Is That Spanglish?
Paul Brownfield’s interview with Paul Rodriguez shows the perils of asking celebrities their opinions on issues that they may know nothing about (“Funny How He Speaks His Mind,” June 25).
Because Rodriguez is Latino, Brownfield asks him why he voted for Proposition 227, prefacing his question by saying “you grew up with bilingual education.” Wrong. Rodriguez is 43, so he went to school from about 1960 to 1973. That was a time of English immersion in California schools.
Since Rodriguez had no experience with bilingual, i.e. two-language education, he opposes it by falsely saying that students in the program only learn Spanish, and that Spanish will not help you get a job. Rodriguez himself has gotten a lot of work on Univision programs precisely because he speaks Spanish fluently, though his command of grammar is about that of a first-grader.
Had Rodriguez learned in a bilingual classroom, his audience would not have to wince at his fractured Spanglish. Does he want all Latino kids to speak that way?