I’ve heard a bit of this in my lifetime and it’s always struck a nerve with me. Especially now that I’ve lived overseas for a length of time.
“Just speak English.”
“You live in America, so you should speak English.”
Really now? And how long would it take for said person to become fluent? I’m VERY curious as to how many of these people that say such things have actually tried to learn another language. It’s HARD! It’s easier when you’re a kid, but it’s A LOT of work and practice to become fluent. Sheesh. Cut the people some slack.
Actually, one of the first things I noticed when I came back to America (“The Melting Pot”) was that in the INTERNATIONAL (Chicago-O’hare) airport, how little there was of any other language besides English.
Every other airport I’ve been in in other countries has at least one other language. I would have thought there would at least be Spanish…maybe Chinese. It would be crazy hard to get around…even in the airport if you had little English skills.
Anyway, that’s a new topic altogether, but I just needed to vent about how much that bothers me.
Also, assuming these people that come to the US have a little English already–It does take a lot of patience and practice for these people to become anywhere near fluent.
The kids I’m teaching now are younger (so it’s easier for them than it would be for an adult), but they are in an IMMERSION English school for about 5 hours from M-F.
And now…if we had an adult, they’d also have to work (assuming they’re working) and have general family duties…oh, and of course now they need to also squeeze in some sort of English school.
Honestly, I think it’d be best if it was required for all students to learn a second language starting in Kindergarten/Elementary school, and have it required all the way through high school. That might help us as a country and give people a little more compassion and understanding.
One more thing…how come we aren’t taking out some of that frustration on improving our own education system OR on all those NATIVE SPEAKERS that can’t even use your/you’re or to/two/too properly. They can’t even speak their own native language correctly and we’re getting all fussy about people not speaking their SECOND language perfectly.
//Ok, I’m finished now. Really.
But thanks to the people/country of Korea for letting me experience the joy of teaching in your country without first being fluent in Korean. 😉