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Bilingual Education

July 14, 1993

In response to "The 'Official' Culture Shifts, and the Endangered List Grows Longer," by Douglas Lasken, Commentary, June 28:

The ignorance displayed in Lasken's commentary is part of the reason our educational system is in the state it is.

One would hope our teachers would make every effort to educate and inform themselves about important issues in education, such as bilingual education, especially when one teaches in a district where many students are bilingual.

Bilingual education is creating an educated class of people that will be able to succeed in this society. They will be voters, consumers, business people and presidents. And they will speak and read in two or more languages.

I guess that scares some monolingual adults like Lasken who seem to fear a "Hispanic takeover" of Los Angeles, which, by the way, has been a Spanish-speaking city for more years than it has been an English-speaking one.

I hope Lasken will do his students and fellow educators a favor by reading a few books on the theories of bilingual education as well as the history and culture of this city.


North Hollywood

* Let me bring up another point not mentioned by Lasken. When I was going to school in the '50s and '60s, my parents sent me--after public school--to Chinese school to learn about the Chinese culture, its language, customs and holidays. When I went to junior high in the Fairfax district, I learned that many of my Jewish classmates had done the same.

How much better is it to learn one's own culture from one's own people! I wouldn't expect the Anglo teacher of culture to have the richness of experience available to me in Chinese class; and I certainly wouldn't expect the district to pay for it.


Monterey Park

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