Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Assimilation Probably Overrated Anyway

"State Faults Teachers of English Learners"

"Hundreds of students in Arizona are trying to learn English from teachers who don't know the language, state officials say. "

(As seen on Hot Air , NRO, and elsewhere.)

"Some teachers' English was so poor that even state officials strained to understand them. The state also found that students learning English at all ages were being taught by teachers who did not have appropriate training or materials. At a dozen districts, evaluators found teachers who ignored state law and taught in Spanish."

"At nine districts, some teachers did not know correct English grammar or pronunciation. In one classroom, the teacher's English was "labored and arduous." Other teachers were just difficult to understand. Some teachers pronounced "levels" as "lebels" and "much" as "mush.""

Wow. Go read the above link. There's more where that came from.

I thought a teacher had to, you know, actually graduate from college and pass a state examination to teach. How do you pass any examinations if you don't speak the language well?

It looks to me like assimilation of the current immigrant population is going to occur at about half the generational rate as previous immigrants such as Italians. Once upon a time, if an Italian moved to the US, he would learn some English -maybe enough to run a business, maybe not-, the kids would be fairly bilingual with a bias toward English, and the grandkids would be 99.9% assimilated. This is structurally impossible if the current generation of immigrant children is not being taught English outside the home.

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