prerequisites, not even half-way, then you are coming with an entitlement mentality.
I agree. And again, this implies more about your perception of "They", the brown ones streaming across our borders than about how many of these people might actually feel.




Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
On this we disagree - every American citizen should be able to speak basic English.
I actually don't disagree. I just don't know that there is so much resistance to this idea that we must legislate it. I think most immigrants understand and except this. It's on THIS point that we disagree.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:19 PM   #130
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Re: Should we?

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Originally posted by Justin24


They call groups such as the minute men white devils because they have the courage to do what the government should have done in the first place and that is securing the border.
Interesting spot on TV last night. A riot brokeout at Columbia University where the College Republicans invited the Minutemen to come and speak. A group was protesting. One of the protestors was kicked in the head, it's under investigation right now who provoked what first but the video is pretty damning that the first hint of violence was taken by the minutemen. The spokesperson and the leader of the protestors were both invited to speak on the program last night, Free Speech. The spokesperson stormed off the show due to his lawyer saying he can't say anything more.

What a coward. I'll try to find a transcript. Seems like Fox got a hold of the story and made it the protestors fault, no surprise there.

There was also the question whether recruting from known neo-nazi organizations was taking place, but this was about the time he stormed off.

Should be interesting.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:30 PM   #131
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Innocent until all the facts are laid out.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:35 PM   #132
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Innocent until all the facts are laid out.
That's why I said, 'I'll try and find a transcript' and 'it should be interesting'.

Since he left so early in the program it was hard to really get his side, but like I said the video is pretty damning.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:36 PM   #133
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Can I get a link to the Video
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:39 PM   #134
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Haven't found one yet...
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:12 PM   #135
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i just want to say that i second Yolland's suggestion that you read Richard Rodriguez. he's a beautiful writer, whether i agree with him or not, and he has many thought provoking ideas.

i think you would really enjoy him, Justin.
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