Oprah and Education?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2010
Oprah and Education?
112
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 5:10pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2000
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 8:44pm

Really? Are any foreign languages offered before h.s.?

When I was in middle school, we started foreign language in 7th grade.

My kids' school starts Spanish in kindergarten though it's considered a "special" until they get to 6th grade and then it becomes a subject in which they are tested and graded.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2010
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 9:28pm

<children lost in the shuffle are often those who don't qualify for SPED but who aren't meeting standards, either.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2009
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 9:42pm

Yes really and no there is not any foreign language class offered for kids before h.s. in our school district.

When we were in the charter schools they had Spanish once a week in "specials" and it started in K.

My kids can speak and understand spanish, portuguese, they know some french, creole b/c they have been raised around the culture and language, same with spanish, portuguese.

ETA, my side of the family is norweigian and speaks it fluently, so they know bits and pieces of it. We dont live by my family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 10:36pm

I went back and tried it. That's a neat trick. I'll remember that. Thanks.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 10:48pm

I agree that bilingualism is only a symptom. But culture is a big stumbling block here in getting schools to pass muster for NCLB. When the majority of the students enrolled in any given school in our district not only speaks Spanish (read Mexican; there is a difference) as their first language at home ( and perhaps only older siblings and dad speaks English with any kind of fluency) but all the culture they are exposed to is from across the border, culture becomes a big problem in testing.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 1:53am

Here:

"The parents don't speak English and/or don't try to learn English and thus don't/won't teach their kids English, the kids are learning it when they get to school."

It is a very common complaint about immigrant parents. It is misguided for various reasons. That was the sentence I reacted to.


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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 2:00am

Dh spoke the language, but did not go to meetings or parent conferences (except for one time in the first grade). So his language skills were not of much use. We always spoke English at home, dh included, and, no, he did not help with home work either.

The funniest moment was in 7th grade, new school, when I came to pick up dd's grades from her teacher. After about 3 words, it was very obvious that I was foreign. The woman looked astounded and exclaimed, "But you are foreign! You don't speak Greek!" It turned out that she did not mean it badly, she was just surprised because dd had no language problems, and the teacher also thought that she should have without Greek at home.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 2:06am

If the parents do not speak English, the child will typically learn upon entering school. It is a very common thing in bilingual families. Also, the kids do usually know a little of the dominant language, but not anywhere near as much as the native-speakers.

Virtually all the Greek-Americans I know, for example, who are 50-60 or older learned English when they entered school. My dh is another example. He came to the US at age 11 not knowing a word of English. His mother did not know a word of English either. His father knew a little, but worked 2 jobs, so he was never around.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 2:14am

Yes, I am sure that is very true. The only reason I reacted is that the "not being able to/not wanting to speak English" is so often cited as a problem.

The fact is, as I see it, that being poor is a problem, being uneducated is a problem, working 3 jobs is a problem, living in a terrible neighborhood is a problem, never knowing when you might get deported is a problem and so on. The language is not anywhere near being the key problem or even necessarily *a* problem, because were it not for all the real problems, the language would not be a problem either. The real problems are very similar to the real problems that keep native-speaker kids from learning.


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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 6:23am
I totally agree with you. My mom taught in a school with very low income students with no language barrier and faced many of the same challenges as teachers with high (poor) immigrant populations.

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