Bilingualism in America

From Janell Ross at the Washington Post on the Spanish fracas between Cruz and Rubio:

“There is a dark period in American history. It’s one to which some Americans seem eager to return. It’s one when people were barred, shamed or even punished for speaking languages other than English. That was especially true outside the home.

Speaking a foreign language or limited English was very widely believed to be an indicator of suspect national loyalty, limited intelligence or ability. Speaking a foreign language simply was not regarded as a useful skill.”

If there’s one thing that’s consistently baffled me since I came to this country, it’s the weird attitude towards foreign languages many people have. Bilingualism just isn’t emphasized to the same extent in America as it is in Europe or post-colonial Asian countries.

Posted on: February 16, 2016, by : Q.Z.