quinta-feira, 4 de outubro de 2012

Not much of a help

Correction is part of teaching but sometimes it can just make things worse.

Many thanks to Married to the Sea.

quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2012

Are Americans afraid of living in a multilingual country?

Many students of English may be surprised to learn that the U.S. has no offcial language. The use of language is of course part of the "common law" but has never received a federal regulation. The movement in favor of English as the official U.S. language is not new but has aparently gained a new strengh given the national debate on illegal immigration.
In the border city of San Luis, Arizona, a candidate for a seat in the city council was disqualified to run based on the fact (perception?) that her language skills were nor sufficient for the job. Monolingual speakers of English are a small minority in the city. One may wonder if she was leading the polls. I guess that if she were a just a minor candidate with little chance to get a seat at the council, the opponentes wouldn't care about her English language skills at all.

Probably linguistic prejudice is the most widespread kind of prejudice among all cultures. We are perhaps too aware of accents, vocabulary, etc. and how people express their identities through language. The problem is when we take such perceptions too seriously and use them to prevent people from enjoying their rights. So my question to all readers is why monolinguals should be afraid of multilinguals. Any guesses?