Remember bilingual education? Why can’t they call a spade a spade? I have never seen any school in Ventura County that had bilingual education for anyone other than Spanish speakers, even with all the Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais and other immigrants. I’ve heard of bilingual education for other ethnic immigrants in Los Angeles County, but not in Ventura County.
English as a Second Language works, but kindergarten and preschool kids pick up language very readily. When we were kids, we didn’t have bililngual education or even ESL, but we survived. We grew up in a community of immigrants from various countries. So English was our third language.
Outside of the home, we spoke a pidgin English, which was a mixture of the various languages in the community, but in the classroom we had to speak English. We went on to college, and we even had to repeat the required non-credit Oral English.
I never became a rocket scientist, but I was a lecturer-consultant to NASA, did nuclear reactor heat transfer research, and was a chemical engineering, Japanese language, English composition and ESL professor.
My colleagues went on to bigger and better things. For example:
A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Dan Inouye, is the third ranking Democratic U.S. senator.
U.S. Sen. Sparky Matsunaga used his oratorical skills to good use in the Senate.
Dr. Chitoshi Yanaga was a history and political science professor at Yale.
Dr. Paul Miwa was vice chancellor of the University of of Hawaii.
Masato Doi became a judge.
Members of the all Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit of its size, confused the “Jerries” in France by speaking pidgin, much as the Indian code talkers confused the enemy.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the blood brothers of the 442nd, some of whose parents were incarcerated in American concentration camps, used their linguistic skills in translating, interpreting and interrogating the enemy troops, some of whom could have been their own relatives. They not only had to be skilled in the enemy’s language, but skilled in writing and reporting, in English, important and urgent tactical information.
— Ted Wakai, Oxnard