Language

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Liza Marie, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Liza Marie

    Liza Marie New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    Hey to all,
    Does everyone have the right to be taught in their own language? Should schools accommodate the children?
    Till later
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,712

    Aug 17, 2009

    That's a really big question! I would like to think about my response before I post anything 'official'...but I will say that sometimes it's simply not feasible for schools to accommodate every language. There are over a hundred different languages spoken by the students in my school district. There's no way that a school could offer services in all those languages. If the student's native language is especially uncommon, it's entirely possible/probable that no school in the district could offer services in that language.

    So whether students have a "right" to be taught in their own language might not be the biggest issue. The biggest issue would be how practical is it to serve a small number of students in their native language.

    I think this is why we have English Language Learner and English as a Second Language programs in schools. All the non-native speakers of English can take those courses and receive the benefits of both language and content instruction.
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Aug 17, 2009

    I don't see the benefit to the child. By not thoroughly learning the primary language of the country in which they reside at an early age, the kids are at a severe disadvantage later in life. They should certainly be encouraged to maintain and develop fluency in their native language, but not at the expense of the language skills they need to succeed.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Aug 17, 2009

    Much depends on the situation; that's a question I'd hesitate to answer without a good deal more information as to the context.
     
  6. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,319
    Likes Received:
    12

    Aug 17, 2009

    I would expect a school in France to teach my children in French. I would expect a school in Spain to teach my children in Spanish.
    I would expect a school in China to teach my children in whichever Chinese dialect was spoken in that particular district.
    I would expect a school in Italy to teach my children in Italian.
    Etc.

    I would consider it absurd to the point of idiocy to expect a public school to alter its ways just for me. It would be my responsibility to alter MY ways for the ways of the location in which I had chosen to reside.

    An organism that cannot adapt will die. That's how it works.

    Yes, I am a curmudgeon who thinks everyone should work hard and get nothing they don't earn. No, I have no desire to change, but thank you for asking.

    And if I call a business and am asked to punch 1 for English, I hang up and find another business that has adapted to the country in which it chose to locate.

    If my loyalties were to one country, I would not presume to require another country to cater to them.

    It is for us to adapt, not the environment. In France, they speak French. If you live there, you need to learn to speak French. The French do not have to learn your language. It's their country. They speak French.

    Etc.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,722
    Likes Received:
    1,689

    Aug 17, 2009

    :yeahthat:
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Aug 17, 2009

    By that logic, South Africa should eliminate English (and Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Sotho, Swazi, Ndebele, Pedi, Tsonga and Venda) and offer instruction only in Afrikaans, since that is the native language of 60% of the whites. It is worth noting that the original poster seems to be from South Africa.

    By the same logic, the Quebeçois in Canada should speak only English, and Belgium should cashier either Flemish or Walloon, and never mind about China (but believe me that China is not even remotely monolingual).

    My point is not to disparage the English First movement (though in fact I believe it purloins energy that could be deployed much more productively elsewhere) but rather to point out that the original question cannot properly be given a single answer that will cover all possible situations. Much depends, as I said, on context.
     
  9. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Aug 17, 2009

    In Belgium, Flemish (Dutch) is the official language for most of the country, with Dutch and French both official in the capital. Schools in a Flemish region are only taught in Flemish, although kids are also taught English, French and German. Primary instruction will be according to the region and kids are expected to get with the program.

    Immigrants not learning Dutch is a huge issue in the Netherlands. These days there is zero tolerance for not learning the language--enrollment in government sponsored classes is a condition of many social services. This also applies to English speakers from other EU countries.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 17, 2009

    The problem is, according to Cummin's Theory, is that it takes 3-4 years to get BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills) language and 4-7 years to be able to master CALP (Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency) language. WE are expecting kids to interact and learn in CALP language from day 1 or as at least much earlier than they are really proficiently ready.

    I could go into it and write a couple of pages on this but for now this is my seed for thought.

    Yes it is hard to accommodate all the children of different languages but I'm not a full supporter of the total sink and swim method. There is too much other there that supports scaffolding using one language to support the other and gradually let go. I don't have a perfect answer.
     
  11. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    Many people in the world speak several languages and speak them fluently. The human brain is quite capable of learning more than one language at a time. I started learning Spanish at a young age and it only helped my verbal skills. I do think what people don't realize is that it takes a long time to learn a foreign language and that is with the understanding that a student is motivated to learn. I have had many ESL students who did not make the choice to move to the United States. They are kids. They have to go where their parents take them. A lot of my students have been resentful and just want to go back home to their friends. Image having to leave your home, leave your friends, and then have to feel like a baby because no one can speak your language. And then everybody expects that you will just pick up English over night! I think if at all possible students need to have some support in their native language to help them transition.
     
  12. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    What about American Sign Language (ASL)? Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT English in sign. It is its' own language and many deaf students use that to learn, not English (although they are TAUGHT English, they are taught it using ASL).

    I believe that students have the right to learn in their language, as long as it is in an appropriate environment. (i.e. ELL classes, self-contained classes, etc.)
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Aug 17, 2009

    I definitely agree with this. It is unfortunate that this is not really possible in a lot of areas. Schools around DC have a high African population and there is nobody to help with those languages. Ditto Iraqi and Russian children (two more sizable groups I saw there without good resources).

    In the Netherlands, they have programs to help Turkish and Sudanese children, but, others (especially Eastern European) are in immersion programs with kids who speak dozens of languages.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Aug 17, 2009

    I don't think there IS a perfect answer, even from student to student: some kids thrive on total immersion and other kids shrink and shut up.

    And that was precisely my point.
     
  15. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    I agree 110%... My first language is not one that is spoken very often in the US, and was taught in English all the way through school... I think that was more beneficial to me than learning anything in my first language.
     
  16. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    :agreed: Well said, Molly Doll.
     
  17. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2009

    I think Deaf students should be taught ASL and English (supported with PSE or SEE) side by side.
     
  18. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Aug 17, 2009

    In Canada, it's written into our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that parents have the right to educate their child in the official language of their choice. Therefore every child going through a school system in Canada can be taught in either English or French.

    On top of that, if there are enough students in a community learning in the minority language (French in Saskatechewan for example), those parents have the right to demand a school for those students.

    Now, that's the watered down version, and of course politics come into play along with a host of other aspects, but it seems to work fairly well here.

    I do think, however, that it opens a great big can of worms to expect the education system to be able to sustain a multitude of languages, especially in communities where many languages are spoken.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 383 (members: 2, guests: 357, robots: 24)
test