English as a Second Language
This summer, I had the opportunity to teach Ukrainian students business and economic topics in English, while my colleagues worked at helping the same students expand their abilities in English grammar and vocabulary.
This was the second time, and the additional experience continued to build my understanding of how hard it is to learn a second language. Some do it easily. Others struggle. I admire those who succeed.
As we look forward to the November election, we must remember that our city is challenged with the need to help people, especially children, learn English, not only conversational English, but also the ability to converse broadly and with sufficient depth to participate comfortably in the existing system of business and education.
We have always had people come to our shores speaking a different language. Often several generations were needed before offspring achieved fluency. We can no longer wait as long, and must work hard to help our children become talented with speaking English as they approach high school. If not, what looked promising at a young age with basic conversation, becomes a serious deficiency later in life as subjects and concepts become increasingly more complicated.
And for those interested in the long-term health of our great city, the sooner we recognize teaching English as a Second Language is a vital part of any community development strategy, the sooner we can make progress on a host of other possibilities. Speaking a second, third, or fourth language is a powerful skill for all of us.
Over the last 8 years, rarely, if ever, was the topic of how to increase language resources a subject of public policy. Just one more example of the current administration ignoring the human side of our city.
I will change that.