Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Miami Spice

Dear Indigna,

Our local public elementary school in Miami has a double-immersion program that teaches half the day in English and the other half in Creole. I can get "immersion" in English (I mean, it's the f***ing United States) but Creole??? I fully understand and embrace the movement to educate children in their native culture, but why must all the children be forced to study it? What's wrong with the tradition of parents sending their children to parent-funded Korean, Hebrew, Russian, etc. classes after school to connect with their culture? What's up with teaching non-Haitian kids in Creole?

Furthermore, are they being taught "Kreyol ayisyen," (Haitian Creole) or "Kreyol Lwiziyen" (Louisianan Creole), which are clearly separate languages and in no way just phonetically spelled French? This is important because I don't want my kids to be taught the wrong dialect.

Rayjun Cayjun
Miami, FL

Dear Rayjun (and I hope that's your real name),

I think we all can agree that there are few languages that will be more useful to our children in their adulthood than Creole. As I understand it, the school district took a poll of local parents, who universally chose either French or Spanish as the immersion language of choice, leaving the district no choice but to select Creole. Clearly, those parents who chose French are Democratic elitist anti-American pro-terrorist pantywaists (French? Puh-leeze!) and those who chose Spanish are illegal immigrants (¡Tienan que enseñar nos niños en español! ¡Hahahaha!). The school district would obviously be shirking its duty if it failed to ensure that all the children in its care become fluent in Creole, the most important language in the Caribbean region after French, Dutch, English, and any other language they speak there. Futhermore, there are apparently some people living in Louisiana and the Everglades who speak Creole. For all we know, they could be plotting the overthrow of the government right now--where will our children be if they can't speak the language of their conquerors? And finally, we teach non-English-speaking immigrants primarily in English; why shouldn't we teach our English-speaking children primarily in Creole? Think about it.

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