In English First the author is a huge proponent of English only education. Le urges the voting public who is reading the article to vote against installing bilingual education into the student course curriculum. Le dedicates almost the entire piece to focus on the potential pitfalls in trying to introduce two completely different languages into a child’s academic curriculum simultaneously. Before I read this article I would have thought myself in favor of bilingual education.
It would appear to be the easiest way to assimilate immigrants to our cultural as well as broadening the cultural horizons of our native English speaking students.I have no idea how arrogant a way of thinking that could possibly be. My own education, coupled with my professional and personal experience, in addition to Le’s essay lead me to the conclusion that English only education is by far the bets way to go. I would like to think I have a very good grasp of the English language; I am constantly being commended on my superior verbal communication skills. That being said my written communication leaves a lot to be desired. Even though I speak very eloquently (at times) I am not seem to properly translate that same level of eloquent into a printable media.I find myself a little bit embarrassed when I have to write formal documents (even this response) due to my lack of practical skill knowledge when it comes to written formats.
I blame myself partially for the oversight in my education but mostly I blame my compulsory education instructors. Through out grade school, middle school and high school I was never once ordered to learn how to write a proper sentence. I was made to learn vocabulary and parts of speech surely but it was not until college I was it expected that I know how to put it all together flawlessly and with punctuation.All my writing assignments before I entered college consisted of a series of run on sentences. The sad part is I never got below C+ in any of my written assignments due to my extraordinary level of content. However, I know now that content does not a good paper solely make. My teachers did not do me any favors by allowing me to skate by, especially since I had no idea that I was skating to begin with.
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After I read Le’s article I stopped to think about the people I interact with on a daily basis, the public at large and especially my colleagues.I must admit on several occasions I find myself mortified to hear the language that comes out of their mouths. Not because of any level of vulgarity but rather the way in which they completely butcher their native language; English. I think the author makes a valid point before we become so consumed with the idea of teaching American children other languages we really should focus on them mastering English in both verbal and written formats. English First" by Yung Le, pgs. 459-461 in A Well Crafted Argument
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