Oklahoma State University teaching assistant saying she will not teach Spanish...

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CocoCincinnati

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#4
So is she doing this because she is racist or because she thinks a white person teaching Spanish is somehow racist. The left has made things so confusing these days, it's hard to keep up with the ever changing SJW code of conduct.

Racism comes from ignorance, how is refusing to educate others ever the right choice.
 
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May 4, 2011
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#9
If I had to guess, it's probably some misguided reactions to the challenges of teaching Spanish to Latino and native Spanish speaking students as a non-native, White American Spanish speaker. It's a common occurence for Spanish teachers, especially if you're teaching advanced college Spanish and it's often awkward, especially when you have to correct the grammar or spelling of a native speaker. It gets even more awkward because you often have to teach cultural elements, too. It's really easy to come across as talking down to someone as you're telling them what their culture and their language is.
 

steross

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#10
If I had to guess, it's probably some misguided reactions to the challenges of teaching Spanish to Latino and native Spanish speaking students as a non-native, White American Spanish speaker. It's a common occurence for Spanish teachers, especially if you're teaching advanced college Spanish and it's often awkward, especially when you have to correct the grammar or spelling of a native speaker. It gets even more awkward because you often have to teach cultural elements, too. It's really easy to come across as talking down to someone as you're telling them what their culture and their language is.
My son is a Spanish major at OSU. He has spent much of his time overseas and has taken many of his classes in either Spain or Mexico. He is quite good with accents and has noticed the persistent accent of some instructors.
It would be very difficult to teach like that.
 
May 4, 2011
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#11
My son is a Spanish major at OSU. He has spent much of his time overseas and has taken many of his classes in either Spain or Mexico. He is quite good with accents and has noticed the persistent accent of some instructors.
It would be very difficult to teach like that.
I have a Spanish degree from OSU and still remember some instructors with thick Anglo accents. I vividly remember learning about Pinochet from someone with insane vocab and grammar, but comparatively awful accent. It was often awkward in that class.

Somewhat random side note, the absolute best instructor for correcting accents was John Deveny. He taught phonetics and as his name implies, he was a White, non-native Speaker. I still remember a ton from his classes that I use today.
 
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#12
I have a Spanish degree from OSU and still remember some instructors with thick Anglo accents. I vividly remember learning about Pinochet from someone with insane vocab and grammar, but comparatively awful accent. It was often awkward in that class.

Somewhat random side note, the absolute best instructor for correcting accents was John Deveny. He taught phonetics and as his name implies, he was a White, non-native Speaker. I still remember a ton from his classes that I use today.
If you dropped someone alone in the middle of Spain who probably didn’t know 10 Spanish words going in, how long do you estimate it would take them to fluently understand and speak the language?
 
May 4, 2011
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#13
If you dropped someone alone in the middle of Spain who probably didn’t know 10 Spanish words going in, how long do you estimate it would take them to fluently understand and speak the language?
Not to be lame, but it depends. If they're older, maybe never and even if they do master the vocab, they may always have problems with grammar and the accent. If under 12, probably under 6 months and they'd be fully fluent. All of that changes if they already know a second language because learning a third language is usually easier. Going full pedant, that also assumes you mean the geographical middle because much of Spain doesn't use Spanish as the primary language (example, the primary language in Barcelona is Catalan).
 

bleedinorange

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#14
Not to be lame, but it depends. If they're older, maybe never and even if they do master the vocab, they may always have problems with grammar and the accent. If under 12, probably under 6 months and they'd be fully fluent. All of that changes if they already know a second language because learning a third language is usually easier. Going full pedant, that also assumes you mean the geographical middle because much of Spain doesn't use Spanish as the primary language (example, the primary language in Barcelona is Catalan).
Nothing lame here. This is spot-on correct. I'm fluent having been raised on border as a child and still speak Spanish daily. I can differentiate between central America countries, Cuban, Puerto Rican (New York is the worst) and Spain. Every one who hears me speak can tell I speak Mexican Spanish (Tex-Mex) because of the slang and accent. I have older Mexicans who have worked for me for 25 years and still hardly speak English. The younger guys come up and inside of a year are well conversant. Having an novia Ameriana helps them. :) Almost to a person they have trouble reading/writing in English unless they went to school here.
 

steross

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#15
Not to be lame, but it depends. If they're older, maybe never and even if they do master the vocab, they may always have problems with grammar and the accent.
As a >50 year old in Mexico now trying to learn I can vouch for this. I know a lot of vocabulary. I know much of the grammar. But I have trouble speaking and I understand very little. It is very lame.
 

steross

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The other thing, even traveling in non-tourist parts of Mexico, nearly every younger person speaks at least some English to me. I’ve been asking people how they learned. The older ones either learned from tourists or left the country a while. The young ones all learned it in school.

Why can Mexican schools teach passable English to the majority of kids while our language programs are an absolute joke?
 
May 4, 2011
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#17
The other thing, even traveling in non-tourist parts of Mexico, nearly every younger person speaks at least some English to me. I’ve been asking people how they learned. The older ones either learned from tourists or left the country a while. The young ones all learned it in school.

Why can Mexican schools teach passable English to the majority of kids while our language programs are an absolute joke?
Precisely because there's very little demand. Most places in the US, it doesn't help you. As someone who tried to get jobs after college with separate degrees in Spanish and Psychology, it did nothing for me. That was in Oklahoma about 15 years ago, but speaking Spanish didn't really do anything for me professionally until my doctoral internship where doing services in Spanish helped me match. You are hard capped in your job in Mexico if you can't speak some English. Most industries there need their professional level employees to speak English then add in that even European tourists often speak some English and you've got a recipe for everyone in tourist spots needing to learn it.

Short version:
Here- "learn Spanish and maybe it will help you on vacation or maybe a job 20 years from now, but probably not"

There- "Learn English or you'll never advance in your career"
 
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oks10

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#18
The other thing, even traveling in non-tourist parts of Mexico, nearly every younger person speaks at least some English to me. I’ve been asking people how they learned. The older ones either learned from tourists or left the country a while. The young ones all learned it in school.

Why can Mexican schools teach passable English to the majority of kids while our language programs are an absolute joke?
Learned it in Mexican schools or American? Not asking negatively, just that school is out now so I didn't know if you were speaking with kids that are back in Mexico for the summer if they're actually teaching english in mexican schools. I would imagine that our schools aren't great at teaching non-english languages because it isn't necessary being that English is the most spoken language in the world... Not saying that speaking multiple languages isn't beneficial, I wish I had taken it more seriously when I was younger and learned them myself.

There's a guy on YouTube that we watch a lot and that guy can learn a language well enough to make conversation within a month. Hpeaks ALL kinds of Asian dialects primarily but many others. He goes in to shops as some random white guy then while he's there he starts to drop the shop owners native language which usually catches them completely off guard. The older people usually give their kids crap (that are working there too) because they can't speak the language and then then random white dude shows up speaking it. lol. Asian (several dialects) , Spanish, Aztec, Hindi and Navajo are the ones I can think of off hand.
 
May 4, 2011
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#19
Learned it in Mexican schools or American? Not asking negatively, just that school is out now so I didn't know if you were speaking with kids that are back in Mexico for the summer if they're actually teaching english in mexican schools. I would imagine that our schools aren't great at teaching non-english languages because it isn't necessary being that English is the most spoken language in the world... Not saying that speaking multiple languages isn't beneficial, I wish I had taken it more seriously when I was younger and learned them myself.

There's a guy on YouTube that we watch a lot and that guy can learn a language well enough to make conversation within a month. Hpeaks ALL kinds of Asian dialects primarily but many others. He goes in to shops as some random white guy then while he's there he starts to drop the shop owners native language which usually catches them completely off guard. The older people usually give their kids crap (that are working there too) because they can't speak the language and then then random white dude shows up speaking it. lol. Asian (several dialects) , Spanish, Aztec, Hindi and Navajo are the ones I can think of off hand.
Not sure what @steross meant, but I travel and collaborate with folks throughout Latin America and most countries have fairly intense English programs. Education quality is highly variable, but English is one of those central features that parents explicitly want. That includes in Mexico.

For the other guy, I'm assuming by Aztec, he meant Nahuatl.
 

steross

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#20
Precisely because there's very little demand. Most places in the US, it doesn't help you. As someone who tried to get jobs after college with separate degrees in Spanish and Psychology, it did nothing for me. That was in Oklahoma about 15 years ago, but speaking Spanish didn't really do anything for me professionally until my doctoral internship where doing services in Spanish helped me match. You are hard capped in your job in Mexico if you can't speak some English. Most industries there need their professional level employees to speak English then add in that even European tourists often speak some English and you've got a recipe for everyone in tourist spots needing to learn it.

Short version:
Here- "learn Spanish and maybe it will help you on vacation or maybe a job 20 years from now, but probably not"

There- "Learn English or you'll never advance in your career"
I don’t really agree with this.
I’m in parts of Mexico with little American influence at all. In fact, I just told my wife yesterday that I didn’t think I had seen another foreigner all day. I don’t think learning English is that critical here like it would be in the Yucatán, the border, or Mexico City. I know several Mexican doctors that don’t speak English. I don’t think it is a career ender as you are saying except some careers and areas.
The other thing is the majority of kids in the US don’t need Calculus either. But, if at the end of two years of high school calculus the average calculus student didn’t know what a derivative was, we would see that as a total waste and fix it or end it. My daughter learned more Spanish in two weeks here than in two years of high school. The way language is taught is just all wrong.