English as a FIRST language
I agree that children should be required to know conversational English before they go to school. The teachers are expected to "make the difference," but what difference can they make when children can't communicate? Parents of children who cannot speak English should be required to take conversational English as well. How do you tell parents how their child does if you can't communicate with them either?
Getting to know your community classes/nights should be required as well. Socialization skills are key in inner-city schools and if you don't know your neighbors, how do you expect your children to? More discussion between parents will bring better students and in turn better schools.
Created on 10/12/04 by Renee Zeilbeck of Bloomington, MN
It depends upon what "before they go to school" means. After a point it seems like its usually means they have a set accent. It also seems like they achieve a point where its harder to adapt to a new language, purely from anecdotal evidence.
There needs to be an age breakdown.
A recent "New Scientist" article discussed findings about why some people seem to have a facility for many languages while others have none.
Created on 02/18/05 by E. Gamauf of Eden Prairie, MN
We should instead cherish the diversity of experience and culture in our communities.
We should offer instruction to students in their first languages - research shows that when a student learns to read and write in his/her first language, his/her ability to learn a 2nd language and to SUCCEED improves.
Conformity and sameness are not qualities I want in my community.
Created on 10/17/04 by Siobhan Boylan of St. Paul, MN