Sunday, April 23, 2006

Interesting Commentary on Language

The article below has application in our schools.

I'm thankful that the state Board of Education this last week did not dilute the English/Language Arts standards for English learners, thereby ensuring that those students are not kept in segregated classes learning minimal English and doomed to be second-class citizens because they cannot assimilate due to their lack of English.

I know it isn't PC to say it, but English is the de facto national language in this country. There are few opportunities to achieve the American Dream without knowledge of English--even in the Southwest.

So when I came across this commentary from San Antonio, I thought I'd link to it. Here are the telling paragraphs:

This pointed up something to me which I have never forgotten. People are not separated nearly so much by appearance or skin color as by language and culture.

Folks who talk "down home" or even Yankee and are a recognizable type within a broad American culture are, in truth and fact, "one of us." Those who cling to an alien tongue, or speak American English poorly, and who have widely divergent customs will always be "foreigners," whatever their citizen status. This is human nature.

But it is not an expressed view today. People know and think it but are discouraged from saying it, despite widespread agreement among historians and demographers that language is the most binding cement of a society and nation.

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