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Schwarzenegger vetoes proposal to offer tests in Spanish

by Mark5019 / October 10, 2005 5:40 AM PDT

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill yesterday by a South County legislator that would have allowed California to test students in Spanish to measure whether schools are meeting federal education goals.

"As an immigrant whose second language is English, I know the importance of mastering English as quickly and as comprehensively as possible in order to be successful in the United States. This bill runs counter to that goal," Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message

the last tome i looked english was the reconized language here.

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He is absolutely correct! No reason why we should
by gearup / October 10, 2005 6:46 AM PDT

kowtow. My father was an immigrant (1902 at the age of twelve) from central Europe. He was fluent in 3 languages when he arrived here. English was not one of them. But he learned it fast! Worked in a furniture factory,drove a mule train when they were building the Union Pacific,raised horses outside of Tucumcari(sp?) NM became a printer and ended up as a physician at the age of thirty.

Bottom line he didnt think the US owed him anything.
But they were a different breed willing to work for whatever they got and glad for the opportunity to do so!

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and my grand parents
by Mark5019 / October 10, 2005 7:17 AM PDT

on both sides came over and LEARNED to speak english.
if they want to speak there language fine do it at home not at school etc.

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(NT) (NT) Arnold - 2, Idiocy - 0. I like it!
by Cindi Haynes / October 10, 2005 6:50 AM PDT
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Yep, Arnold is like our forefathers/mothers immigrants
by John Robie / October 10, 2005 7:36 AM PDT

who came to this country legally.

We won the war on not speaking German and Japaniese, but as predicted some years ago we may all be required to speak spanish as is now required of some company supervisors, as revealed to me recently, who's big boss indicated he can hire illegals cheaper, so learn the language.

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Arnold - 3......
by John Robie / October 10, 2005 7:53 AM PDT

2) Vetoes bill to grant licenses to illegal immigrants.

3) Vetoes homosexual marriage.

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(NT) (NT) Good for him!
by lylesg / October 10, 2005 8:13 AM PDT
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Sometimes it takes a foreigner
by Steven Haninger / October 10, 2005 9:43 AM PDT

to ''discover'' America and show us (who grew up here) what we truely have and teach us how to keep it that way.:)

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It is so true.........
by hh / October 10, 2005 10:46 PM PDT

As a foreign born American, I can see how most native born Americans take certain things for granted and do not realize how good they have it. Some of us, foreign born Americans, do appreciate all that USA has done and wonder if those, who always complain about this country, really know what life is like in many other countries.
No wonder so many foreigners want to come to America (of course except those that have a different motive alltogether).

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Although maybe in a different spirit,
by geona / October 10, 2005 11:09 PM PDT

I agree that no legislation or policy should communicate to new immigrant students, "You?ll do just fine without learning English." In that sense I agree with Arnold?s statement. But if a student does badly on a math test solely because the English in the questions was beyond him, that data shouldn?t be used to judge the effectiveness of math teachers. As a teacher, I know what it?s like to suddenly have a student placed in my class who has nowhere near the preparation other students have, and I wouldn?t accept being judged as a teacher based on that new student?s performance on tests. This issue is also case sensitive. If an 18-year-old new immigrant is clearly a capable and knowledgeable adult ready to join the working world, and his only pending subject is English, it?s counterproductive to make him sit in high school for two more years until he can jump through all the hoops in English. Most of the immigrant ancestors we?re so proud of didn?t learn their English by sitting in a schoolhouse until they were twenty, but by working in areas of bustling commerce where it was either sink or swim. This provides the crucial motivation to learn, whereas Geometry may not.

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Some thoughts
by TONI H / October 10, 2005 11:19 PM PDT

If a student is doing badly in Math because he/she doesn't understand English enough to take the tests, this would have to be an obvious observation on the part of the Math teacher long before the tests were given and more needs to be done by the English teacher to prepare the student for other classes, don't you think?

As for employment surroundings being the every day 'classroom' for workers who don't speak English, it used to be true. Now employers in all areas are being required to provide Spanish speaking signs, announcements, supervisors, etc. in order to communicate to the non-English speaking employees. We have made it so easy for them NOT to learn English that even the banks' ATM machines are now in both languages in order to garner the deposits made by those who refuse to learn it.


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I agree there should always be resources
by geona / October 11, 2005 1:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Some thoughts

within the school to bolster English learning. As a side note, I live in an area of Spain where there are a great number of English retirees. ATMs, store signs, ads are often bilingual or even just in English. In many places a Spanish person can?t get a job without at least intermediate English, even in some shops. And any service you can think of, there are now English people here providing it (lawyers, plumbers, aerobics instructors, etc.). These are preferred to the existing Spanish providers of the same services, because of language (and perhaps culture). Many will walk into a place and just fire away in English, without even bothering to at least learn "

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(NT) (NT) but but why they expect it here?
by Mark5019 / October 11, 2005 2:26 AM PDT
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Funny how you should mention class and race ...
by Evie / October 11, 2005 11:11 AM PDT

... as it has nothing to do with it. Asian immigrants seem to have no problem not only grasping but exceeding in Math even when their English is very poor. I went to Grad school with a lot of foreigners for whom English was not their first language, and many learned English while in grad school yet managed to do quite well. I have several Asian students in my classes each semester and on average they do better than other foreigners with similar problems with the language. It is the acquiescense of not requiring English proficiency that leads to the cycle of failure where Spanish speaking immigrants are concerned. Those that immersed themselves and learned the language succeed. Those that don't do not. My FIL came to this country with nothing and speaking not a word of English (at a time when a Ukrainian accent wasn't exactly a good thing I might add) and he managed to get a BSEE in three years. Recently a friend of the family won the "lottery" in Ukraine to come to this country. This man is a skilled carpenter and also has a fair knowledge of animal husbandry. But he didn't use the opportunies he had years before -- once here by himself for a year and a second time here with wife and kids for a year -- to learn the language. As such, he lives in a Ukrainian neighborhood in Chicago where his wife cleans homes and he cleans offices for low wages.

NOTHING dooms one to never realize one's potential more than an inability to learn the majority language in society. The same goes for slang. I was on the subway the other day and 5 boys (about 15 y.o.) came on wearing their private school uniforms. I must have heard the n-word used to talk about their teachers (that n****r Brother Pius gave a surprise test), friends and to address each other no fewer than 50 times during the 5 or 6 stops I had the "pleasure" of forceably eavesdropping on their conversation. Other expletives were also liberally used. Somehow the lesson of comporting oneself properly even when one doesn't have to hasn't been instilled by either parents or teachers.

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(NT) (NT) They should learn Spanish
by Diana Forum moderator / October 12, 2005 5:46 AM PDT
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Toni, the immediate learning of English in the past
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / October 11, 2005 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Some thoughts

is a myth. It's always been the SECOND (or sometimes third) generation of immigrants who became fully assimilated in terms of language. For example, at the turn of the last Century major cities like New York and Chicago had dozens of foreign language newspapers in most major European newspapers plus Chinese, Japanese, Yiddish, Hebrew, etc.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Who said anything about immediate learning?
by TONI H / October 11, 2005 2:57 AM PDT

I'm talking forced gradual learning rather than forcing the rest of us to listening to recorded telephone instructions in both languages, having service companies require that bilingual employees be hired only whether you are otherwise qualified for the job or not, having ATM machines now be dual language accessible, and schools that have accommodations made for Spanish speaking students. This was never done before and eventually people learned English out of necessity, even if it was broken and sometimes hard for us to understand at first. Now the necessity seems to be to accommodate them to not have to learn it at all......


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And I'll be you dollars to donuts that
by TONI H / October 11, 2005 2:59 AM PDT

if an employer required on their application forms that only English speaking people would be hired, there would be lawsuits all over the place for 'racial' discrimination by the ones not qualified.


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(NT) (NT) bingo
by Mark5019 / October 11, 2005 3:13 AM PDT
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There's even English and Spanish
by Cindi Haynes / October 11, 2005 3:04 AM PDT

On groceries in the stores here. Like even if you didn't know English you can't tell from the picture whether it's peas or corn?

Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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Well, the hispanic population is
by John Robie / October 11, 2005 3:37 AM PDT

steadily increasing with Mexican American's being increasingly voted to political office, so no wonder.

The illegal alien traffic, along with getting across the Rio Grande just to have babies and then return, will probably always continue to feed the pool for future voters and require more non-hispanic to learn Spanish.

Expect my greatgrand children in Texas will have to learn some English along with mandatory Spanish and the history of Mexico. San Antonio is now 58% Mexican American not including the illegals, and incresing.

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No, Toni -- immigrants lived in ghettoes where they could
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / October 11, 2005 11:05 PM PDT

use their own language. Driver's license exams weren't an issue, because they didn't exist. Of course immigrants would learn a few words out of necessity -- but enough to pass a driver's license test (for example?) That's to laugh. Most people have big problems learning a new language after a certain age -- certainly after 20. The fact is America has always been a nation with a substantial anti-immigrant bias (remember reading about the Know-nothings? Ever see "Gangs of New York?") But now we have laws making such discrimination illegal -- and that makes all the difference! The problem with "English only" approaches in the schools is that they mean a student loses years in terms of learning science, hisotry, geography, math, etc. simply because s/he don't understand English. OTOH, there does have to be a time limit on the dual-language approach (3-4 years max, I'd say) or there's not sufficient incentive to learn English. And while I don't think older immigrants should be forced to learn English to live here (voting is another issue, IMCO), school-age kids MUST eventually learn English for their own sake, not just that of the "English only!" folks.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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More poppycock
by Evie / October 11, 2005 11:23 PM PDT

When my Mom returned to this country from Germany she had been there long enough to have forgotten most of her English. She was put back a year in school to allow her to catch up. Big deal. Pre-affirmative action and all that, she EARNED a scholarship to go to college and get a degree in Math. If she had been coddled with bilingual education who knows where she would have ended up. KIDS learn the language easily when it is of necessity. How come all of the Asian immigrants' children seem to not only adapt, but excel? I had a Korean friend in high school who didn't speak very well at all when she first came, but she did very well in other subjects and eventually caught on in the English based ones too.

Yes, immigrants tended to congregate in their own ethnic neighborhoods. But those that succeeded knew the value of learning English. My own husband didn't speak a word of English until he went to school. He speaks perfectly with no accent. So much so that Ukrainians marvel at his command of that language because he doesn't speak like someone for whom Ukrainian was his first language (albeit in very early years).

Evie Happy

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Movie history, Dave...
by J. Vega / October 12, 2005 12:20 AM PDT

Dave, movies are entertainment, not history lessons. Relying on something that you saw in a movie for historical "proof" is not the best idea in many cases.

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You don't actually KNOW any immigrants do you!
by Edward ODaniel / October 12, 2005 1:31 AM PDT

It is apparent in your comments which are not reflecting the real world.

Older PARENTS of immigrants often have limited English vocabularies but those members of the family who WORK tend to become as familiar as they can with the language because their jobs depend on being able to understand what the boss wants and if necessary to communicate with customers.

Sounds like you need to get away from your normal clique and do a little "SLUMMING" around people you talk glibly of but have limited knowledge of.

You should REMEMBER that the movies you may have watched to form your opinion were made for ENTERTAINMENT and seldom reflect reality too accurately.

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Dave please please stop
by Mark5019 / October 12, 2005 2:30 AM PDT

my grand parents came over from Russia/Germany Austria.

they learned English, the immigrants then took pride in learning English, now they use the lack of learning as a crutch.

when i ran the comp. shop if you didn't speak English you didn't get service as i dont hablo Espagnol.
if you go to a non english speaking country to live they dont have english sub titles like we have spanish.
if they cant learn english export them back

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and dave
by Mark5019 / October 11, 2005 3:12 AM PDT

did they atend public schools? my grand parents learned english.
why cant thes imagints learn? are they less able? or are they a vote for democrats?

were an english speaking country you dont want to speak our langauge go home back to your countries that you left for what?

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If that is true why did immigrants have the
by gearup / October 11, 2005 10:55 AM PDT

names of schools sewn in their clothing? My dad told me that"Rhodes School" a pvt school was sewn in his shirts and he was told to enroll and learn English before he even got here. And this was 1902!

Sure they had native language newspapers. But they also knew that education (in English) was a prerequisite for independence and success in this country and many became overachievers because of this drive!

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by Evie / October 11, 2005 12:03 PM PDT

Unless isolated in a community, immigrants learned English out of necessity. My FIL was not an anomaly when he came here speaking no English and doing what he has in his life. Every one of the older Ukrainians that I've come in contact with over the years speak English -- although most retain an accent. If anything the complaint is that too few of the second and further generations retain their knowledge of the Ukrainian language. If you look to immigrants that have achieved the American dream it is those that generally had nothing, but had little done "for them" by do-gooders. They realized that learning English was crucial and did it because they had to. Bilingual programs have proven to be a recipe for failure and even sizeable majorities of immigrants support English-only education.

Evie Happy

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you think the Ukes had it hard...
by jonah jones / October 12, 2005 6:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Nonsense

have pity on the Italians...

A bus stops and two Italian men get on. They sit down and engage in an
animated conversation. The lady sitting behind them ignores them at
first,but her attention is galvanized when she hears one of the
men say the following:
''Emma come first. Den I come. Den two as$es come together. I come
once-a-more. Two as$es, they come together again. I come again and pee
twice. Then I come one lasta time.''
''You foul-mouthed swine, '' retorted the lady indignantly. ''In this
country we don't talk about our sex lives in public!''
''Hey, coola down lady,'' said the man. ''Who talkin' abouta sexa? I'm a
justa tellin' my frienda how to spella 'Mississippi'



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LOL! Good one!
by Evie / October 13, 2005 12:46 AM PDT

I remember going to a Ukie camping fest when my hubby and I first were dating. Everyone there spoke Ukrainian and I was walking alongside my hubby as he spoke to a friend from CT. Out of the conversation, during which the friend seemed to look at me frequently (in retrospect perhaps he didn't want to appear to be ignoring his friend's new amore), I heard the words ''prostitute Connecticut''. This came on the heels of realizing that some of his Uncles (who have since grown to love me but were hoping at the time for a reconciliation with his of Ukrainian descent ex-wife) had spoken about me ''behind my back in front of me'' (e.g. in Ukrainian so I wouldn't understand) during a recent visit. So of course I assumed this guy was referring to me! It turns out that prosti toot means ''straight to'', as in the friend was telling my hubby that he planned to drive straight back to CT after the show. It's funny in retrospect but I was a bit unnerved at the time!

Evie Happy

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