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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Arts & Humanities » Languages and Linguistics (Group) » Kathryn Gray: Iím with th... » Reply #3

Response to geardaddy (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:40 PM

3. And you see the same kind of hostility toward programs to revitalize Native American languages

Of course, the critics couch it in terms of the languages being "useless" and "less important than learning skills that will help them succeed in the larger society," but in the end, it's really the idea that everyone should speak English exclusively.

Even in foreign countries.

I've lost track of the times that I've heard foreign residents--even long term residents-- in Japan complain about the quality of English spoken there. I have a hint for such people: study Japanese. Yes, it takes years to become proficient, but it takes only about one year to learn basic survival skills, so that you don't have to get all frustrated when nobody can give you directions to the nearest train station in English.

But I was really surprised, when I was considering moving overseas and teaching English if Romney won (shudder), to see a discussion on an ESL teachers' board in which person after person declared that it was unnecessary to learn the language of one's host country, because after all, they weren't going to live there more than two to five years. And these were people who were teaching English in South America and didn't feel the need to learn Spanish!

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geardaddy Dec 2012 OP
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #1
geardaddy Dec 2012 #2
LineLineLineNew Reply And you see the same kind of hostility toward programs to revitalize Native American languages
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #3
geardaddy Dec 2012 #4
redic003 Jan 2013 #5
petronius Jan 2013 #6
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