Saturday, August 26, 2006

Schools should use English, Massachusetts Gov. Romney says

Here in Iowa Romney spoke with local Republicans yesterday about an important issue . . . the fact that English is the language of our country.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigning for Iowa Republicans on Friday, said that while the United States should embrace its diversity, all students should be immersed in the English language.

"If you're going to be successful in America, you have to speak the language of the land," Romney told a group of about 60 Dallas County elected officials and Republicans on Friday in West Des Moines.

Romney spoke at a fundraiser breakfast for state Rep. Ralph Watts, who is seeking re-election in November. Watts, of Adel, faces Democrat Russ Wiesley of Waukee.

Romney is eyeing the 2008 presidential nomination. This is his seventh trip to Iowa since 2004. The 2008 Republican presidential nominating process is scheduled to begin with the Iowa caucuses.

Romney said he has been a proponent of "English immersion," in which a bilingual student is placed in a classroom where all materials, books and instruction are in English.

Voters in Massachusetts approved a ballot initiative for English immersion in 2002, the same year Romney was elected.

Romney vetoed legislation the next year to soften the law and allow bilingual education to continue, but his veto was overridden.

Romney said English immersion has worked in Massachusetts, where fourth- and fifth-graders this year rated first in the nation on standardized English tests.


Having grown up in California and living in Latin America (immersing myself in their language and culture), I agree that English Immersion is the only way to go. It's better for EVERYBODY in the long term and helps UNITE rather than divide our populace.

1 comment:

mitchell said...

I fully agree. English immersion is the best way to go. I work at a community college running a computer lab for English as a Second Language students. I witness firsthand the struggles and successes refugees and immigrants have in learning English.

It is most difficult to teach English reading and writing to students who never learned to read or write well in their native language. For this reason, a policy regarding teaching English may do well to also include a plan to somehow encourage a better education system in Mexico and other countries.
One way to do this (which I believe is already done) is to allow more immigrants who have at least a high school level education, than folks who have less than a high school education.