It makes sense to have teachers who teach English, especially to new English students, be fluent in English.
Would a school system not want to fire or reassign math teachers who couldn’t add, subtract, multiply and divide well?
Would a school system not want to fire or reassign geography teachers who couldn’t use and/or teach how to use a map or globe?[/quote]
So here is a personal story, Some years back (I teach at a University) one of my students with a very Hispanic name was a student. This was a service course and he was pretty good. I chatted with him a couple of times in English as part of class and noted that he spoke with a heavy accent and had some real language issues. One day after class I decided to chat him up so I addressed him in Spanish.
He sort of stared at me.
“I don’t speak Spanish.”
?! I thought he was joking but no. Here was the story he told. Back in the 1960’s there was some survey work done and it turned out that this miniscule little town that thought it was in Mexico was really in Texas. So all of the inhabitants decided to raise their kids by only speaking English to them. The problem was that none of the parents could really speak English. All of the kids then became fluent in some sort of pidgin. I.e., he didn’t have a first language.
This was causing him quite a bit of trouble since he was, as I said, much smarter than his language skills could support.
I think the AZ laws as Push ferreted them out are a good idea.
You know, we all obsess about Spanish being so prevalent but that misses the larger point that at times past people have been concerned the same way about Irish, Swedish, Polish and a bunch of other furrin’ languages. All of those groups assimilated just fine – matter of fact, a lot of people don’t even know nowadays that their great grandparents might have had it rough. Being Hungarian is just sort of cool. The problem is probably going to be foolish laws forcing mandatory Spanish instruction on all those Urdu speakers in 30 years. English should be the standard language. Everyone learns it because the US is f-ing huge and just because they speak Hmong in South LA doesn’t mean the people that still speak Ukranian outside of Philadelphia can talk to you. While the Balkans are very rustically appealing, they are a lousy social model.
And as always, I might just be full of shit…