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Immigrants

June 16, 1988

Thank goodness for the continuing flow of immigrants to the U.S. Rageshree Ramachandran and Victor Wang came in first and second in the National Spelling Bee (" 'Elegiacal:' It Spells Success for Bee Champ," Part I, June 3).

Immigrants and their progeny have been building this nation from the beginning, and have made it strong. Today's new arrivals appear to be contributing an ironic new ingredient which reverses one dimension of our rich diversity. We see evidence that some of the newcomers and their children know or learn our language better than those of us who have been here for generations. That is heartening in an age of degenerating ability to read and write, increasing inability to speak coherent sentences or pronounce words in an understandable way, and an age of 21 million adult functional illiterates (U.S. Department of Education estimate).

Perhaps the dedication of the newcomers can help to reverse the unraveling of our ability to communicate in our marvelous and powerful language.

HARRY T. LARSON

Fullerton

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