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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:00 PM
Original message
Judge tells moms in custody cases to learn English
http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/05/01/64800164...



A Wilson County child-court judge has been ordering foreign-born women to learn English for the good of their children an action that some regard as unconstitutional.

In a case this week, Judge Barry Tatum insisted that an 18-year-old Mexican woman take language classes and consider using birth control.

Tatum said his admonition didn't come out of malice or the urge to Americanize an immigrant. Instead, the judge said he worried that the woman's 2-year-old daughter would miss out on opportunities because of her mother's inability to communicate in English.

But local civil rights attorney Jerry Gonzalez said the latest case sounded ominously similar to another recent order issued by Tatum a decision that Gonzalez is appealing. In that case, Gonzalez said, Tatum ordered a Mexican woman in a child neglect case last year to learn basic English within six months. If she didn't comply, the lawyer said, a hearing was to be held to consider terminating the mother's parental rights to her 11-year-old daughter.


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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. Terminate rights for language? Uh, no.
Worst excuse I ever heard. And I am a huge believer in requiring English in our schools.

But a child-bearing age adult is at the worst age to learn a new language and that makes this an intolerable burden.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. There Could Be More Effort Spent Teaching English As 2nd Language
and also more effort spent LEARNING english as 2nd language.

Legislating all this seems excessive.

Somehow I am reminded of my Mom's comments upon leaving teaching grade schoolers about 4 years ago... she said basically she'd become a social worker.

Teachers and judges shouldn't have to recommend things like learning some basic english or WHATEVER.

I guess it'd be best for advocacy groups to do this work.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I agree, , the should be more emphases and resourses put in ELS
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. OK now tell me red states are not the harbingers of bigotry???
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. RACIST, BIGOTED AND HISTORICALLY WRONG!
If this bozo to "take language classes" appropriate for their area, he should have advised Cherokee

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/cherokee.htm...

ENGLISH IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN TENNESSEE!!!!
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fernsibal Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. the judge is a bigot, and stupid too
I teach ESL, and it's total bullshit to suggest that a child won't learn English in this country if her mother doesn't. Children's brains are programmed (read any of Chomsky's "Universal Language apparatus" theories) for them to learn languages--their brains aren't lateralized. They can, when immersed in a country where the target language surrounds them, with not much difficulty become bilingual or even trilingual. The concern in education circles is that children will *lose* their first language skills, not that they won't gain English skills. Most bilingual kids speak one language at home, and another at school. We all learn to "codeswitch"--academic English at school, street slang with our friends, etc. Worried about children missing out on opportunities? Work for education reform and job creation & training. ..work to protect unions and keep jobs here in the US. Fight against racism and bigotry, and for equal rights. Work for affordable health care, childcare. Work to protect our environment so poor people don't get sick from asthma and cancers. Work for health education to reduce heart disease and diabetes from corporations selling shit food to consumers. I could go on..
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. Next up, tell Deaf Parents to speak
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Children are much better off if parents continue to speak to them
in the parents' native language. The child will learn GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT language structure, which they will them use as a base when they apply it to learning English.

Conventional (old) wisdom advised parents that they should learn English and speak it at home, but they found that the parents were speaking English incorrectly, and the children learned incorrect grammatical forms. They went to school without ANY proper language structure. Additionally, the English the parents spoke was much less complex, using simpler vocabulary, and the children lost the benefit of richer, more descriptive language as well.

While I advocate ESL classes, and having parents learn the language of the land that they're living in, this is a ridiculous ruling by some judge who thought he knew it all, and does not.
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