September 4, 2008

Blind Republicans

Mary Ann over at Learning the Language has a couple posts that should be generating some conversation.  First was "Republicans See English as the 'Official Language'"  They do know that is just like the Tom Tomorrow cartoon that shows then designating the Sun as our source of heat and light, don't they?  They get Orwellian with this, "...we support the English First approach and oppose divisive programs that limit students' future potential."  Even Mary Ann, an expert on these matters, has no idea where this "English First" nonsense came from.  It sure sounds like they mean bilingualism is bad, doesn't it?

Today she has "What's the Proper Role for English in the USA?"  Turns out some nitwit unfortunately named John Lillpop thinks "...Hispanics and other advocates of bilingual mumbo-jumbo are so blinded to reality?"  They're not blinded John, you are.  I was going to sum this up, but as usual Stephen Krashen already has:

Mr. Lillpot is badly misinformed. Everybody agrees that acquisition of English is essential. That's why we need bilingual education. Study after study shows that children in bilingual programs do better on tests of English reading than children in all-English immersion programs.  Bilingual education works because it uses the child's first language in a way that accelerates second language acquisition.

Of course, maybe I have this "English First" idea from the Republicans all wrong.  Perhaps they mean they're pushing some new financial incentive and providing more funds for English Language Learning, hiring more teachers and providing the curriculum and meeting space for adults as well as school children.  If they want our new citizens to learn English, that certainly makes sense.