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Bilingual Education Is a Human and Civil Right

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Bilingual Education is a Human and Civil Right

For quite some time now bilingual education has been a controversial topic amongst people living in the United States. This article takes the stand from more of a law point of view. The article speaks of Article 29, that was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989. It states that children should learn respect of parents, their culture and language. The way I interpreted this portion of the article leads me to agree but I do not know if I am getting the same meaning that the author is taking from it. I agree that children should learn their parents native tongue, as well as, preserving culture and tradition but I do not think that should be in place learning English to a level of fluency. Clearly, this article is a one sided view of bilingual education. I am not that one sided. I can definitely see the importance of it but I also always go back to when my family came here and nobody catered to their language. In order to live in this society they had to learn the language and customs of Americans. When my mother was in school, they did not teach her about Judaism or Polish heritage, that was the role of her parents and other extended family.

This article then speaks of Article 30. I think it is also correct but depending on the context from which it comes. Children should not be denied the right to use their native tongue but I think there is a time and place for everything. I try to stay away from this because it seems like such a played out thing to say but I still believe the following. I speak English as my native tongue but when I travel, for instance, I spent the summer back packing around Europe and the Greek Islands. While I was there I did not expect anyone to speak my language. I learned enough to get by from country to country and did a lot of hand gesturing. My point is that if I was going to move to Italy or France, I would be expected to learn Italian of French in order to survive in those countries. If along the way some people spoke my L1 then great but I would not feel as if they should. I do believe that the best way to learn another language is to immerse yourself in the language. On the other hand I can still see the necessity for bilingual education.

As far as banning bilingual education being a violation of basic civil rights under the law. I believe that the laws of this country rely a lot on the voters. How can people complain of lack of civil rights if they are not even citizens or working on becoming citizens. Obviously



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