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As a Mexican immigrant I can personally speak to the challenges of learning to speak the English language. I guess I was lucky because my school district in California has a great ESL program and we had teachers who cares about us. Having a learning environment that is safe is the most important thing - no matter what. I remember how scared I was the first day - people who spoke English represented what I feared. I wonder if what's at stake with these forced "immersion" classes is that you prime the classroom to ignore the reality of the student. One size fits all education never works. Now that I have received both a BFA and and MFA and teach at the Pacific Northwest College of Art here in Portland - putting my students through the same hoop doesn't work. Having the opportunity to travel abroad lets me realize how anemic our relationship to language is. Not only are our ESL students at issue here but also the English only students - who are being left behind by students around the world who speak multiple language. I was a part of an immigrant culture from Mexico that knew that speaking in English was a means to express the kind of social oppression that a mono-culture can represent - the way we teach our students language primes our view about the true multi-ethnic profile of our country. I wonder how fluent English only speakers truly are. Measure 58 seems to lower the bar for all of us. Our our children, including immigrant children the undereducated "workers" of the future - with no need for comprehensive thoughts or are they the leaders and communicators in an increasingly complex world?
posted 4 years, 7 months ago
posted 4 years, 7 months ago
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