Non-English speaking citizens?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Non-English speaking citizens?
104
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 2:51pm

I know this may raise a heated debate, but I'm a naturalized citizen and my mom is also, she is from Japan and has been in this country for nearly 40 years. She had to pass the citizen exam, so at some point she had to read, write and speak English to pass.

My issue is with citizens like her that only learned enough English to pass that exam. Now she can barely read English, can't spell basic words without difficulty, and can barely speak English. I love her, but she can't survive without relying on others. I have tried to get her to work to improve her communication, but I feel she doesn't want to.

Does anyone feel that there should be some type of citizen review, maybe every 10 years, that as long as the person is of sound mind, able body, that they should have to go through some type of review to ensure that they still know enough English to be self-sufficient? This is a serious question, because I see how some people who don't speak English get over on the system.

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2010
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:05pm

(Let's create internment camps somewhere...Guam?)

Guam won't work. It's just a tiny island. Everyone knows that the island is at risk of tipping over from too many people. LOL!

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:06pm

You are right, I forgot about that.

Alaska? Tundra worked for the Soviets

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:07pm
I get it now. You are pulling my leg.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:17pm
I see how some people who don't speak English, whether they're citizens or here illegally, they get friends or family who can speak and read English to help them to fill out forms or documents, to write letters, to make phone calls, etc. What I meant by getting over on the system, some of them who are in this country and still awaiting to become citizens get to take advantage of the system, while some people who are citizens may not be able to afford health care, don't get to take advantage of the 7 year tax-exemption, etc.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:28pm

No, I didn't imply deportation. I truly feel that English should be mandatory, even though it's taught in school. You dial most companies and you have to hit 1 for English, 2 for Spanish. Yet, when most English speaking people go to most other countries, you don't hit 1 for whatever the native language is or 2 for English. If Spanish is the second most spoken language and it's acceptable for Spanish speaking individuals to just speak Spanish, instead of English, then why not Japanese, or Arabic, or Portuguese too? So shouldn't it just be English is mandatory and that's it, end of story.

I think it would be beneficial and enforce anyone who had to take the Citizen exam to continue to learn or to help them to want to. I'm not implying deportation, but for them to possibly have to enroll in some type of class/home study program that would be beneficial for two reasons. 1) It would prove they're still able to pass the citizen exam. 2) It would keep them learning.

Some people pass the exam and they feel that's it, they don't need to learn anymore, they don't need to pick up anymore English, that's it. I know, I see what's it's done to my own mother. She can't function on her own, she can't conduct a simple business call, can barely read, can barely write and can't write a letter. Does this help her that she's given up? No. I think a program like this would help and to make it affordable for them to take advantage of.




Edited 6/1/2010 8:40 pm ET by pbe2010
Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:30pm
Only partially.
I get really tired of immigrants being denigrated (not by you or in this thread) for not learning American English, and yet every day naturalized citizens massacre the language.
I don't care if some elderly person learned enough to pass the test and then didn't use the language again. I do care that use of proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and pronunciation is so lax.
The ELL students I see work harder than almost all my born-here-in-America students, who take education for granted.
I am sure that some immigrants don't want to learn English, because life is never all or none. I am equally sure that most do want to learn English, as well as not lose their own language.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:40pm

<>

Since when do non-citizens qualify for aid that citizens don't?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:44pm
Maybe you haven't heard of some non-citizens coming here and getting medical/health care. While some citizens may not have qualified based on an income qualification, but they still didn't have certain types of medical or health care coverage.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:46pm

I understand completely. :-)

I don't get why someone would be so upset with others not continuing with learning English. It is a very difficult language to learn and become competent with it as an adult. Jane made some excellent points regarding immigrants, and then first generation and second generation born here and who has a grasp of which languages.

I don't find it a big deal and certainly wouldn't want to deport someone because of it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 06-01-2010 - 8:48pm

<>

Who would those non-citizens be? From what I have been able to find, it is a very select few, not your run of the mill, average immigrant.

Pages