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View Diary: Small Group of Republicans Hijack Renewal of the Voting Rights Act (156 comments)

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  •  As a side note ... (13+ / 0-)

    ...those Republicans who want immigrants to learn English should be aware that studies and media reports show that immigrants want desperately to learn English. Ted Kennedy said during hearings on the Senate immigration bill that his state has 16,000 people waiting in line for English classes.

    My wife, who sometimes posts at Daily Kos as Invisible Paradigm, is chief of the nation's largest adult English as a Second Language program, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District - 250,000 students, one of whom is my stepdaughter. Tonight, she is giving a speech to ESL students who have just graduated from high school.

    Learning a new language as a late teen or as an adult is not an easy task, especially if you are not well-educated in your own language. But second-generation immigrants are almost all fluent in English and third-generation immigrants are often not only fluent in English but also (a pity) can't speak their grandparents' language.

    If Republicans want immigrants to learn English faster, there are plenty willing students ... how about some more cash to pay teachers?

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      California Boy

      Our current facilities and programs to teach immigrants English are way underpar. Usually the hold up is not their willingness or ability to learn (They are quite smart enough to realize how large a disadvantage not being conversant in english would be) but our ability to furnish materials and pay the teachers necessary to teach them!

      "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

      by Tryptophan on Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 09:15:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sad part is that 'ballot' English (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      California Boy
      is sometimes too much for the voting public. We had paper ballots in the precinct where I worked, and there were several instances where Americans literally could not read let alone interpret the English language ballot. More pay for teachers would get us alot more teachers and something could be done about this circumstance.

      What the president says is executive privilege is nothing but executive poppycock. Senator Sam Ervin

      by sailmaker on Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 09:37:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, or volunteer in community ESl Classes (0+ / 0-)

       My stint as a volunteer aide in a mixed level community center class was a rich experience that amply rewarded my time.  
        The teacher organized a unit around the voting process--most were citizens--so we role played going to the polls, examined a sample absentee ballot, etc.
         A really interesting class dealt with gestures as students from Viet Nam, Somalia and Ethiopia demonstrated their country's customs for greeting, come here, yes, no and so on.
        Now I wonder if American soldiers are oriented to culturally correct and comprehensible hand signals to use in Iraq. It is commonly reported that Iraqis shot at checkpoints failed to heed such signals.
       

    •  Of course, your question is rhetorical. (4+ / 0-)

      You and I both know that these Republicans care about immigrants being able to speak English about as much as they care about lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

      When presented with reasonable, cost-effective solutions to both, they shrug their shoulders and laugh.

      They never intended to do anything about these issues.  They just want to be seen blustering about them so that they can take advantage of them as wedge issues. Republicans are great with wedge issues.  And with English-only ballots, they get a double effect: a wedge issue and voter supression.

      These Republicans don't care about fixing anything except an election.

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