Can’t learn English in Spanish
October 17, 2002
I am writing in regard to your endorsement of Amendment 31 and the Associated Press article on Oct. 14 about parents rallying against 31 in Denver.
Let me begin by explaining that bilingual education means that the Spanish-speaking student is taught reading, writing and arithmetic in Spanish, his own language. How is this child going to learn English if he speaks only Spanish at home and only Spanish at school?
For the child to progress in the USA he must speak English. And the fact that he naturally speaks Spanish, making him truly bilingual can be an added advantage for him. But by teaching him in Spanish slows his English down, and to really integrate he must have confidence in English.
In California, the country’s largest Spanish-speaking state, bilingual instruction has been abandoned to the benefit of the foreign-speaking students. Because in English-immersion classes they hear in English quicker and are taught by English speakers and speak with their American buddies ? which is the real way to learn a language. Latino parents in California are happy their kids are learning English early in their school experience.
I urge the community to realize how bilingual education is slowing the students’ progress in learning English, and how immersion in English classes will build a more confident and successful person.
David R. Koehler
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