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English Language is a Barrier for Latinos in Schools

Updated on August 8, 2010

 You think? Certainly is a no-brainer, yet, ask any teacher in the K-3rd grade level that have latino, hispanic, mexican, spanish students and they will complain. The No One Left Behind program slows the teaching down and most of the time it is because of latino students starting school with little English skills. It is a fool for one to expect that all teachers are bi-lingual in Spanish, most are not, nor should they be, yet school systems have to cater to the Hispanics teaching them English, which slows down the whole class. It cripples the high achievers who become bored.

Whose fault is this?

The Hispanics. Sorry, but there is no other to blame. Hispanic families have parents that usually have not much of an education (it varies, of course), they live in their Spanish enclave of a world listening to mostly Spanish TV, Radio, CD. At home, most speak Spanish, not English because the PARENTS do not know it. Many men in the household, forbid English being spoken because it erodes their cultural heritage, even though, they speak good English. Many men do not want their wives to English. Many Hispanic families work all day long never needing to speak English. So, if you were Hispanic, there is little incentive or reason to learn English-so they don't and the schools then have to teach it to their kids when they start school. It is a heavy burden and unfair to those who do know it. The schools then have to make sure everything is also in Spanish. This catering to another language happens only in America and only promotes more isolation because the parents are not forced to learn English in order to function daily.

In the long run, this not learning English only hurts the latino kids who spend most of their day in an English world and hurts them when they take academic tests. That is one reason many Latino kids fail to complete HS or manage to go to college. One cannot expect success unless they know English (unless, you go to Spanish speaking country).

The kids become divided between their identity: are they Americans or Spanish? The parents are frustrated because they do not understand their kids, their culture, or help them with homework. Spanish kids starting kindergarten in the US now make up 25%. Most know little English, many have none. It is three times more likely a Latino kid will be a drop out in HS and half as likely to earn a college degree.

The first step is learning the language of the country you live in. Yet, Hispanics seem to think they are exempt from this rule. They fear their cultural heritage may evaporate, so they forbid English at home. If one lives in France, you ought to know French. If one lives in Iran, you need to know Persian. If one lives Germany, you better know some German. It is in the best interest of Hispanics to learn English.

There is nothing more mind-blowing than seeing a 7 year old Hispanic kid speak fluent English with no accent and then suddenly, like a light switch, speak fluent Spanish with natural accent.  It makes adults green with envy. And how did this happen?

The parents obviously spoke fair amounts of Spanish and English.  


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    • Chola Mwaba profile image

      Chola Mwaba 7 years ago from Zambia

      Good hub and keep it up!

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Totally crazy and this situation developed over many years of catering and the inability for government and business to say English only. It was not like this even in the 80s. It has almost become the "in" thing to do now.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I can see how this would be a huge issue in school. It is absurd that we should be bending over backwards for those Hispanics who don't speak any English. Only in America...

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      Good hub and not really trying to change the subject but a Mexican guy told my husband he went to high school here in America and only made a "D" in Spanish and he thinks they just gave him that. He didn't understand any of it and he speaks what we call Spanish, but Mexicans do not really speak Spanish. Go figure huh?

      I definitely think as all other immigrants,they learn the English language to become a citizen. Also I am the one who says "Who doesn't know what illegal means?" I don't see how they can get any Americans for doing illegal things while almost a whole country comes in doing it, only to be rewarded!