I think the ESL programs are wonderful, but it is a disservice to children who only speak English not to also teach them a second language begining at the elementary level (Spanish being the obvious choice). These children will be at a disadvantage once they graduate as they have not started learning a second language at an early age. As our country becomes increasingly bilingual they will lose out on job opportunities as a result of not being bilingual. I believe this is an equity issue that needs to be addressed.

7 Supports Created
Default_avatar
Lynn x over 4 years ago

I do not believe this is an issue that has ever been a problem before, so why do you think it is a problem now? The only problem is the adjustment of people that do not speak English. There has been many years of bilingual generations that have adapted very well by learning English instead of all others learning another language. English is the international language. It is used by many because it is so universal. If we were to be fair we would all need to learn multiple languages as not to make any other person feel their language was not good enough to be taught. I would love it if the schools taught the Danish language but because Danish-speaking people adapted to living in American they learned English, which has made it not the most popular language to learn. I think by you saying America's job market will become more difficult because we do not know Spanish should not be a problem the next generation should have to worry about knowing. It should be completely the opposite that if you do not know English you should worry about job opportunities. English has been learned my many that have come to America because if we all use the same language then we do not ever need to worry about speaking multiple languages to get along. Many of us have a background that at one time spoke a different language and adapted. I do not believe we should enable Spanish speaking to not learn English by requiring others to learn Spanish.  What if the Russian family in school does not want their kids to speak Spanish but wants all the kids to learn Russian? How is HSD going to address another language being left out? That is why English is so important, it is universal! I think we should continue a foreign language as an elective not a requirement. If you want to change anything have there be a larger variety of languages as an elective to learn then just the two that are currently being offered. Learning another language has never been a necessity before but English has.  Lets keep it that way.

Support
Default_avatar
Josefin Kannin over 4 years ago

ESL is a great program, in that speaking English is a necessity if you want to succeed and get ahead in the U.S. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that speaking both Spanish and English fluently puts a student at a great advantage when job-hunting once they have graduated. As the US has not established a mother tongue, we are increasingly becoming a bilingual country. Spanish labeling is prevalent on most consumer product packaging and more and more often fluency in English and Spanish is a requirement or an advantage to people looking for jobs in industries ranging from business to banking to construction and more.

Russian or Danish may be fun electives for a child to take, but they will not prepare them for the real U.S. job market in the way Spanish language classes would. Let’s be fair: if we are – as appears evident - becoming a bilingual society, why deprive native English speakers of the opportunity to be competitive in the job market?

Support
Default_avatar
Lynn x over 4 years ago

We are not "becoming" a bilingual society, we have been a bilingual society for a very long time. But during all those years no forgien language has ever needed to be required to learn. The real job market in the past has never needed a required forgein language and the only reason it would need to start now is if the Spanish speaking people fail to follow suit and learn English. I do not want my child's learning time to be taken up with learning Spanish (unless it's a chosen elective). There is enough basic learning skills to concentrate on knowing. Time should not be taken to learn Spanish just to enable those that don't know English. Simple solution, learn English. Just as my family did instead of making others learn Danish. If HSD makes this a requirement I will not vote to give more taxes to the schools because this is NOT one way I want my tax dollars spent for education.  Let Spanish continue to be a "fun" elective. You can not make one forgein language more important than others, it's discrimination.

Support
Default_avatar
Karen x over 4 years ago

We are a multilingual nation! English as the national language should have been established decades ago. We are being forced into the Spanish-English bilingualism because of the huge influx of illiterate Spanish-speaking populations. To choose to make Spanish our primary "language to learn" disrespects the value of the many, many other people living in America whose first language is not Spanish or English. We need to focus on the teaching of English. A common language is the first bond to bringing diverse people together into an equitable society - America was built on this foundation! Enabling communities to isolate themselves with language barriers keeps them isolated and often, in the lowers levels of the economy.

Support
Default_avatar
Melissa Ponder over 4 years ago

To my knowledge ESL programs simply help limited and non-English speaking students learn English regardless of where they are from or why they are in the US, or their first language literacy.

But, Highline has two elementary schools with dual English/Spanish tracks that started with Kindergarten, one of the schools might be up to 4th grade now. The classes are very diverse and include children not from Spanish speaking homes. I'm not sure when, but I believe a duall English/Vietnamese track will be starting soon. 

I believe the study of multiple languages can only make us all smarter. 

Support
Default_avatar
David x about 4 years ago

The practice of separating ESL students from main line students, results in the loss of an amazing opportunity to pick up the sounds, basic vocabulary, and cultural elements which is freely available.  I’m disappointed that my child attends a school with a significant number of Spanish speakers, has almost no encounters with Spanish speakers.

 

I don’t think we should require kids to learn Spanish in grade school.  However many industries are becoming globalized.  Citizens with experience with a second language are better prepared for these sorts of work environments.

Support
Default_avatar
Vince ONeill about 4 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of teaching a second laguage to all students.  I believe the curriculum should go beyond laguage and really educate students about cultures that make up this community.  Our world is more global and more connected all the time and Highline has an incredible untapped resource to help its students learn about it.  Also, imagine how much more engaged students would feel when they see their own cultures and heritage featured in the curriculum?

Support
Default_avatar
Nathan x about 4 years ago

That's dumb.

You're a native english speaker in a primarily english speaking community. You are at an advantage. They are non-native speakers and therefore at a disadvantage.

Perhaps gradeschool programs could be implemented on small scales, but to say that it should be part of the primary curriculum is silly. Perhaps a by-request-only program could be made avaliable to those that are interested.

Support