Monday, February 19, 2007

It's about lives, not just about English

Full article here

"As I spoke, I noticed tears in her eyes. I sat down with Maria and asked how everything was going. Apparently, her grandfather had been ill, and their regular doctor had recommended a specialist. Unfortunately, the specialist didn't speak their language. Additionally, even though the family had lived in Nashville for more than four years, neither Maria's parents nor her grandparents knew enough English to talk to the doctor, and they didn't trust a translator."

"Instead, they took Maria out of school to translate between her family and the doctor. So it happened that, after a tedious day of testing, it was Maria who had to tell her grandfather that he had only months to live. She was eight."


"What no one in this English language debate seems to want to discuss is that there are real people being exploited in this city. They live in destitution because our poverty is better than the hardship they have been accustomed to. Kept segregated by language, they are unable to utilize the opportunities around them."