LINGUIST List 14.2797

Thu Oct 16 2003

Media: Update on Judge's Order re Hispanic

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


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  1. Rosemary Beam de Azcona, Judge who told man to not "speak Hispanic"

Message 1: Judge who told man to not "speak Hispanic"

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 12:39:49 +0000
From: Rosemary Beam de Azcona <nikte_hauclink.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Judge who told man to not "speak Hispanic"

I was so alarmed after reading the article mentioned yesterday on
linguist list (Media: Article: ''Speaking Hispanic'' is Harmful)
(Linguist 14.2777) that I googled the judge's name to get his
address/phone number and then I called and left a long message saying
that the ruling was harmful and ill-informed and went on to say why
this was so, and who I was etc.
 
To my surprise, I got a call from Judge Reagan's secretary this
morning, responding to my message of last night. She said she has been
getting a lot of responses like mine and she wanted me to know that
both sides are not coming out in the press and that in the courtroom
the judge had said that he is for bilingualism and wishes he were
bilingual himself. She said that the issue is that the father was in
jail for the first 5 years of his daughter's life and the girl doesn't
know him and he wants to speak only Spanish with her and she doesn't
understand any Spanish. I told her that linguistically there is
nothing wrong with being immersed in a language at age 5 and in fact
that would be a better way for her to become bilingual than the ''this
is a carro, that is a mochila'' method, but that it sounds like the
real issue is that she didn't know her father until now and that her
current discomfort with her father seems magnified (to her, her
mother, the judge) with the additional linguistic difference. So, I
still don't think that was the right ruling, and I don't know about
the whole ''speaking Hispanic'' thing, but I sure was impressed that
someone actually called me back.
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