VIDEOS: Teaching English vs. Demanding English

Here is the third video in the four-part installment from Will Coley and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Titled, “Why I Volunteer to teach English”, the clip shows people who give their time to help others gain the power of language.

Juxtaposing this, I’m posting a video from a Town Hall in Norwalk, CT. Bishop Emilio Alvarez approaches the microphone to ask a question of Representative Jim Himes (CT- 04). Rep. Himes was born in Peru and is fluent in Spanish. Alvarez respectfully asks if he can pose his question in Spanish – cue the boos and hissing from the crowd that seems so terrified to even hear one word of the Spanish language uttered from Alvarez’s mouth.

It makes me wonder, how many of these people in Norwalk, CT have ever sat down with somebody working to learn the English language? They can scream all day long that Alvarez should “learn English” (which he speaks, by the way), but the fear motivating their actions is obvious. I would venture to say none of them has ever been in a situation where they have had to converse in their non-native language in front of hundreds of people. Or that none of them has ever taken the time out to help others learn the English that they so angrily demand to hear.

Thank God for people like the volunteers in the first video, they help me sleep at night knowing that there are so many out there willing to live in ignorance.

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