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January 15, 2009

Help immigrants learn English

I am one American who is disgusted with other citizens complaining about foreign immigrants being unwilling to speak English.

Many letters to The Star imply that immigrants do not want to speak English. The immigrants want to speak our language. Unfortunately for them, too many Americans are unwilling to teach. As a result, the immigrants have been able to spread their languages across our country.

Too many Americans argue that if immigrants do not want to speak English, then they should go somewhere else. Well, I have this to say: If Americans do not want to teach immigrants English, they need to shut up.

Timothy Johnson
Kansas City



It looks as if we've been heard and scolded. Several posts were erased today, Uncle Herman can no longer be called a no pants wearing mouse,(hopefully that means if he doesn't agree with someone he can't call them an anti-semite and Hitler fan), BuddyT can no longer be described as someone who prances naked in front of his Ollie North poster(hopefully that means he can no longer say racist things here) and yomama comments will no longer be tolerated.

All in a days work. Now if we can outlaw such terms as race-pimps, troop trains and race hustlers we'll have made freedom of speech something we all can respect.

Maybe my name can go back to my name and not , well, you know.

Being civil is so much more fun than insults, after all.

Pub 17

Per favore, non mi rompere i coglioni....


Dis es beig fon


Die Chinesen besitzen uns. Zu bald werden wir sprechen, was Sprache sie uns erklären.


Ellos han estado diciendo que chino es el futuro desde hace treinta años y no ha sucedido todavía.


"If Americans do not want to teach immigrants English, they need to shut up."

El inglés está ayer, los americanos debe aprender chino para prepararse para mañana.




Solomon, ix-nay on the Oation-cray. I ran your posts through Google language tools and they were still...er...greek to me.



You wouldn't cross the street to help anyone who is not just like you. And once again, as I said in my post you are addressing, I said immigrants teaching immigrants.

I should have gone with Croatian again.

Pub 17

The most grindingly ignorant letter of the new year.


If someone really wants to learn a language, there are other options other than taking a class. When I lived in Europe, several of my friends started learning one of the languages by writing down various items in the language on notecards and putting it on that item (door, table, etc - but in that language). They also purchased children's books (basic language) and a book or two on basic grammar. The next step was to read newspapers, rent movies in that language with English subtitles, etc. Eventually, they were able to watch tv and carry on conversations (as long as they had the vocabulary in that topic). They were, however, literate in English. If someone isn't literate in their spoken tongue, THAT can be a problem whether or not they go to classes or try something else.


Uh, all due respect to old Race Card (I give you a number to push nimrod), just why the hell is it my obligation to teach immigrans English Timbo? Where does it say that in the constitution?

But I tell you what as soon as the immigrants prove they are here LEGALLY I think most of us would volunteer a little time.


Many immigrants are illegal, illiterate, or both, which might explain why they would be reluctant to enroll in English language classes. What always get me, though, is listening to landscape supervisors speaking really bad Spanish to their crews. That's probably why so many of the evergreen trees we had planted last summer died and were then blown oover in the winter winds. We're out a lot of money because neither the supervisor not I was able to communicate to these guys the right way to plant a tree.

(Note to customers of landscaping companies: The faster they plant, the more likely your plants will die.)

As much as I would love to secure a position in a landscaping company (I'm certified in two specialties), I don't think I should be required to brush up on my high school Spanish.



Just a guess on my part, but I would bet there are many places where immigrants are taught English by volunteers immigrants from previous years. You just won't see them advertised like a "Sylvan Learning Center" type facility.

I saw an episode of "My Name Is Earl" where he did that for immigrants, so the idea has to be out there.


I have oftened wondered why we rarely see the advocates for these immigrants not opening English learning centers. Having someone who has worked to learn the language to help those who are desiring to learn.


Hey BuddyT, press 3 to understand Timothy.

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