Things I am passionate about. Injustice, stupidity, intolerance, bigotry and small-mindedness. Oh and there might just be some humor to offset the whole thing.

Que? Obama says nation’s kids should be bilingual

Posted by morganwrites on July 13, 2008

In an under-covered moment I only caught by streaming the event online, Sen. Barack Obama told voters today in Powder Springs, Georgia, they should not be worried about making the United States an “English-only” country.
He said he agrees immigrants should learn English, but felt the concern should be more about global competitiveness.
“Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English, because they will learn English, you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish,” he said. “We should have every child speaking more than one language.”
For comic effect, he added, “It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is ‘Merci beaucoup.'”
He said a foreign language is a “powerful tool” to becoming more employable in the global economy and said children learn languages easier than adults.
“We should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they’re 5, or 6, or 7 than when they’re 46, like me,” he said.

Obama is sorta bilingual – he speaks with a forked tongue!


4 Responses to “Que? Obama says nation’s kids should be bilingual”

  1. Carla Briceno said

    I’m not necessarily an Obama supporter, but I completely agree with him on the utility of learning Spanish. I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and have been able to use my Spanish for both personal and professional reasons and made much better money because of it! Not sure why you consider his position farcical or idiotic….

  2. cooper said

    Hum I happen to agree. Those I know who didn’t learn how to speak another language at college had a harder time in college, ma college require another language depending on the major, and for many things you need to be fluent in at least one other language. I know I had to pass an exam for fluency in another language to get into grad school.

    The people who get the jobs world wide speak at least one other language. When an undergrad all foreign born students I knew were fluent in usually two languages . I see it as a great disadvantage to kids n this country not to require them to at least be introduced to a foreign language at an early age. I do think it is something this country has been silly not to require.

    Not to mention that being bi or tri lingual helps on standardized college admission tests.

    Latin based languages are especially helpful.

  3. cooper – yes, most of us who were college bound took a foreign language in high school – and those who didn’t lost out. And I agree that Americans are ‘behind’ the rest of the world in being bi or tri lingual – hell, we were/are so smug that when we visit a foreign country we expect their citizens to speak English. My point was that Obama hasn’t and doesn’t practice what he preaches – at least he didn’t say he spoke another language.

  4. Carla Briceno – It just seemed that Obama was being a bit pompous – yes, as a whole, Americans are behind the curve when it comes to being multi-lingual – but with the troubles we’re having – Iraq War, Oil Debacle, Social Security Woes, Banks Failing, the Freddie and Fannie Mess, Health Care System Broken, California on Fire, Midwest Flooded, Prison Systems Failing, Stock Market Tanking, ad nauseam – Obama’s speech seemed rather idiotic and ‘out of touch’.
    Thanks for your comment and glad you were in the Corps. Peace.

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