Saturday, July 19, 2008

Spanish-speakers Threatened That English-speakers are Learning Spanish?

Here's an interesting blog post where the author, who's not bilingual, explains why she's teaching her children Spanish and the need she felt to sometimes defend that decision to friends and family.

What struck me the most was, from her experience, some Spanish-speakers felt threatened that English-speakers are learning Spanish--better than they are.

I thought for the most part Spanish-speakers would be receptive and even flattered that English-speakers are learning their language.

What are your thoughts?


Karen said...

So far, I've only had positive feedback when I've told people that I'm teaching the boys Spanish. I think what she's doing is fantastic. Don't you?

Jessica said...

Most certainly! Her son's Spanish accomplishments are remarkable.

I've only had favorable responses too when I tell people my girls are learning Spanish.

Renai in NM said...

I left a comment on her blog, but let her know of the possible reason for the negativity, especially with the spelling bee. In essence, Spanish speakers are not taught Spanish in schools. They may go to a certain point and stop, but the focus is learning English. When Spanish is being taught as a second language, we are taught the entire spectrum literacy: speaking, reading and writing. You get a non-native speaker who has actually been taught to read and write Spanish, vs. native speakers whose focus is learning English, you get embarrassment if the non-native speaker comes out ahead. I explained more in my comment.

We are bilingual homeschoolers ourselves and encourage anyone to learn as many languages as they want :).

Jessica said...

Thanks for the insight. Glad you stopped by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica...

Unfortunately, it is true. I see it with French. I live in Ottawa (Canada), on the boarder between Québec and Ontario. Francophones here speak a slang called "franglais" and although they want Anglophones to speak French, they do not do anything to help them (they always switch to English).

The reason? Well... Anglophones who speak French as a second language express themselves in a better way.

Check my post

You will see what I mean! I guess the same thing is happening with native Spanish speakers!

Jessica said...

Interesting. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

tati said...

Usually people I have met are very impressed that I am teaching my children Spanish. It makes them feel a little guilty that they are not teaching their own children their native language though.