Multilingual is always better than monolingual

From the New York Times:

Nashville Won’t Make English Official Language

Published: January 22, 200

Nashville voters on Thursday rejected a proposal to make English the city’s official language and largely to prevent government workers from communicating in other languages.

The proposal was introduced by Eric Crafton, a metropolitan councilman. It was opposed by a broad coalition including the mayor, civil rights groups, business leaders, ministers and the heads of nine institutions of higher education.

“The results of this special election reaffirm Nashville’s identity as a welcoming and friendly city,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement.

Mr. Crafton had said the policy would encourage immigrants to learn English and save the city more than $100,000 in translation and related costs. The policy allowed exceptions to its English-only rule for issues of health and safety.

Critics said the proposal would tarnish Nashville’s reputation as a cultural mixing pot and drive away immigrants and international businesses. They also accused Mr. Crafton of worsening anti-immigrant sentiment and wasting at least $350,000 of taxpayer’s money on a special election.

[ Full Article ]

I can see the reasoning behind wanting immigrants to learn English, but forcing it upon them is not the answer.  Immigrants in France must learn French because it is the official language, but France has always had an assimilation policy. The US has no official language because we prefer the “melting pot” idea. Keep your culture, keep your religion, keep your language! Learning English will obviously help with everyday life in America, but it is not what makes you American.

It’s been one full day.

Hey, why isn’t the world fixed yet?

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Thoughts and Ramblings

I’ve only worked one day in the past thirty, and it has given me a lot of time to think, contemplate, and get bored and frustrated. My first semester as a lectrice d’anglais ended just fine, and then Christmas came and went along with my homesickness, and lately I’ve been reading and cleaning a lot […]

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Sony Reader, how did I live without you?

I spent all day Thursday playing with my Sony Reader. And I do mean ALL DAY. If anyone else is thinking about buying one, here are some helpful hints: I have a ton of scholarly journal articles in PDF format that I wanted to read on the Sony Reader. It is possible to read them, […]

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Sculpture of European Stereotypes: Get angry or just laugh?

A Czech artist, David Cerny, was supposed to lead a project to create a sculpture to represent all 27 member states of the EU, working with an artist from each country.  Instead, he worked with two of his friends to produce a sculpture that shows a (usually insulting) stereotype of each country, because he wanted […]

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Appareil à Hot Dog

I saw this at Darty tonight and it made me laugh. A hot dog in a baguette is just wrong.

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Exam time… and now more vacation time

Today was the big phonetics final exam for my first year students, and I worked for 5 hours straight with a seemingly never-ending number of students. The actual test only took them about 5 minutes to do, but I was supposed to figure out their grade in the one minute before the next student started […]

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French Phonetics: Listening & Repetition Exercises

Have trouble hearing the difference between les and lait ? How about jeune and jeûne ? Um, yeah, me too. Still can’t say bûche correctly? How many silent letters are there in prompt ? Do you want to cry when you’re forced to pronounce serrurerie ? Since I’m still on vacation, I’ve been working hard […]

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Les Hiverts Les Plus Froids ! Mais c’est quoi, un hivert ?

As spotted even over in Montreal, France 2 must have lost their spellchecker along with the commercials.

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Strike Time

Pôle Emploi, which is replacing ANPE & ASSEDIC, is already beginning its first days with a strike even though the organization doesn’t technically become effective until Thursday. The employees of the organization that is designed to help you find work refuse to work so that you cannot find work because they are upset about their […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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