REPLY #2 TO
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
(R) I think you're totally right when you talk about going to other countries
and respecting thier cultures, but I can't say I agree to your view on the
English Language. Everyone knows that English is the dominant language in
the United States and in the economy. Minorities know that. If everyone
knows that and is doing their best to learn English, what need is there for
an English Only policy?
(MB) Minorities may "know that", but they are certainly not all trying "their
best" to adopt English. There are many cases where, for example, Hispanic
parents are fighting school systems for "forcing" their children to be educated
in English. Some school systems have gone so far as to bring "child abuse"
charges against parents who refuse to allow their children such an education.
BTW, so that there's no misunderstanding here, I advocate "English First"
and not "English Only" for our schools. In fact, I highly encourage the
teaching of secondary languages as a part of the high school curriculum.
However, students educated in this country without English as their primary
language are almost inevitably going to be at a severe disadvantage later in
life -- especially if they have much hope for a career in any technical field.
I see this all too often in the computer classes I teach where those students
who have difficulties with English always have more trouble than their peers.
English in American schools should be fundamental and even more important
than other basic curricula such as mathematics, science, history, and
literature. While it's bad when a high school graduate has no idea what
logarithms or light-years are, which side won the Civil War, or who wrote
Hamlet, that person could still get along despite those holes in his knowledge.
But, if he has difficulty with English (or can't speak it at all), he is going
to have problems with almost all business and societal interactions throughout
his entire life. Quite a price to pay for placing primary importance on
"preserving his heritage".
(R) It's simply a way for conservative politicians to get votes as they try to
(MB) If a politician is promoting "English only", I'd agree with you. If he
promotes "English First", however, I'd agree with him.