The Language of Education
Robin Abcarian’s “A Foot in Two Worlds--and a Language for Both” (May 5) wonderfully illustrated the case for bilingual education.
This was no abstract political discussion. She went to the source, listening to kids, talking to teachers. And the result was illuminating and exciting.
I envy those kids. In high school and college, I took courses in Spanish, French, Italian and German with a year of Latin thrown in for good measure. Today I have a smattering of each, but I can’t carry on a conversation to save my life.
I am the mother of a 6 1/2-year-old currently in first grade in the Los Angeles public school system. I have also lived abroad in two other highly industrialized nations, England and Germany. Both of these countries allocate more money and curriculum per student than ours. It is a well known fact that the United States ranks way down the list compared to other nations in Europe and Asia.
England and Germany also have enormous populations of people of another culture, speaking another language--Pakistani and Indian in England, Turkish in Germany. These countries have large populations of other foreign-speaking people, as we do.
In their school systems, the language taught until later grades is the language of their land. I believe that the bilingual school set-up is a misplaced allocation of funds. Until this country decides that we should all learn Spanish, it is unfair to keep young children out of the English-speaking and writing curriculum.