Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bin Laden Helps Bush?

Osama bin Laden's latest video helped Bush, according to The Guardian. I don't think so. It's quite likely that most Americans who saw the tape got a reminder of Bush's failure to get bin Laden. Bin Laden was not in a cave on the run. He was dressed in great clothes and seemed to be thumbing his nose at Bush for not capturing him. Watch for another bin Laden tape not long after the election, commenting on how bad a choice Americans made regardless of who wins. Of course, what would make bin Laden's happiest is if the election turns out like the last one and we won't know who won until the Supreme Court tells us.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

New Bilingual Program

Because of the influx of immigrant children, Country Meadows Elementary School in Long Grove, Illinois, will set up its first bilingual education program. The program will make it easier for kids to learn English gradually and make a transition into regular classes without falling behind their academic peers.

More Books en Español

Patrons in an Oregon library like to read but their library had few books. More books in Spanish are coming.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Lost in translation

Justice Department auditors discovered 123,000 hours of untranslated data in languages used by terrorists.

Two Languages with Two Hands?

Can you write with both hands simultaneously in two separate languages? Amanullah, an Indian engineer can write in English and Tamil with both hands at the same time. The 53 year-old, who got his name into India’s Limca Book of Records, hopes to make the Guinness Book of World Records.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Early Bilingualism

How early should kids be exposed to two languages? The earlier, the better. Babies have the ability to produce all kinds of sounds. Little by little, as they listen to their parents, they focus on the sounds they hear and don't develop the ability to produce certain sounds. Babies hearing two languages develop an agility which enables them to produce whatever sounds may be necessary to communicate in those languages they hear.

Bilingualism for All?

Mexican and American educators believe all kids should be taught in two languages.

Friday, October 22, 2004

No Child Left Behind Leaves Kids With English Only

Because of low test scores, El Verano bilingual program, in Sonora, California will be dismantled. By teaching in English only, school officials hope to raise the students' scores to please the Feds. Dropping the bilingual program did not please some parents.

Bush on Immigration: NADA

In an interview with Spanish-language network Univisión, Bush said he supports a guest-worker program but would not offer amnesty to undocumented workers already in the country. After nearly four years of being president, he has done nada about it. When will he? ¿Nunca?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bilingual Ed Alive and Well in Oregon

Although California, Arizona, and Massachusetts virtually eliminated bilingual education in favor of English-only methodology, most states are continuing the programs. Oregon is one of those states.

Iran Endorses Bush

First it was the KGB. Now it's Iran. LANGUAGEBLOGGER does not.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Mexican Teachers to Work in New Mexico

Officials in New Mexico have reached an agreement with Mexico, which would allow Mexican teachers to work in New Mexico's schools. Mexican teachers could work for three years and would then return to their country.

More Arabic

University of Colorado students can study a variety of foreign languages. Now they can also study Arabic, a very useful language in light of the most recent political events in the world.

The Return of Foreign Languages in UK

Three years ago Britain scrapped the requirement of studying foreign languages for students over the age of 14. Now languages are back.

KGB Endorses Bush

Vladimir Putin, who served in the KGB before becoming president of Russia, came out in favor of electing Bush when he declared that if Kerry were to win, it would lead to the "spread of terrorism" around the world. It's unusual for foreign leaders to endorse a political candidate. Imagine the backlash if some other European leader (A French one! Mon Dieu) were to endorse Kerry.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

America, bilingual or multilingual?

Is America a bilingual country? A multilingual one?

America and Illegals Immigrants

Yes, we need them, but at the same time we don't want them.

Keyes is the Real Outrage

Dick and Lynn Cheney have been outraged at John Kerry's remark about their daughter being gay. Yet, they did not show the same kind of outrage about Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for Senate from Illinois, with nearly the same vigor. Keyes described homosexuality as "selfish hedonism. " Asked if that includes Mary Cheney, Keyes answered "Of course she is, that goes by definition." Is Keyes the GOP?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Mexican Immigrants: Beyond Spanish

When we think of Mexican immigrants, we envision Spanish-speaking people. That is not necessarily the case. Some Mexican nationals living in the U.S. speak other languages and have different challenges.

Cheney's Outrage

At the last presidential debate Bush said he did not know whether or not homosexuality was a choice. Kerry knew the answer. He pointed out that we are all God's children and " if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she was being who she was, she's being who she was born as." Kerry has been criticized for mentioning Cheney's daughter. He should not be. Kerry pointed out the hypocrisy of the GOP for treating gays in an outrageous manner. The most visible example being Bush's proposal of a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the relationship between a man and a woman. Patrick Guerriero, the head of Log Cabin Republican, a gay group, was very angry at the Bush-Cheney campaign for "feigning outrage" over Sen. John Kerry's comments. Guerriero also pointed out that Republicans "who are expressing outrage at the debate comments really have been outrageous themselves" in their treatment of gays. Dick Cheney has reacted strongly to Kerry's mention of his daughter at the presidential debate. Yet, when Edwards did the same thing in vice-presidential debate, he was grateful for the nice words he heard from his opponent. A little flip-flopping? Or are they becoming concerned that they have lost the election and trying their very best to move away from the important issues, such as whether Bush is concerned or not about Osama bin Laden? The press has been "cooperating" by giving the Cheneys "outrage" a lot of coverage. Ironically, it might backfire on the GOP. Reminding conservative voters that Cheney has a lesbian daughter is not the best way to encourage them to show up at the polls.

Friday, October 15, 2004

From Failing School to Dual-Language

Carbondale Elementary School in Colorado is in its third year of probation by the state department of education. The student body is made up of poor students, half of whom qualify for free lunches. Wealthy local residents do not send their kids to Carbondale. To attract them, officials are planning to turn Carbondale into a dual-language school, which would be appealing to wealthy parents interested in their kids becoming bilingual.

Bush Flips-Flops on Canadian Drugs

In the second presidential debate Bush said he is opposed to the importation of Canadian drugs because he’s is concerned about the safety of Americans. In the third debate he said his administration is working with Canadian companies to bring in flu vaccine. Flip-Flopping Bush?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

US Allies Prefer Kerry

Citizens of ten US allies would prefer Kerry as the next president. Only in two of the ten countries polled Bush would be preferred.

Bilingual Voting?

Voting in Spanish is relatively common in many parts of the US. Yet, other languages are covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Chinese is included.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

More GOP Dirty Dricks

Body and Soul has an interesting post on how Republicans continue to try to steal elections.

Bilingual Brains

Bilingual individuals develop a mental agility with languages and thinking that monolinguals lack. Bilingualism even affects their brains. Bilinguals' brains develop more densely than those of monolinguals, giving it an advantage in various skills, according to researchers at London's Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Bilingual Firefighters Save Lives in Two Languages

New Mexico firefighters who speak Spanish can save lives with their language fluency. To reward and encourage bilingualism firefighters may get monthly stipends ranging from $25 to 50 a month if they can speak Spanish.

Spelling of EURO?

"Euro" spelling a rebellion in the European Union.

Financial Documents in English and Korean... in South Korea

Foreign financial institutions operating in South Korea make their documents available in English only. Now they'll have to do it in... Korean also.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Multilingual Malaysians

Malaysians are already bilingual or trilingual and should have no problem picking up another language. Learning another European language would be a definite asset, according to Choong Yeow Wei, Dean of Studies at Help University College, in Malaysia.

Higher Salaries for Bilinguals: Legal?

Yes indeed, it's not just legal to pay bilingual employees more for their bilingual skills. It's also smart. Bilingual skills mean better services for customers and also more sales. Bilingual skills have nothing to do with ethnicity. Many companies offer stipends to bilingual individuals who can demonstrate bilingual proficiency.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Bush Loses But Wins?

The first presidential debate was clearly won by Kerry. So was the second, according to a Gallup poll. Of course, Bush and the GOP will spin it as a victory by lowering the bar. Bush is not a good debater and Kerry, on the other hand, is a champion debater. Of course, that's true. But by lowering the bar so low Bush wins in spite of the fact that he really loses. In the first debate, even lowering the bar did not help. One interesting section in the Gallup poll points to Kerry's making progress among women. Although Bush supposedly did better with men (48% to 45%), Kerry did better with women (50% to 41%). That's important because if Bush gets re-elected he'll nominate one or even two Supreme Court Justices. Two more Scalia and Thomas clones. There goes Roe vs. Wade. Just on that possibility alone women should vote for Kerry.

GOP: Anti-Bilingual Education?

Although research has shown many items that bilingual education is effective in educating immigrant children, when you ask voters, bilingual education is often eliminated. Typically, voters interpret bilingual education as Spanish vs. English. English typically wins. It did so in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts. In Colorado, however, it lost. Colorado voters decided that their kids should not be deprived the opportunity to grow up with two languages. Which party is adamantly against bilingual education? The GOP, of course. Here is another.

Young Bilingualism

Does Bilingualism Keep You Young? And in español.

Outsourcing Torture?

The House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Bill which would create a Director of all the intelligence suspected terrorists services. Unfortunately, one of the provisions would deport to countries where they might face torture. The bill was passed largely on party lines, with the GOP in favor and Democrats against it. Is the GOP the torture party?

Friday, October 08, 2004

American Citizenship Made Easier

Becoming an American citizen was an ordeal full of bureaucracy and frustration. To make it easies to become citizens the US government has made available a manual in English and several other languages which explains the process. The manual also includes information about the citizenship test. It’s available online at HERE.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bush: Liar or Incompetent?

Bush finally acknowledged that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destructions. The intelligence was wrong and now he wants to find out why. A little too late for the thousand of people who died because of his “faulty” intelligence. Billions spent, the American reputation tarnished abroad, and he finally blames the intelligence. How about you Mr. President? Are you responsible for anything? Did you fire anybody? How about you being fired by the American people? It’s obvious that either Bush lied or was and is totally incompetent.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

More Dual-Language Schools

Another dual language school in Minneapolis, MN.

Spanish Save Lives

Norma Torres never realized how valuable her bilingual skills were. Now she does. A native of Mexico who came to the US with her family when she was four years old, Torres was educated in English. Now she works as an interpreter in Athens-Limestone Hospital in Alabama helping patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers communicate. Some other hospitals use “Language Line,” a telephone system employing interpreters fluent in 150 languages to better people who cannot speak English. Having a person in the hospital is of course much more effective.

Biology and Bilingualism

Researchers have found that people growing up with two languages use a region of the brain called the left insula, which is the area believed to be involved in speech storage and rehearsal and the temporary storage of verbal contents. The insula is used more by people who became proficient in two languages in memory tests. The higher the bilingual skills of the individual, the more the insula worked.

Debate: Cheney Better Than Bush

The score is probably going to be 0-0 between Cheney and Edwards. Except for Cheney's "inconsistencies," "mistakes," or in the minds of many, lies. Cheney said he met Edwards at the debate last night. He either does not have a good memory, or he was lying. Here is a photo showing the two had met. And more on their two previous meetings. The comparison at the debate should probably be between Cheney and Bush. Although Cheney stretched the truth, in comparison to Bush, he looked much better. At least he knows how to put words together. Bush can't. Cheney, however, is scary. I am not sure if he is scarier than Bush. The evil Dart Vader or the incompetent idiot. You pick the scarier one. Cheney ended the debate last night by trying to scare people into voting for Bush. Basically, he said people should be scared of the terrorists and should vote for the GOP. Edwards's closing remarks were human and optimistic. The draw at the VP debate means Bush will have to do better at the next presidential debate. If not, Kerry could deliver a knockout punch and the comparison between Cheney and Bush may help the Democratic candidate.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Iowa: Se Habla Español and More

The City of Des Moines, Iowa, is going multi-lingual. Beginning this month, the city will use “Language Line,” a telephone system employing interpreters fluent in 150 languages to better serve its citizens. The company providing the service is based in Monterey, California. It works like a three-way phone call to connect city workers and interpreters. Emergency city workers have already been using the service. It can save lives when the caller does not speak English. The connection with the interpreters takes about a minute and will provide indispensable communication with the city residents.

Rumsfeld: Telling It Like It Is?

Donald Rumsfeld stated today that he knew of no clear link between the Al-Qaeda terror network and Saddam Hussein. He later took it back and said he was misunderstood. Yet, in another CIA report, the same conclusion was reached, which confirmed the position of the 9/11 Commission.

Voter Registration High

Voter registration is going very strong across the country. That’s good news for Democrats. The more people vote, the better it’s for the Democratic Party and for the country.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Love Begins with an English-Spanish Dictionary

Unable to communicate with a Mexican woman in Spanish, Bryce Lindvall bought an English-Spanish dictionary and began to talk with Alicia in halting Spanish. Now the two realize how important it is to learn languages.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

More "Soccer" Scores: Kerry 23-Bush 1

This morning San Luis Obispo Tribune published 24 letters on the Thursday night's debate. Readers favored Kerry overwhelmingly. Twenty-three praised his performance, pointing out he looked and acted like a president. Only one letter favored Bush. This one also acknowledged that Kerry was more eloquent than the president was. Yet, the writer felt Bush spoke from the "heart." Bush must have a weak and confused heart. He kept repeating a few stock phrases and doesn't seem to have a clue as to who the enemy is. Kerry made it clear he knows who the enemy is and showed he would focus his energies on doing the job.
I would not be surprised if in the next few days letters in the Tribune will accuse the paper of its liberal bias. The paper is owned by Knight-Ridder, a corporation, like other major media organization. Are corporations liberal? Of course not. They worry about their profits. Even if reporters were liberal, their editors and bosses are not. Simply because you see some liberal points of views in the press, it does not mean the press is liberal. The press reflects its owners, the corporations and their interests are not liberal.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Gift of Words

When parents pass on their native language to their kids, they provide a gift that will provide opportunities for the rest of their lives.

Kerry 10-Bush 1

If the debate between Kerry and Bush had been a soccer game, Bush would have lost by a huge margin. The general consensus is that Bush came out a loser. Yet, the GOP spin machine will focus on Bush's low skills of debating. Even before the debate, in fact, they had lowered the bar on Bush. Not much was expected of Bush. And that's what we got. In Kerry's case, a lot was expected, and that's what we got. Bush looked extremely uncomfortable in the first ten minutes or so while Kerry was talking. His facial expressions reminded us of Gore's moans during the 200 debate. Bush sort of recovered his composure but soon ran out of words and kept repeating the same lines about Kerry being inconsistent and how fighting terrorism is hard work. Bush looked like a schoolboy whose excuse for being unprepared for the test was that his dog ate his homework. Kerry was articulate and not overly "intellectual." He looked like the president. He talked like a president. I do think he missed an opportunity to point out that he fought for his country and carries shrapnel in his body. And he would fight again. He might have also pointed out he knows something about killing and dying and would think a lot before sending American young men and women to war. Overall, it was a great opportunity for people to see Kerry and he took advantage of it. How many American voters were swayed by the debate, of course, remains to be seen. In any case, if Kerry's numbers start moving up, GOP dirty tricks will also increase.