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Que Ningún Niño Se Quede Atrás

21 July 2007

And, leave no website behind either. The Mex Files has to depend on contributions. I’m fortunate that I have no kids to put though school, but even with my extremely moderate “lifestyle” — not much of a life, and not a hell of a lot of style at present — I have to at least meet basics like rent and utilities and food to keep writing.

Seriously, without a few hundred dollars to meet the utility and phone bills, I’m going to have to go off line within a few weeks at most.

If you want to send a check or make other arrangements, please write me at “richmx2 -AT- excite -DOT- com” (please include “Mex Files” in the subject line).

The Ninth “Consejo Nacional de Autoridades Educativas” is meeting in Puebla this week. Unlike the U.S., “no child left behind” seems to mean something:

(my translation. Full article by Lucía Irabien in Nuevo Excelsior:

PUEBLA, Pue. – Educational authorities have admitted that they are unable at the present time to incorporate all three-year olds in pre-school, AS REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION, although they are making progress on proposals to require English in all primary schools and to develop a single graduation standard.

Wow, none of this nonsense about claiming early foreign language education harms children (which really means “I don’t want my kid learnin’ no Spanish… or much of anything, for that matter).

Someone using the nom de internet “callexte” posted this on a site for foreign language teachers recently:

– children who study more than one language may develop a better capacity for abstract thinking. This is because they learn something like tree, arbre, boom for the same wooden thing with leaves on top and will thus separate the thing from the name. Somebody who only speaks English will forever link the plant with the word ‘tree’.

– if you’re at an international meeting, the discussion will be in English. If something needs clarifying the Swedish or Japanese participants for example may turn to their group for a chat in their own language and then report the results in about three words back to the international group, leaving monolingual English speakers totally bewildered and not having a clue what’s going on. This is incredibly rude but it works every time.

– if you’re some kind of decision maker, you’ll study and compare many different proposals of all sorts. If you’re a non-native English speaker, you may be thoroughly fed up with years of drawing blank looks from native English speakers. And with exclamations like “Oh – you mean this-and-that!”
You might then favour the clumsily worded project proposal from the Russian group over the smug, overeducated-sounding blurb with the jokes which are only funny if you happen to live between Newcastle and Brighton-on-Sea. Because you’ve really really had enough of that.

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