I have more opinions on language policy than any other

Turnout was described as unusually heavy in battleground states. Since 1990, the midterm elections have drawn 33 percent, 37 percent and 33 percent of eligible voters.

And I thought voter turnout for presidential elections was low…

So the Republicans have control of Congress now, again. That’s really all I feel comfortable saying right now. Maybe if 1) I was better with politics; 2) I didn’t have a lot on my mind; 3) I had any idea whatsoever what to say, I would write something. It seems silly to even post when I have nothing to say, but heck, Blogger makes it so easy ;P And I figure I should keep writing as much as I want to. It will help me in the long run.

There’s an interesting bit at the end of that article:

Massachusetts voters chose to make English the language of instruction for all students in public schools, effectively ending decades of bilingual instruction programs for immigrants.

I wonder if that means that the bilingual instruction programs were ineffective or inadequte, or if the immigrants weren’t learning English and therefore weren’t fitting into the community very well, or if everyone in Massachusetts is a member of English First. *shrug* Personally, I like English, and it makes sense to have a language that everyone in the country speaks. I think it would be cool if we all spoke more than one language, but picking the second language would be difficult, since there literally are no other languages with the power and prestige of English. I don’t say that to be boastful; I did nothing to be born a speaker of English. It just happens to be true.

Regardless, I’m not sure that ending bilingual education programs is the answer. I think Massachusetts should have evaluated the system they were using and revised it. Younger students don’t need bilingual education. They can pick up the new language much easier than older students. The older kids, though, probably do need bilingual instruction. It’s harder for them to grasp the nuances of English, and so having things explained to them in a language they can actually speak is extremely helpful. Of course, I think a lot of that instruction should be TESL. I am certainly not advocating that we open schools to teach everything in other languages. While that would be really neat, both for immigrants and for Americans who want to learn another language, it’s really unrealistic. Imagine the cost!

I have many more opinions about language policy than I do about general politics, it would appear…or at least, they are more solid than my other opinions. Perhaps this is because I know a hell of a lot more about language than I do about history or international relations.