November 30, 2007

English only vs. Native languages

Two languages

Diné schools look to modify Arizona's English teaching programFor years it seemed that Arizona's English Only law lived in quiet conflict with the federal Native American Languages Act, with neither technically addressing the existence of the other.

Nonetheless, the state's 1988 amendment to its constitution, which requires government offices and schools to conduct business only in English, was a direct contradiction to the 1990 federal law that encourages and supports the use of Native languages in tribal governments and schools.

While the detente is unlikely to change, new state requirements implementing English-immersion policies in the classroom could come uncomfortably close to bringing the conflict to a head.
How a program for immigrant children fails Native students:Jackson believes the state's English language learners model should be amended to include an alternative plan for Native American students.

These students, he said, are not English language learners. Rather, they are dual language learners--striving to master English and their own language.

According to the state's model, ELL students should be clustered together in a single classroom for four hours a day in which only English would be spoken. It does not address the goals of the federal law aimed at preserving Native languages.
Comment:  This article explains why an "English only" policy is racist: because it discriminates on the basis of race. Hispanics and Native Americans are forced to conform to the white model whether it helps them or not.

Ironically, the new Pew study makes it clear that immigrants want to learn English quickly. The claim that English is under siege and needs protection is a flat-out joke.

1 comment:

John Umland said...

if their outlawing immigrant languages then English should be the one to go...
God is good