Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The joke goes...

What do you call someone who speaks three languages?  Trilingual.  What do you call someone who speaks two languages?  Bilingual.  What do you call someone who speaks one language?  American.  It's funny in a pathetic kind of way.  There seems to be a growing interest in language immersion programs across the country, and opportunities for students to learn such languages as Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and Hmong.  However the debate goes on about bilingual education in the U.S.  It is especially telling that 31 states that have established "English only laws" while research clearly states that learning in your first language has educational benefits.  Why would we take away the language of students who are learning English while looking for opportunities for native English speaking children to learn other languages?   Speaking in Tongues is a great documentary that explores some of these questions.  Click to see the trailer, and if you're interested you can buy the DVD or plan a screening.  Let's start an informed debate on the benefits of knowing multiple languages!

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