Blog author: jballor
Thursday, September 6, 2007

They say that those who can’t do, teach. But what if you can’t teach?

From the AZ Republic: “Hundreds of students in Arizona are trying to learn English from teachers who don’t know the language, state officials say.”

I’ve never been too attracted to the whole “English-only movement,” but I would think the language should at least be the sine qua non of our educational system.

That is, we should be teaching English and other languages. Some of the examples from the piece are pretty egregious, as teachers are employed who are clearly unqualified to comply with “Arizona law [that] requires teachers to use only English in the classroom and bans all texts and materials in any language but English.” I’m assuming that law is in effect for classes other than foreign language classes.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

  • Dick Friedrich

    Language is a fundamental cultural differentiater. English captures more than just the American experience but also the larger western traditions that grew with it, e.g. freedom, respect for the individual, and constitutional government. When English is undermined in the classroom there is significant, although indirect, negative affect on associated cultural learning. These western traditions, although they are not perfect, have been a significant blessing for civilization and are endanger of being lost when English is undermined in the classroom. All of humanity stands to lose.