Re 3: Bilingual Ed.

Date: Wed Jul 28 1999 - 12:32:53 EDT

John: This was not meant to be insulting. It was meant as way to relate a
personal which I feel very strong in expressing an opinion
on. English is a very easy language to learn in terms of its gramatical and
vocabulary contents and a bit harder in its pronunciation alone. I did not
speak or write it at all. The ''whatever native language you spoke'' that you
make reference to I must have spoken is Spanish. That is my primary language.
Far more complicated in all its components than english. My parents education
had nothing to to with the way I learned english fluently in 3 months because
not only did my mother not speak english either but the only ''benefit'' I got
from my ''educated'' background was that I raised myself.

Why are you so surprised at the factual notion that is ''absolutely surprising
that anyone would believe that foreign children lack the ability to learn a
language very quickly and to progress academically at fast pace??? It is
incredible that anyone would believe this is not possible.. The saddest thing
about my experience is that although I was very fluent in english(learning it
during the summer) when I got to the school the school automatically put me in a
classroom for very SLOW children and on top of that; a grade back...they,
automatically assumed that I was dumb...that I needed help because english was
not my first language...that trauma took me a long time to get over and to this
day the whole notion of bi-lingual education nauseates me. Regardless of the
good intentions.

It seems that many people take this well intentioned attitude that if a child
does not speak ''the language'' than there is something wrong with them
intelectually and they need some kind of support. The best support foreign
children can get from the schools is for the school to recognize that they are
''equal'' and to leave them alone to shine and learn on their own. To stop
making them feel ''different'' and to stop the trauma that I know ensues from
this so called ''education''. The school I wrent to in my native country was one
fashioned after the famous ''Summer Hill'' school in England. It is the school
that puts all trust in the child's ability to learn, and guide herself
(himself)in any intellectual, or artistic
path. We weren't entirely FREE within the school. That school is the best model
of education that anyone can conceive but not too many are courageous to
try...besides if children are left more or less left alone to learn...where are
the teachers going to go with their degrees???


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