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

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steross

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#21
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.
Mexican schools. Very few Mexicans get the opportunity to go to the US.
 
May 4, 2011
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#23
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.
Of course there's variability. I'll grant you that I spoke in generalizations, but on average, that's what I've observed as key differences between the US and Mexico. Healthcare is also an industry where you can get away with no English over there. Just because it's an exception, that doesn't mean that the education system and parental pressure aren't geared more toward ensuring kids speak some English compared with the US. Also, just like in the US, rural areas have tend to have poorer educational outcomes. The within country variability doesn't change that the biggest difference is the importance placed on bilingualism and less on how it's taught.

I say this as someone who helped teach high school Spanish in the US, sat in Spanish classes for 8 consecutive years, took Spanish classes in Mexico, traveled extensively in Mexico, works with other professionals who emigrated from from Latin America, and collaborates with professionals who still live there. I've been told "just pass the kid because it doesn't matter if he doesn't learn Spanish". I watched kids (and parents) not care in the slightest if they learned anything in those classes and then whine when they had to actually had to apply it. I've also been to schools in multiple Latin American countries where parents and students clearly see the value of it. On average, there are more opportunities to learn it early there, but that's also because they care about it more and demand it. We'd have parents whining that their kids don't need it.
 

oks10

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#24
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.
You could be right (I think it was actually a Mayan language, not Aztec now that I think back).

This is his channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/小马在纽约/featured
 
Aug 14, 2005
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#27
A lot of my labor guys learned English by listening to country music. They said its slower than rock and made it easier to learn. So I thought what the heck, if they can do it, I can do it...lol. So I listened to nothing but Spanish stations for about two weeks....All I learned was I wasn't gonna learn Spanish that way! lol.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#28
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"
Recognize this is just an anomaly and not to be considered the norm, but my neighbor across the street is a Commander in the Navy Reserve (been active for about 2-3 years now but still technically a Reservist). Because of his proclivity for Spanish, he is currently the Naval Attache at the US Embassy in Madrid (wife and kids are still across the street but the Navy pays for them to visit every other month for about a month at a time), has been the Chief Military Liaison for the US Consulate General in the Dutch Caribbean (He and his family lived in Curacao for over a year), and has held many other intelligence and attache positions for USCENTCOM and USSOUTHCOM, all attributed, by his admission, to his ability to fluently speak Spanish. No, he is not Mexican, Spanish, or any other Spanish-speaking nationality.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#29
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.
She was probably taught at a pace reflective of the lowest common denominator (that is too common for American schools now) as opposed to being immersed in the language. Her ability to pick it up faster while there would not surprise me at all.
 
May 4, 2011
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#32
Recognize this is just an anomaly and not to be considered the norm, but my neighbor across the street is a Commander in the Navy Reserve (been active for about 2-3 years now but still technically a Reservist). Because of his proclivity for Spanish, he is currently the Naval Attache at the US Embassy in Madrid (wife and kids are still across the street but the Navy pays for them to visit every other month for about a month at a time), has been the Chief Military Liaison for the US Consulate General in the Dutch Caribbean (He and his family lived in Curacao for over a year), and has held many other intelligence and attache positions for USCENTCOM and USSOUTHCOM, all attributed, by his admission, to his ability to fluently speak Spanish. No, he is not Mexican, Spanish, or any other Spanish-speaking nationality.
No argument there. I'm not saying it does nothing for stateside folks to learn Spanish, just that there is a discrepancy in how often it benefits the person learning Spanish here vs. learning English in Latin America. I've been able to travel to Latin America for work because I speak Spanish.

I'd also wonder how much it did for him professionally before those jobs. In the military, I'd guess speaking Arabic would have been the more advantageous skill.

Edit: this jogged a memory that I hadn't thought about in a while. The Air Force recruited me hard out of undergrad with extra bonuses and pay because I spoke Spanish (or so they said). I often wonder if I made a mistake not enlisting.
 
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Aug 16, 2012
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#34
No argument there. I'm not saying it does nothing for stateside folks to learn Spanish, just that there is a discrepancy in how often it benefits the person learning Spanish here vs. learning English in Latin America. I've been able to travel to Latin America for work because I speak Spanish.

I'd also wonder how much it did for him professionally before those jobs. In the military, I'd guess speaking Arabic would have been the more advantageous skill.

Edit: this jogged a memory that I hadn't thought about in a while. The Air Force recruited me hard out of undergrad with extra bonuses and pay because I spoke Spanish (or so they said). I often wonder if I made a mistake not enlisting.
Nothing. Was in cyber security sales as his full-time gig but always went with the over-paying start-up and once they got gobbled up, he was out of work.

My kid who was a Marine until last year and now works back-and-forth between the Space Force and Air Force got into his Marine MOS because he "could speak Spanish" which he could not. He took several classes but never became conversational but is more fluent than "tourist-level".
 
May 4, 2011
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#35
Nothing. Was in cyber security sales as his full-time gig but always went with the over-paying start-up and once they got gobbled up, he was out of work.

My kid who was a Marine until last year and now works back-and-forth between the Space Force and Air Force got into his Marine MOS because he "could speak Spanish" which he could not. He took several classes but never became conversational but is more fluent than "tourist-level".
Thing is, though, I was pretty legit fluent when I graduated and my primary reasons for not enlisting were that I didn't trust the military and I was a candy a**.
 

steross

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#36
No argument there. I'm not saying it does nothing for stateside folks to learn Spanish, just that there is a discrepancy in how often it benefits the person learning Spanish here vs. learning English in Latin America. I've been able to travel to Latin America for work because I speak Spanish.

I'd also wonder how much it did for him professionally before those jobs. In the military, I'd guess speaking Arabic would have been the more advantageous skill.

Edit: this jogged a memory that I hadn't thought about in a while. The Air Force recruited me hard out of undergrad with extra bonuses and pay because I spoke Spanish (or so they said). I often wonder if I made a mistake not enlisting.
Enlisting would have been a mistake if you already had a degree. If they would have offered OTS and a commission, then that would have been worth taking.
 

steross

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#38
It was the latter (if I recall correctly), but those distinctions were lost on me at the time.
I went through basic training with several degreed people who had been “promised” by a recruiter that when done with basic training that they would then go to OTS. The drill sergeants got a good laugh prior to starting yelling at us again. But, if you had a degree and language skills then probably would have been offered OTS.
 

bleedinorange

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#39
A lot of my labor guys learned English by listening to country music. They said its slower than rock and made it easier to learn. So I thought what the heck, if they can do it, I can do it...lol. So I listened to nothing but Spanish stations for about two weeks....All I learned was I wasn't gonna learn Spanish that way! lol.
Several of my guys said they learned a lot of English from commercials. They knew what was being said in the Spanish versions and figured out the equivalent English words. Conjugating verbs is difficult for them as well as Americans learning Spanish.
 

Jostate

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#40
Several of my guys said they learned a lot of English from commercials. They knew what was being said in the Spanish versions and figured out the equivalent English words. Conjugating verbs is difficult for them as well as Americans learning Spanish.
I've stared at the Telemundo weather girls so much I think I'm starting to pick up the language.