English-Language Classes Unfair?

January 22, 2008 1 min read

An interesting back-and-forth at the Daily Herald in Carpentersville, Ill., questions the fairness of English language classes in that suburban Chicago city. The Nov. 30 article highlights Sharon Fetting’s suggestion that native English-speaking children should receive foreign language instruction, just like English-language learners. At a November school board meeting, Fetting proposed that English-speaking students should receive Spanish-language instruction.

The Daily Herald columnist, Jameel Naqvi, writes:

I also take issue with what seems to be Fetting's suggestion: that is, that the district has an equal obligation to teach English to kids from non-English homes and to teach Spanish or any other language to children from English [speaking] homes.

Last week, Fetting responded in the Daily Herald:

It is only fair that our children, who speak English as a first language, have the same advantage to learn a second language without having to pay extra for their education.

Your thoughts?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.