One-third of students not on path to proper English: 58.3% more...

Full story: El Paso Times

Despite a language barrier, 6-year-old Emma Almaraz is quickly excelling in school.
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1 - 20 of 63 Comments Last updated Jan 12, 2009
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Since: Oct 08

El Paso, TX

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#1
Jan 6, 2009
 
What do you think?
Anne

Dunn, NC

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#3
Jan 7, 2009
 

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I am very much against the practice of teaching in two different languages in our schools. It seems to me that generations gone by learned just fine in English and it was good enough for them. This business of people from other nations invading this country and expecting the rest of the country to conform to their language and culture is nonsense.
Editor Abbie

El Paso, TX

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#6
Jan 7, 2009
 
Nitro wrote:
Go to Hell Rich Guy -- you ain't nothing but white trailer trash . If you have nothing good to post then don't say sh!t !!
It is an open forum in place for discussion.
The news isn't always nice and we can't expect opinions to always be nice either.

You, Nitro, shouldn't be in the forum if you can't tolerate a little objectionable nastiness. Pansy.
Editor Abbie

El Paso, TX

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#7
Jan 7, 2009
 
Biruski wrote:
What do you think?
It's ok, really. Speaking English (here) isn't absolutely necessary since there is always someone nearby to translate (for them).
Plus it really helps my English-speaking kids learn Spanish. It appears that being bi-lingual will be the determining factor in employment consideration.
Texas Tech

United States

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#8
Jan 7, 2009
 
Editor Abbie wrote:
<quoted text>
It's ok, really. Speaking English (here) isn't absolutely necessary since there is always someone nearby to translate (for them).
Plus it really helps my English-speaking kids learn Spanish. It appears that being bi-lingual will be the determining factor in employment consideration.
You're almost 100% correct. "Someone" will be there to translate for non english speaking individuals here. The problem is when these students try to take a standardized test. "Someone" will not be there to translate EVERY question for these students. It's hurts the students and it hurts the school when students rely on "someone" to translate everything. Standardized tests were not written for bilingual students. They are tests written for "white" students by "white" educators. It's partially the reason why most high school graduates here are not able to enroll in college level courses and are required to take remedial classes to prepare them for college. If students were forced to learn how to speak and read english fluently, the problem wouldn't be so sever.
frijoles

Belleville, IL

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#9
Jan 7, 2009
 
I tried getting my son in a Spanish Class since I do agree that learning a second language would be beneficial for anyone and would make them more marketable in the business sector..BUT I was told by my son's so called "counselor" during an open house that it was "too late" to enroll him at the time and that besides the little Spanish he did learn there at the school really wouldn't be significant enough to communicate with his Grandmother (At the time that was my reason for wanting him to learn spanish, so he could communicate with my mom) but was shot down by the actual educators who are suppose to be embracing the fact that parents want to be involved. As for the "cotton picker" comments above, that is just the kind of thing that is beautiful about this country. I love it when people express themselves in any way they see fit and pleases me that they are using their rights as citizens of a free world..rights for which myself and many others currently serving in the military, and those who have long sinced passed away have fought so hard to preserve. Ignorant people have a voice too...I'm just another "dirty Mexican" keeping you safe at night...
Cheneys_Ego

Fort Worth, TX

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#10
Jan 7, 2009
 
Texas Tech is wrong.

Blacks do poorly on standardized tests, even if they are native English speakers.
Joe

United States

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#11
Jan 7, 2009
 
Idiot parents who don't properly prepare their children for school. If they're so big into "their culture" then they need to move back to Mexico. Just a bunch of leeches that will do nothing for themselves.
Joe

United States

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#12
Jan 7, 2009
 

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Nitro wrote:
Go to Hell Rich Guy and I'm pretty sure you are just some poor white trailer trash---
Rich guy has a point. They don't need English to pick lettuce and clean toilets, and that's what you people are always saying is the reason we need them here. Otherwise why on earth do we need these people? They are so utterly dependent on the government to tell them to breathe.

Taxpayers should not have to pay for all the extra costs incurred by these people, let them enroll their children in private preschools if they want their children ready for public school or just let them homeschool.
64navyvet

United States

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#13
Jan 7, 2009
 
If their heritage and culture is so important why don't they stay in Mexico and take the country back from the narco-terrorists. No instead they come to my adopted country and want to take it back into the third world. When as in Rome do as the Romans do. The ones coming in now are not your mothers Mexican they are parasites looking for a free lunch. In case anyone cares I'm Polish married to a Hispanic.
AJO

El Paso, TX

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#14
Jan 7, 2009
 

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There is no excuse for the repeated failure of our English Language Learners not improving and closing the achievement gap. Dealing with ELL students is nothing new for border school districts. UTEP's so called College of Education requires all of its students to complete at least one course that addresses the needs and approaches that best work with ELL students. The problem lies with the array of teachers who insist on breaking the state and federal laws that requires they make modifications to how their lessons are presented. For 30 years educational specialists and scholars have argued that students learn best when teachers account for multiple learning styles but the worst schools (and we have many in El Paso) consists of teachers who consider themselves above the law and don't care when their students fail.
Furthermore, many ELL teachers can hardly communicate in English and spend more time teaching in Spanish than in English. When students first begin it should be something like 80 percent Spanish and 20 percent English. As the child become more and more proficient it should go to 70/30, 60/40, and so on until the student no longer needs instruction in Spanish. Unfortunately, there are students (born and raised in El Paso) who never are exited our ELL status and you'll find them sitting ELL high school classes just wasting away because the already know how to read and write English. So once again who really is at fault? Is it really the students fault. Hispanic parents are very trusting of teachers and schools and respect what goes on in schools. When they come to teacher/parent conferences the first thing most want to know: is my child behaving? Is he/she respectful to the teacher and peers? So who really is at fault? The incompetent and apathy of teachers, administrators, and district officials because they know school districts (and the money that it receives from the state) will not disappear. Que no se muera el district, porque no morimos todos.
AJO

El Paso, TX

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#15
Jan 7, 2009
 
frijoles wrote:
I tried getting my son in a Spanish Class since I do agree that learning a second language would be beneficial for anyone and would make them more marketable in the business sector..BUT I was told by my son's so called "counselor" during an open house that it was "too late" to enroll him at the time and that besides the little Spanish he did learn there at the school really wouldn't be significant enough to communicate with his Grandmother (At the time that was my reason for wanting him to learn spanish, so he could communicate with my mom) but was shot down by the actual educators who are suppose to be embracing the fact that parents want to be involved. As for the "cotton picker" comments above, that is just the kind of thing that is beautiful about this country. I love it when people express themselves in any way they see fit and pleases me that they are using their rights as citizens of a free world..rights for which myself and many others currently serving in the military, and those who have long sinced passed away have fought so hard to preserve. Ignorant people have a voice too...I'm just another "dirty Mexican" keeping you safe at night...
Counselors. Administrators. People who wanted to make more money and not have to deal with the real trials and tribulations of teaching. Most only spend three to five years--never really becoming master teachers--and opt for a higher salary.
Joe

United States

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#16
Jan 7, 2009
 
64navyvet wrote:
If their heritage and culture is so important why don't they stay in Mexico and take the country back from the narco-terrorists. No instead they come to my adopted country and want to take it back into the third world. When as in Rome do as the Romans do. The ones coming in now are not your mothers Mexican they are parasites looking for a free lunch. In case anyone cares I'm Polish married to a Hispanic.
Welfare handouts are even more important to them than their heritage and culture. They come here because our government gives them everything they could possible dream of having. They simply do not believe they should be required to make any kind of effort, get job skills of any kind.

These are the most useless people we could bring into this country, of all the people who would like to be here, be Americans, who would or already have learned English, we take these illiterates instead.
nonesense

El Paso, TX

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#18
Jan 7, 2009
 
Teresa wrote:
Send those 1/3 back to Mexico. Better yet, send all Mexicans, whether they were born here or not, back to Mexico. You people are stinking up my country.
Don't forget to write from the motherland "Teresa"
Jorge

El Paso, TX

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#19
Jan 7, 2009
 
Even though I am from Mexican descent, I am not in favor of ESL classes in our schools. When I first arrived in this country, we were enrolled in an all English class and learned the language. Now an option is offered? Not fair.

-Teresa, unless you are of Native American descent, you are also an immigrant.
Angel

Fort Worth, TX

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#20
Jan 7, 2009
 
I agree with Jorge that sometimes too many options given to students actually cause them to stumble rather than succeed. I understand that attempting to teach someone in their native language makes for a comfortable experience and an overall feeling of success. However, some of these kids get too comfortable and end up sitting for 7 or 8 years in an ESL classroom.

I, too, learned to speak English in an English-only environment and was fully bilingual in about one calendar year. I wish classes were still taught that way. A little sacrifice yielded excellent results.
Claudia

Austin, TX

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#21
Jan 7, 2009
 
Teaching in dual languages is a disservice to the child and programs such as these are actually counterproductive and not cost effective. Contrary to what many believe, these thinking's promote reverse segregation. What we're implying is that "You don't have to speak english to get by in this country" and "You're an outsider, you're not one of us". So what does that do to this segment of the population? They "get by" and don't ever fully assimilate. Then you wonder why they show more pride towards their old country and don't display the same enthusiasm towards America. How can we speak about unity and equality in this country, when you have a segment of the population that can not speak properly,in any language? They should be fully immersed in the english language and american culture. The sooner they acclimate, the sooner they will be able to master the english language and ultimately the more successful they will become.

Ultimately, tax dollars would be better spent if they were utilized towards improving class curriculums and challenging the status quo of our education system. People need to start giving children more credit. They will learn, and they will learn quickly and blossom.

As for retaining their native language and culture that should be the parent's responsibility and not the government's. If parents do their job properly, their children will preserve their heritage and carry on their legacy.

One last thing, I grew up learning spanish first so technically english is my second language. It wasn't until I started going to school that I learned to speak english and it was all english, all the time. Keep in mind, there was no such thing as "dual language" programs back then. I survived. It can be done folks! Quit enabling.
JayCee

El Paso, TX

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#22
Jan 7, 2009
 
I was a foster parent for 5 children from a mother who was deported. The 2 and 6 year old spoke spanish only, within 6 months the 2 year old was speaking more english than the 6 year old. The older 2 (12 and 15) spoke better english but could barely write in english even though they've been in American schools for 6 years. We had the 6 year old taken out of bilingual 1st grade since the teacher taught in spanish and he then quickly was speaking better english. Unfortunately they were returned to Mexico but hopefully we gave them a jump start. Our system is failing the children by allowing them to learn in a bilingual class. Why do they need to learn spanish in school? What do they need spanish for besides speaking to relatives or customers that don't speak english? They'll maintain their culture at home, let them learn the American culture at school. I wonder if they would teach my kids in english if we moved to Mexico.
Too Simplistic

El Paso, TX

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#23
Jan 7, 2009
 
It would be better if all ignorant racist trash that fuels stupidity in this country be sent away. That is what ruins any society. You would be the first on the boat "Teresa."
Teresa wrote:
Send those 1/3 back to Mexico. Better yet, send all Mexicans, whether they were born here or not, back to Mexico. You people are stinking up my country.
no free lunch

El Paso, TX

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#24
Jan 7, 2009
 
Texas Tech wrote:
<quoted text>
You're almost 100% correct. "Someone" will be there to translate for non english speaking individuals here. The problem is when these students try to take a standardized test. "Someone" will not be there to translate EVERY question for these students. It's hurts the students and it hurts the school when students rely on "someone" to translate everything. Standardized tests were not written for bilingual students. They are tests written for "white" students by "white" educators. It's partially the reason why most high school graduates here are not able to enroll in college level courses and are required to take remedial classes to prepare them for college. If students were forced to learn how to speak and read english fluently, the problem wouldn't be so sever.
the tests are for American Students who have been taught in English from their first day of school and they may be white, black, brown or yellow.........the common thread is they speak English and no student should enter the public school system until they can be taught totally in English without the bi-lingual crutch. People tend to overuse thier "crutches" long after they could walk un aided. Perhaps the best help would be a campus for non-english speakers where they are immersed in English until they can pass a proficiency test at their age level

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