Re: your March 21 article, “School to change way it teaches Spanish speakers”:
I was wondering how it is possible that almost 90 percent of Haycox’s students speak Spanish as their first language. I would think only those students who were born in Mexico would fit in this category.
I think the problem is that the majority of their parents never tried to learn enough English before the children were born. Since having to learn a separate language and school studies at the same time is rather hard, the logical thing would be for parents who care about their children’s education and well being to speak as much English as possible before they start school.
In all fairness, I think some kind of announcement should go out to all parents of potential students saying that starting two years from now all kindergarten classes will be English only. The next year first grade would be added and so on. In a few years probably 90 percent of the students would be fluent in English before they started school.
The biggest problem in teaching anyone a new language is incentive. When all school announcements to the parents are in Spanish and you can get all the news and entertainment you want on Spanish TV, radio and newspapers, it destroys the incentive immigrants of 100 years ago had to learn English. My late father in law was born in Russia and didn’t come to America until he was 11 years old and put into a kindergarten class. A year later, he had learned enough English to be promoted to fifth grade. He graduated high school at 18 and when I met him, he had no accent.
Until we make it important for everyone to learn English, we will always have this problem in the schools.
— Dan B. Kaufman, Ventura