In his September correspondence (“Letter from Nueva York: The Elite of El-Bronx“), Robert Berman rightly focuses on the separatist aspect of “bilingual” education as practiced at Hostos Community College and elsewhere in the United States. This pernicious pedagogy is well on its way to creating an unbridgeable, permanent gap between Hispanics and the larger American society—if it has not done so already.
After six years of teaching English at Hostos, I tendered my resignation two years ago. I had come to feel that I was an unwitting cog in a conspiracy to create and perpetuate a vast population of semi-educated, semiliterate Hispanics. I decided that I could not continue to perpetrate this educational fraud upon the Hispanic population of New York City.
As educators in the United States, it is our responsibility to teach our students English—that tongue which is the perfect blend of Saxon clarity and Latin sweetness, whose majestic and dulcet tones have resonated in the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare through the centuries—a language we should be teaching our students to love and cherish, not to hate and despise; a language studied avidly and spoken joyfully everywhere in the world—everywhere, that is, save in the New York City school system. I have taught in Italy, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and in all these countries my students were always very enthusiastic and dedicated to perfecting their English. Only here in New York are students taught to contemn our glorious English tongue.
The “bilingual” educators nationwide have failed in their duty to their students, and this failure threatens the bonds of national cohesion that unite us as a people. America has become what Theodore Roosevelt warned against; “a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”
New York, NY