Education Letter to the Editor

Is Speaking English Too Much to Ask of Teachers?

September 17, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

In response to “Arizona’s Evaluators Say Some Teachers Don’t Speak English Well,” from your Learning the Language blog (Sept. 4, 2007):

I feel as if I’m living in Alice’s wonderland. Nothing makes sense in this country anymore.

I’m Hispanic, I came to the United States as a legal immigrant, I’m a naturalized U.S. citizen, I spoke only Spanish for the first 18 years of my life, and I learned English in order to live and function in my adoptive country.

Now I’m reading that there are teachers accredited in the United States who don’t have a command of the English language! What is this? A futuristic science-fiction story in which there’s only anarchy and chaos in a land where there used to be order and common sense?

Why are these individuals teaching in our country without being able to speak our language? Has everybody gone mad?

This simply has to stop. As a taxpayer, I refuse to have my money go to pay the salary of a teacher who can barely speak English, the language of this country. Foreign students learn English much better by immersion, the younger the better.

Bilingual students with less-than-proficient English teachers will always be foreigners in this country, with limited English skills and a foreign accent. If I learned English, others can do it too.

Haydee Pavia

Laguna Woods, Calif.