The other morning I attended a Workshop For Parents at my son's school. It had all the right intentions - tips for starting the kids off right for school, help with homework, communicating with teachers, etc. The only problem was, about seventy percent of it was conducted in Spanish.
I could go ape-shit like those folks who drape themselves with an American flag screaming, "This is America - speak English!" But what's the point, unless I yell it out in Spanish. The stark truth is, the Spanish speaking population far outnumbers the English speakers, especially in areas like New York and Florida and that's just the East Coast.
You know what they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Our education system offers specialized programs to help non-English speaking children, I'd like to see them offer native English speakers a chance to learn Spanish instead of depending on Dora The Explorer.
Oh sure, we offer French and Spanish in our schools but that's not until Junior High (Middle school). I'm no "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid" here but extreme self-consciousness hits most people around this time, they're not going to repeat "Mi nombre es Retardo" with enthusiasm. It's not going to stick.
I took French in Junior High and about the only sentence I've retained is fermez la bouche - shut your mouth. I remembered it because it's a useful phrase. And you have to admit, it sounds romantic. Only in French could you say, "your mother is a dog" and it would sound like poetry. Can you imagine if they dubbed "Goodfellas" in French - that would suck. It's probably why the French aren't big in organized crime; how threatening could you sound with a French accent? C'est impossible, baiseur de mère.
Getting back to the Parent Workshop - although it fell short of conveying the information it promised, it did hit home the need to teach my kids another language. The four-year old does well in learning Japanese. The big brother, well, like I said in a previous post - he's an air head. He has trouble enough with English why confuse him even more? If the most he can say is Domo-arigato, Mr. Roboto well...c'est la vie.