LETTER: Many school needs rise above language immersionMy son attends Lake Superior Elementary school. We are one of the schools that are on the list to possibly close if the language immersion proposal passes. Let me say that there are several things that concern me on this issue.
To The Telegram:
My son attends Lake Superior Elementary school. We are one of the schools that are on the list to possibly close if the language immersion proposal passes. Let me say that there are several things that concern me on this issue.
First, I am a veteran of the Iraq war. I left my son and my home for 14 months to fight the war on terror. This is the United States of America and we speak English. Now we as citizens of Superior and Douglas County look and see that the Superior School District, in order to “put Superior on the map,” is looking to displace children out of their schools, reduce the numbers of teachers and a principal (that’s what attrition means) all in the name of being culturally literate. This is an American school system.
Do they want to teach German? I’ve been to Germany. When you go there...you have to conform to their rules, not the other way around (you even need to get a German license to drive). The Japanese — they bombed Pearl Harbor and we defeated them. They’re our sister city now. I’m sure they’d be happy to have teachers come to teach. I’m sure we could pay them a lot less than what the teachers up here are making (which isn’t enough as it is). In Korea, we are still watching their demilitarized line. How about the French? They wouldn’t go with us in the War on Terror, but we helped to keep the Germans from taking over their country in WWII (oh that’s right — children don’t learn that type of history anymore.)
I’d like to see the most current results from the Superior elementary schools’ testing on where our children stand as far as their math and reading skills. What are their standings in their English comprehension and writing skills? When did American schools stop teaching English as a primary language?
I do not agree with the parent who said children need a second language to “succeed” in life. What children need is to be immersed in education in English — their primary language. They need to be exposed to the arts, science and good health and physical education to lead healthy, happy lives. Children are like flowers — they need water and soil and sunlight to grow. This is their basic necessity; foreign language is not a necessity. Parents certainly should be involved with their children’s learning. I wish more parents thought that way.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to foreign language being introduced into the schools at the elementary levels. However, offer it as part of the regular school curriculum to all children if they wish to do so. My son speaks some Spanish and knows sign language. He didn’t go to a special school to do either of these things.
Lastly, I take great offense to the statement, “it’s not what our 5 year olds need at age 6; it’s about what our 18-year-olds need.” Since when did the needs of a young child’s mind take a back seat? When is it that children learn? In one statement, a parent states that the earlier a child is exposed to a language, the better (however, formal English will not be introduced until 3rd grade).
What we need is better education, more schools to stop overcrowding, smaller class sizes and help for those children who have disabilities. Remember the “No child left behind” rule? What happened to that standard? Why are kids still failing? Teach them young so that at 18 years old, they have a better start toward a college or technical career. I also believe that this should be something voted on by parents, not the school board. We as parents have earned that right.
America is no doubt a “melting pot,” but lest we forget, Americans are not always treated with respect in most foreign countries, nor are we welcomed. How many of our battleships, embassies and troops have paid the price for being American? Yet, we continue to constantly want to concede to the idea that we need to push aside the ideals that our country was based on. My grandparents came over from Italy and Germany in the early 1900s. They had to learn to speak English because that is the language of this country. Our country’s future depends on us standing by those ideals. Teach English for the sake of our nation. God Bless America!
— Veronica Behlke,