Press 1 For English
As the world turns and days go by, more and more people are immigrating into the U.S. from foreign countries. While I applaud their efforts to come here for a better life (as long as it's done legally), I must say that I am rather irritated at some of the new changed that have taken place in some of the everyday places that I go. One of these changes is when I must press 1 for English. I don't want to sound like a racist, because I'm not, but the fact that I was born and raised here, learning the language and now Spanish immigrants are coming in (legally and illegally) and I have to press a button just because they don't know the language is ridiculous.
***Before I begin and you read any farther and deem me as ignorant, please understand I am not trying to sound rude or racist, and I don't have anything against Spanish-speaking people. I also am not targeting the Spanish-speaking people in this article, I am simply using the Spanish language as an example. I also am just pointing out the facts of world right now, and am not grouping all Spanish speaking people into one category. I don't think all Spanish-speaking people are lazy or incompetent. I am simply applying what i'm saying to the Spanish-speaking who come in here illegally, with no intention to learn our language, and try to get as much from us as they can without helping themselves. So again, i'm not racist, nor am I trying to sound like one.***
Enlgish in America
We live in America. I know that English is not the official language of our country, but the majority of the people, the vast majority that is, speak English. If you go to any other non-english speaking country, you need to do what you need to do to either learn the language or get by without. For example, when we went on a fishing trip to northern Quebec in Canada, the main language there was French. It was our job to either learn that language or try to get by without knowing if for a week. Another example was when my friends and I went to the Dominican Republic. They are a tourist country and over half of the workers there didn't speak English. We had to learn Spanish before we went down in order to get by. When people come here on vacation or if they move here and they speak Spanish, they have the option to press a button to hear what they need to hear in that language. More and more people are being told to learn Spanish in order to keep their jobs. Why do we cater so much to these Spanish-speaking people coming in? Shouldn't it be their job to learn our language? It would be different if English-speaking people would be catered to, but we are not.
I realize that I was only talking about vacationing, and usually when you're on vacation you can get by without knowing the language. When you move somewhere where they speak a language you don't know, don't you think you should learn it? People in other countries will not cater to you because you don't know their language. They expect you to learn it, and if you don't then the heck with you! How do you plan to get a job or file taxes or anything if you can't speak the language?!
Spanish and the Schools
Being a teacher, I see students who come from non-english speaking families, mainly Spanish speaking. For these families, we need to send home newsletters and other important documents in Spanish. That's taking extra time out of our day to do this, when we are already busy enough making lesson plans and coming up with individualized and adapted lessons, and now we need to make sure that newsletters are sent home in Spanish! I think that if Spanish-speaking people want to come to this country, they either need to learn English before they come or when they get here. How are we supposed to have parent-teacher conferences or communicate with parents about their children and school? That's extra costs to have an interpreter if the school provides one, plus the extra costs to get those extra newsletters with the Spanish interpretations. This is all because the people coming in here won't learn English. (I'm not grouping all Spanish-speaking people together, just the ones this applies to). Schools could also be paying employees to learn Spanish, which means either paying for classes, or paying for a program to have them learn it on their own. ESL programs are also prevalent in the schools today, which means money needs to be streaming in to fund this program. I am all for helping children, don't get me wrong. If a child tried to learn the language at home and just doesn't get it, I'm all for spending money to help that child. It's the same as helping a child with a speech problem. If the child needs help learning, that's what the school is for. The schools are cutting back on funds so as it is, so the money being used for this interpretation could be used for the kids instead of the parents.
Press 1 For English
Now to the main point of my argument. I vividly remember my uncle saying to me one day "I was at Wal Mart and used my credit card to pay. When I swiped my card, the cashier instructed me to press 1 for english and 2 for Spanish. I kindly told her that i'm in America, and as long as I liver here, I will not press 1 for English." She pressed the button for him and he carried on then. You may think he sounds racist, but he's not. He's just like the other people, including me, who think we should not need to press 1 for English. I would even take it better if the Spanish-speaking had to press a button, and we didn't. I wouldn't totally be happy about it, but it would be a start. Pressing 1 for English, to me, is America slowly but surely catering to those who don't want to help themselves. Kind of like them giving handouts to those who don't work, don't look for a job, and have no handicaps or restrictions as to why they can't work. We are slowly rewarding the lazy and punishing the hard working individual trying to help themselves. For those of you out there who have done things the right way and have learned our language, hats off to you for a job well done. To the rest, please help us to go back to the way things used to (and should be) where Americans who speak English do not have to push a button in order to read things in our own language.
The video below pretty much sums up everything.