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Letter: Promote assimilation by teaching in English

Promote assimilation by teaching in English

The idea of recruiting Spanish-speaking teachers to teach school in the U.S., as reported in the News on April 11, is wrong. It proliferates bilingualism that tends to divide our country. Just look at Canada and Belgium to see that division – and the U.S. has enough division as it is.

In 1943 when I entered first grade at a U.S. school in Laredo, Texas, the school had a policy that only English was to be spoken on school grounds. Many had entered school with no knowledge of the English language, and they had a much slower start than we English speakers, but within a few months, certainly by the end of the school year, the gap was reduced considerably. English was learned with a Texas accent, not a Mexican one, and those “foreigners” had a much better chance of sounding like native Americans. This has been true for millions of European and Asian immigrants who kept their native language at home, and allowed their children to assimilate into the “melting pot” that we call America.

If there is so much resistance to requiring that subjects be taught only in English, then at least start by removing Spanish teaching of subjects in the first grade, and the next year include the second grade, then the third, and so on, until the only Spanish spoken in schools, like German or French, is in language classes.

We should be a country that communicates primarily in only one language, and I think that understanding spoken or written English should be a requirement for eligibility to vote.

Kenyon Riches

East Amherst

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