Monday, July 14, 2008

Language And Conflict: The Candidate Obama

Media Matters quotes has this Congressional Quarterly transcript about Obama and bilingualism (includes link to video of speech).
We live in a global economy. And, you know, I don't understand when people are going around worrying about, "We need to have English- only." They want to pass a law, "We want English-only."

Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.
Based on my thinking so far, there are three general, practical programs suggested by my theory of language and conflict: language borders should be a first consideration in future conflict resolution, the encouragement of bilingualism, and the translation of great works.

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