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'English-Only Rules Are Un-American'

June 08, 1985

It seems appropriate that I share with readers, voters, and Frank del Olmo a conversation I had with my friend, Werner.

Werner remembers well being a 7-year-old newcomer to America and being "more comfortable" in his native German language than in English.

When Werner returned home from school each day he was greeted with many questions from Mama in her native German. He was getting confused--English at school, German at home. Finally, he said to her: "Mama, I have to answer you in English, because I can only think in one language."

It wasn't long before there were three proud English-speaking Americans. Mama, Papa, and my friend, Werner.

I wonder, are we nurturing non-thinking citizens with bilingual education?

A. NICHOLSON

Anaheim

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