Teacher Reports on Newt Gingrich’s Spanish Progress

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 29, 2007 1 min read
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Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, aims to soon be able to give interviews in Spanish, according to an article inThe Politico, based on an interview with his private Spanish tutor.

A couple of months ago Mr. Gingrich offended some Latinos by equating bilingual education with “the language of living in the ghetto,” according to news reports. He later appeared in a video on YouTube in which he tried--in Spanish--to clarify his comments. See my earlier posts, “More on Newt Gingrich’s Spanish Lessons,” and “Newt Gingrich Offers an Apology of Sorts.”

At the time the video was made, Mr. Gingrich’s Spanish fluency level was mid-intermediate, according to Ricardo Gonzalez, his teacher from an Atlanta-based company, Bilingual America. According to today’s article in The Politico, Mr. Gonzalez sat in on the recording of Mr. Gingrich’s message on YouTube to make sure the former congressman didn’t make matters worse in the clarification.

Mr. Gonzalez says Mr. Gingrich is on track to be able to give interviews in Spanish by fall.

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