Jump to content

Menu

S/o International people views on Americans


Recommended Posts

18 minutes ago, Frances said:

Every high school in the US does not offer instruction in at least a couple of languages other than English. A good chunk don’t even offer one language other than English and most offer only Spanish. Foreign language instruction is not a strength in the US.

https://www.americancouncils.org/sites/default/files/FLE-report-June17.pdf

In terms of studying a language already spoken at home, depending on the level of parental education and other factors, a child may get a very high amount of exposure to vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing or very little. Some children or teens who can speak it have little to no experience reading or writing it and no formal grammar instruction.

And relating to what US high schools offer, did you know that only about 60% of US high schools offer even one physics class? I think sometimes people are unaware of how limited the educational opportunities are in some US schools outside of their own former or current experience.

Not sure I am understanding the report, but I did see one sentence that says the vast majority of reporting schools offered year round Less Commonly Taught Languages (which I would assume is over and above the usual French and Spanish offerings).

That said, I probably should have considered that there are schools that wouldn't offer foreign languages based on what they were designed for.  For example, a school for kids in diversion programs, schools for kids with severe special needs, and perhaps many vocational schools might not have a foreign language program.  But in general it is a pretty common ingredient in public high school education.

Some kids certainly choose not to enroll in it, but it is there for most US kids.  Especially now with more online resources etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 993
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The discussion isn't are all Americans like this or do the non-Americans on the board think this is what all Americans are like. The discussion is why do those who generalize think this way. Amer

I am not wasting time on disclaimers, since you all know that lumping people into a group doesn't account for the individual. But here's what comes to mind (and when I say "Americans", I obviously do

Don't shoot the messenger; these are not all my opinions: On a geopolitical level: interfering in the affairs of other countries (friend or foe) and generally throwing weight around.  Dominant co

Posted Images

1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

ETA: Here's the map and a brief summary of the American regional "nations."  I assume it's confusing for the international crowd who can't be expected to know this.  Here's a cheat sheet: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-map-11-separate-nations-colin-woodward-yankeedom-new-netherland-the-midlands-tidewater-greater-a8078261.html

For those of you interested in the different cultural nations/regions inside the US and how they came to be, this book is a helpful read: https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?crid=MJOSG9DO0U6Y&keywords=american+nations+colin+woodard&qid=1579408161&sprefix=American+nationas%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1

Thank you for posting this.  I knew there were different cultural regions, but this really explains it well.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SKL said:

The US does not generally bankroll cultural events of any group, but there are many such events produced by the many communities as well as multi-cultural groups.  There are all sorts of cultural and business organizations, church/religion-run and community schools, etc. which provide pretty comprehensive exposure, mutual support, and a voice for people of various backgrounds.  Where there are concentrations of ethnic people, we have neighborhoods self-designated Polish [etc] Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, etc.

I am not sure why the government would need to educate immigrants about their birth cultures.  For that matter, I don't know why anyone would want the government deciding that kind of message for their children.

I wonder how much of that in Canada was related to the movements in Quebec to ... well, I won't put words in their mouths, and I don't remember it clearly, but from what I understand, Quebec is a powerful force and a bit rebellious against being subjected to central Canadian rule, and some of the governmental differences, such as requiring French translations of everything, is the result of having to work out compromises (which not all Canadians agree with).

The other part is probably because the US generally prefers a "smaller government" and more local and individual control over most details.

In terms of foreign languages, a couple things.  First, in areas with a lot of kids who speak a given foreign language at home, schools are available that teach in those languages as well as in English.  That said, most immigrants and bilingual families are more concerned that their child learn English [in school] in order to keep their career options open etc.  Second, foreign language is a normal funded part of public education - different systems offer different amounts of education, but afaik every public high school offers at least a couple languages other than English - and these would include the language(s) most commonly spoken in the region, as well as other(s).  Though I don't know how much value that adds as far as studying the language one already speaks at home. 

For a few groups, most notably Hispanics, there are special rules and government-funded programs intended to prevent uneven / discriminatory educational outcomes.

Now, politicians like to get involved in the various movements / activities.  They have their initiatives etc.  They have some funding behind these initiatives.  But these are not what the communities rely on to celebrate, preserve, and pass on culture.

 

I bolded what I think is another huge cultural difference. People in the U.S. wouldn't think most of that is the job of the government at all, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

For a different point, I'm not sure I've ever heard of a regular high school that didn't have at least one foreign language. The high school here has two foreign languages and has only 800ish students. The "big" city does have immersion schools, as well. Where I grew up, foreign language offerings now heavily depend upon the student population. Some schools have Spanish and Vietnamese. Some offer only Spanish. Some offer Spanish and French. A smattering still have German, and a growing number offer Mandarin. My grandpa learned English when he started school because only Finnish was spoken at home. In his northern Wisconsin town, that was common, though, (not only with Finnish) and almost of the kids didn't learn English until they started school.

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, SKL said:

Not sure I am understanding the report, but I did see one sentence that says the vast majority of reporting schools offered year round Less Commonly Taught Languages (which I would assume is over and above the usual French and Spanish offerings).

That said, I probably should have considered that there are schools that wouldn't offer foreign languages based on what they were designed for.  For example, a school for kids in diversion programs, schools for kids with severe special needs, and perhaps many vocational schools might not have a foreign language program.  But in general it is a pretty common ingredient in public high school education.

Some kids certainly choose not to enroll in it, but it is there for most US kids.  Especially now with more online resources etc.

If you look at table 3, choose any state, google the number of high schools in that state, and compare it to the results in the table, you can see that in some states, a significant chunk of schools offer no foreign language. And from the table, you can see that most offer only Spanish. For example, Arizona has over 1,000 high schools with over 900 public ones, but only 261 that offer a foreign language. Spanish is  taught at more than 100 of those. 

My high school offered only two years of Spanish. And because most college bound students took it freshman and sophomore year, everyone  I knew had to start over at the beginning in college. I’m not sure they offer any foreign language at all now, as the enrollment has decreased by about 40%. And there are many much smaller high schools in my home state and there is no foreign language requirement for high school graduation.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

I bolded what I think is another huge cultural difference. People in the U.S. wouldn't think most of that is the job of the government at all, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

For a different point, I'm not sure I've ever heard of a regular high school that didn't have at least one foreign language. The high school here has two foreign languages and has only 800ish students. The "big" city does have immersion schools, as well. Where I grew up, foreign language offerings now heavily depend upon the student population. Some schools have Spanish and Vietnamese. Some offer only Spanish. Some offer Spanish and French. A smattering still have German, and a growing number offer Mandarin. My grandpa learned English when he started school because only Finnish was spoken at home. In his northern Wisconsin town, that was common, though, (not only with Finnish) and almost of the kids didn't learn English until they started school.

Only 800?!? That is way larger than the average high school size in the US (520). My high school had fewer than 250 and now is down to almost half that size. And many of the students I went to college with went to high schools as small or smaller than mine. I knew several people with fewer than ten in their graduating class. Again, I think this is something many don’t realize is very different across the country. Montana, not my home state, has an average high school size of fewer than 180.

Edited by Frances
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Frances said:

Only 800?!? That is way larger than the average high school size in the US. My high school had fewer than 250 and now is down to almost half that size. And many of the students I went to college with went to high schools as small or smaller than mine. I knew several people with fewer than ten in their graduating class. Again, I think this is something many don’t realize is very different across the country. Montana, not my home state, has an average high school size of fewer than 180.


The average high school in the US is about 800 students with the median being about 200 less. There are many small schools/districts with very small schools. It is largely a local decision both to keep them that small and to forgo more robust course offerings as a result. There are good reasons for this of course, travel times and community cohesion, but small schools are limited schools worldwide. Still, the majority of students attend schools that far exceed 250 students.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


The average high school in the US is about 800 students with the median being about 200 less. There are many small schools/districts with very small schools. It is largely a local decision both to keep them that small and forgo more robust course offerings as a result. Still, the majority if students attend schools that far exceed 250 students.

Perhaps the 520 figure I found was for all public schools, not just high schools. At least where I grew up, districts would fight consolidation because a town without at least one school would likely not survive. So I attended grade school locally, but was bussed for middle and high school. With the shrinking of the district, each of the three towns in the district now has one school, so every student is bussed out of town for at least half of their school years.

 

Edited by Frances
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Frances said:

If you look at table 3, choose any state, google the number of high schools in that state, and compare it to the results in the table, you can see that in some states, a significant chunk of schools offer no foreign language. And from the table, you can see that most offer only Spanish. For example, Arizona has over 1,000 high schools with over 900 public ones, but only 261 that offer a foreign language. Spanish is  taught at more than 100 of those. 

My high school offered only two years of Spanish. And because most college bound students took it freshman and sophomore year, everyone  I knew had to start over at the beginning in college. I’m not sure they offer any foreign language at all now, as the enrollment has decreased by about 40%. And there are many much smaller high schools in my home state and there is no foreign language requirement for high school graduation.

The study was based on a survey which not all schools responded to.  Also it is possible the difference is due to specialized schools such as 2-year vocational ones not offering a language.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people in the US aren't going to use a 2nd language, except possibly Spanish.  I took 5 years of French in school and have never used it in my adult life.  I wish I'd studied Spanish, because I'd actually have a chance to use it here in Texas.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Frances said:

Perhaps the 520 figure I found was for all public schools, not just high schools. At least where I grew up, districts would fight consolidation because a town without at least one school would likely not survive. So I attended grade school locally, but was bussed for middle and high school. With the shrinking of the district, each of the three towns in the district now has one school, so every student is bussed out of town for at least half of their school years.

 


Probably. Elementary schools are a lot smaller and can skew the numbers. For sure, losing a school can be devastating for small towns. It’s also very limiting for students when there’s a lack of critical mass for different classes. This is what hyper-local control gets you tho. Having a statewide language mandate might just hasten the demise. Pick your poison.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My public high school was rural and it had about 800 kids.  Many were bused in from nearby villages and townships.  The school offered Spanish and French.  It also offered science through physics and math through calculus.  This was in the 1980s so before distance learning expanded options.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blown away by those numbers I went looking at my states schools.  In the big city the high schools are around 3k kids,  in my mid-size city, they are around 1.5k, even in what I think of as small towns (<5k) they are still pretty big at around 400 kids -- but then I found these little tiny towns in the middle of nowhere with <1k people and  ~16 kids in HS.   I don't doubt a tiny HS probably doesn't offer too much in the way of foreign language -- because how could they?       

OTOH ~30k town I grew up in has stayed same size and ~same # of students and gone from offering  2 languages( Spanish and French) to offering 5 (Spanish, French, German, ASL, and Mandarin).    

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

What I REALLY want to know is why Canada seems to largely get a pass on everything when not one of them has explained WTH "Letterkenney" is all about.  It's really weird and they should take some responsibility for it.

I’ve been reading through this whole thread, searching for something to apologize for! I’ve never seen the show, but I’m sorry it’s weird!

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

ETA: Here's the map and a brief summary of the American regional "nations."  I assume it's confusing for the international crowd who can't be expected to know this.  Here's a cheat sheet: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-map-11-separate-nations-colin-woodward-yankeedom-new-netherland-the-midlands-tidewater-greater-a8078261.html

For those of you interested in the different cultural nations/regions inside the US and how they came to be, this book is a helpful read: https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?crid=MJOSG9DO0U6Y&keywords=american+nations+colin+woodard&qid=1579408161&sprefix=American+nationas%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1

Colin Woodward should be required reading in all high school US history classes, IMO. All his books are fabulous and incredibly well researched but this one particularly stands out to me. I’ve read it several times and still learn something new every time. I am encouraging DS to read it before he takes APUSH (AP US History) next year.

I'm always excited when you reference him or his work. I truly believe if every North American (includes Canadian and some Mexican history as well) read this book they would gain valuable insight and a deeper understanding of the effects that historical immigration patterns had on our current political and social cultures. 
 

Woodward lives in my general area and I keep hoping to get the chance to see him speak. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, I was taught far more U.S. history in high school (grades 7-12) almost to the exclusion of any other, including my own country's and the U.K.'s. Which I always found strange, seeing that we were a former British colony. Looking at it in hindsight while reading through this thread, I'm wondering if they were preparing us to go off to university/college with an understanding of a culture and history that some would end up in, thus having a smoother assimilation.  

Foreign language was mandatory throughout high school in my time. It has now become mandatory from the primary level, beginning in grade one.

I wouldn't say I live in the most progressive country either, far from it! Which is why I find myself frequenting this board so often.😉

Edited by Islandgal
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

You need to just eat your delicious people soup and stop being so delicate.  

A whole generation of Americans can't think about conjunctions without singing the Conjunction Junction song.  School House Rock did a number on us. Don't get me started on the No More Kings song.  

Not to mention ... how else would a student learn the Preamble to the Constitution?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll third Colin Woodward’s book. (I’ve only read “American Nations” so can’t speak about his other books.) Absolutely fascinating and should definitely be required reading in US, if not North American, schools. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

You need to just eat your delicious people soup and stop being so delicate.  

A whole generation of Americans can't think about conjunctions without singing the Conjunction Junction song.  School House Rock did a number on us. Don't get me started on the No More Kings song.  

 

8 minutes ago, Valley Girl said:

Not to mention ... how else would a student learn the Preamble to the Constitution?


Or how a bill becomes a law?

ETA: Anyone hankering for a hunk of cheese?

 

 

 

P.S. How do you do the quote within a quote thing? I’ve never figured it out. 

Edited by brehon
Wow! What a trip down memory lane.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, brehon said:

 


Or how a bill becomes a law?

 

 

 

P.S. How do you do the quote within a quote thing? I’ve never figured it out. 

Now this thread has done it. I've got those songs in my head and I. Cannot. Get. Them. Out.

Gonna have to roll with it today, I guess.

  • Haha 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

My graduating class was 28 kids. Our school offered both Spanish and German, but both were via satellite. The year after I graduated, they started offering Mandarin and maybe some others through an internet program. I don't know more than that, because I had left by that point.

The not terribly large school my daughter volunteers at has over 20 languages represented in their FOO's.  The school my kids are zoned for have very few. Both are about equidistant from our house, but one is in the city and one is rural.

I'm sure all of the local schools offer foreign language instruction, but I'm not sure how many languages are offered at all of them. We have one bilingual school where classes are taught in English half the day and Spanish half the day. I love that. If my kids had gone to school, I would have tried to get them in there.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

You need to just eat your delicious people soup and stop being so delicate.  

A whole generation of Americans can't think about conjunctions without singing the Conjunction Junction song.  School House Rock did a number on us. Don't get me started on the No More Kings song.  

My brother was a 2 time Citizen Bee National finalist (competition for high school students on Civics and US Government) and according to him, whenever there was a question in the written rounds on the preamble, you could tell when anyone got to it because they would start humming. These were the top 2 students from each state, plus a handful from US bases abroad, US Territories, and one from Washington DC. I figured that was a good justification for using songs as a big part of our homeschooling until DD got old enough to fight me on it :). And indeed, I kept hearing Geography Songs in my head every time a place name was mentioned in the world Congress. Sigh....

 

My high school offered French, Spanish, or Latin. Since the highest performing kids were encouraged to take Latin (the better to get high SAT scores) that meant a lot of us left high school with one spoken language. There are a few bilingual magnet schools in my area (and I rather wish I’d had the money to send DD to the triple immersion school where each class had a teacher who spoke only English, one who spoke only Spanish, and one who spoke only Mandarin to the kids. That might have been worth dealing with the school for.), but most schools do not begin foreign language until 8th or 9th grade, and few kids get any level of fluency. It is normal for University level classes to begin from scratch-and end with minimal fluency as well. Efforts for kids who come in speaking a different home language focus on getting them fluent enough in English to join a mainstream class, and while some subjects may be taught in their home language in the meantime, it is a stopgap. 

Immigrant parents who want their child to actually be fluent in their home language send them to German School, Chinese School, Korean School, etc, which are run by community groups for their kids, but if you are outside that community, you will never know such exist, nor be invited to participate. 

I live in Appalachia on the map, although both DH and I come from families with ties to other parts of the country and parents who moved for work reasons, and both of us have beliefs more like those original cultures. Being fluent in  second language, or more, is one of the major reasons why people I know IRL homeschool or after school. 

 

 

Edited by dmmetler
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just discussing school size with my sister yesterday. The local public high school has about 700 students per grade. I have a theory that one reason we lean toward such large schools is because competitive sports--football especially--are such a big deal. If you want to field a really strong team you need a large student body to recruit from.

The school offers Chinese, French, and Spanish, Chinese and Spanish at the AP level. Chinese has a beyond AP option for students who attended the be local Chinese immersion program beginning in elementary.

Edited by maize
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MEmama said:

Colin Woodward should be required reading in all high school US history classes, IMO. All his books are fabulous and incredibly well researched but this one particularly stands out to me. I’ve read it several times and still learn something new every time. I am encouraging DS to read it before he takes APUSH (AP US History) next year.

I'm always excited when you reference him or his work. I truly believe if every North American (includes Canadian and some Mexican history as well) read this book they would gain valuable insight and a deeper understanding of the effects that historical immigration patterns had on our current political and social cultures. 
 

Woodward lives in my general area and I keep hoping to get the chance to see him speak. 

Some of the reviews I've read and seen say he's less objective in the last 1/3 of the book, but I didn't think so. He seemed very balanced to me.  I think it's incredibly useful information, particularly for people who are locals with deep roots in places that are growing quickly with people moving from all over.  I grew up with that in Phoenix and now it's happening here in Raleigh. I think it's probably harder to take for the locals here than it was for the locals in Phoenix because of the long established cultural norms.

My daughter has what is basically a current events discussion class at our co-op. Most of the kids from here all agree on everything.  The teacher leading it took us aside and told us she was so glad my daughter had joined because it was the first time some of these kids were being exposed to someone of the same faith having very different ideas about social issues and political issues. The teacher had always been pointing out different views on each subject, but now she finally has a kid who brings them up, holds quite a few of them, and personally knows people who hold them.  Again, it's a situation where kids don't understand nuance because they haven't had to deal with it before.  Yes, you can support the legalization of something you find morally wrong and would never do without being philosophically inconsistent.  It's something those kids haven't heard before from someone in real life...and they're teens.  

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

There's a nice little museum about the development of the combine harvester near-ish by. I found that when dd was too small to remember it. Ha. I'll put that on the list of things to do.

I live really close to a barbed wire museum. Fortunately, the museum is housed in a mansion (the guy made his fortune in barbed wire), so they weren't too upset to visit although it's a lot of barbed wire. My kids distinctly remember the fancy playhouse on the grounds. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

What I REALLY want to know is why Canada seems to largely get a pass on everything when not one of them has explained WTH "Letterkenney" is all about.  It's really weird and they should take some responsibility for it.

 

Ive been reading this thread from the start, and I don’t actually often hit reply - but this comment made me laugh out loud for real. 

I live in the town where most of Letterkenny is filmed. That show is one of my faves and makes me laugh - mostly because it’s so terrifyingly accurate. The way they live, the things they do and say, is actual life in my area of Ontario (and from what I gather, also some small towns in rural prairie areas)  

I adore Letterkenney, and I feel strangely protective of it lol - but I do agree that it’s weird af. 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sneezyone said:


Please refrain from telling me how I should feel about or react to the comments in this thread. Thanks.

ETA/: for those who are actually curious, I find it distasteful to stereotype people based on what they look like and how they dress not what they actually do. And demonizing people based on their national leadership is how the US got to the point of banning immigration from a variety of countries. I fail to see the humor in any of it.

We can all do with less stress in our lives. And there are a ton of boardies dealing with some very serious personal issues. A little gentleness can go a long way, instead of jumping in "guns blazing," as the saying goes.

No one is demonizing anyone here. Good grief. If you can't learn to laugh at the crazy, unexplainable ways people behave all over the world, as well as in our own backyard, then life will be pretty sad. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Some of the reviews I've read and seen say he's less objective in the last 1/3 of the book, but I didn't think so. He seemed very balanced to me.  I think it's incredibly useful information, particularly for people who are locals with deep roots in places that are growing quickly with people moving from all over.  I grew up with that in Phoenix and now it's happening here in Raleigh. I think it's probably harder to take for the locals here than it was for the locals in Phoenix because of the long established cultural norms.

My daughter has what is basically a current events discussion class at our co-op. Most of the kids from here all agree on everything.  The teacher leading it took us aside and told us she was so glad my daughter had joined because it was the first time some of these kids were being exposed to someone of the same faith having very different ideas about social issues and political issues. The teacher had always been pointing out different views on each subject, but now she finally has a kid who brings them up, holds quite a few of them, and personally knows people who hold them.  Again, it's a situation where kids don't understand nuance because they haven't had to deal with it before.  Yes, you can support the legalization of something you find morally wrong and would never do without being philosophically inconsistent.  It's something those kids haven't heard before from someone in real life...and they're teens.  

More often than not, when speaking to people that are either looking at migrating to the U.S. or sending their children to college, North Carolina is fast becoming the first choice.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, SKL said:

The US does not generally bankroll cultural events of any group, but there are many such events produced by the many communities as well as multi-cultural groups.  There are all sorts of cultural and business organizations, church/religion-run and community schools, etc. which provide pretty comprehensive exposure, mutual support, and a voice for people of various backgrounds.  Where there are concentrations of ethnic people, we have neighborhoods self-designated Polish [etc] Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, etc.

I am not sure why the government would need to educate immigrants about their birth cultures.  For that matter, I don't know why anyone would want the government deciding that kind of message for their children.

I wonder how much of that in Canada was related to the movements in Quebec to ... well, I won't put words in their mouths, and I don't remember it clearly, but from what I understand, Quebec is a powerful force and a bit rebellious against being subjected to central Canadian rule, and some of the governmental differences, such as requiring French translations of everything, is the result of having to work out compromises (which not all Canadians agree with).

The other part is probably because the US generally prefers a "smaller government" and more local and individual control over most details.

In terms of foreign languages, a couple things.  First, in areas with a lot of kids who speak a given foreign language at home, schools are available that teach in those languages as well as in English.  That said, most immigrants and bilingual families are more concerned that their child learn English [in school] in order to keep their career options open etc.  Second, foreign language is a normal funded part of public education - different systems offer different amounts of education, but afaik every public high school offers at least a couple languages other than English - and these would include the language(s) most commonly spoken in the region, as well as other(s).  Though I don't know how much value that adds as far as studying the language one already speaks at home. 

For a few groups, most notably Hispanics, there are special rules and government-funded programs intended to prevent uneven / discriminatory educational outcomes.

Now, politicians like to get involved in the various movements / activities.  They have their initiatives etc.  They have some funding behind these initiatives.  But these are not what the communities rely on to celebrate, preserve, and pass on culture.

Yes, it does seem to be more the "American way" to let people chose how to spend their money and where to put their personal resources. I prefer that myself to higher taxes and more government trying to be "all things" when they do most things pretty poorly.  And the international languages education is for the children, grandchildren of immigrants or anyone with an interest. It's open to all.  Recent immigrants would be more likely to take the government-funded English/French education classes. 

I won't go into Quebec at all. That is a thread (on the "dark forum" 😉) of its own. It's very complicated, very political, and potentially inflammatory. I'd compare it a little to Northern Ireland. And I would not be able to give a well rounded account on my own. A Quebecer would be needed. I'd love to include a New Brunswicker as well, as being the only province that is officially bilingual. Federal bilingualism is very different than provincial bilingualism. Quebec is unilingual with French.

French is not considered a foreign language. It's one of the 2 official languages in Canada, so there will never be French offered at the international languages classes.

Edited by wintermom
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

Who knows? It's difficult to discount the role of the Russians on the European front(s).

If we just consider the Pacific, I'd say they were more decisive.

 

Yeah... but I've read too much of how the Russians handled the territories they "liberated" to think that leaving the entire continent to their tender mercies had they had a bigger part in winning the war on that front wouldn't have profoundly impacted everything going forward, and not in a good way. They were remarkably brutal in victory.

I'm far from proud of everything the United States military has been responsible for over the years--I lived in Nagasaki long enough to understand a small part of the real horror of the bomb dropped there for example. We did handle management of occupied territories after WWII with much more humanity than the Soviet forces did though.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, maize said:

Yeah... but I've read too much of how the Russians handled the territories they "liberated" to think that leaving the entire continent to their tender mercies had they had a bigger part in winning the war on that front wouldn't have profoundly impacted everything going forward, and not in a good way. They were remarkably brutal in victory.

I'm far from proud of everything the United States military has been responsible for over the years--I lived in Nagasaki long enough to understand a small part of the real horror of the bomb dropped there for example. We did handle management of occupied territories after WWII with much more humanity than the Soviet forces did though.

I think the Marshall Plan, while not perfect, was one of the shining moments of humanity in that dark time. I had hoped that we would take a lesson from that plan in more modern times. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, SKL said:

IME people in the US are accepting of visitors even without all these "rules" I'm hearing like "at least learn how to speak some of the local language" and "dress as they do" and "only eat the standard local type of food."  IME nobody here expects that of a tourist.  Nobody actually cares. 

 

Oh yes they do.  I had some Chinese kids stay with me for 2 weeks and took them out shopping. A woman that I barely knew (she was a mom of another kid and I had seen her in passing at various functions) was working in an electronics store and I told her how I was hosting visitors from China for 2 weeks.  The kids were talking to each other about the products and she said to them, “You need to speak English here.”

Like someone else posted upthread—there are many different subcultures here in the US and they can be in direct opposition to each other.  Around here, I know a number of people who if you say anything (anything) negative about the US, their comeback is always, “Don’t like it? Leave.”  

  • Like 8
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Garga said:

 

Oh yes they do.  I had some Chinese kids stay with me for 2 weeks and took them out shopping. A woman that I barely knew (she was a mom of another kid and I had seen her in passing at various functions) was working in an electronics store and I told her how I was hosting visitors from China for 2 weeks.  The kids were talking to each other about the products and she said to them, “You need to speak English here.”

Like someone else posted upthread—there are many different subcultures here in the US and they can be in direct opposition to each other.  Around here, I know a number of people who if you say anything (anything) negative about the US, their comeback is always, “Don’t like it? Leave.”  

We were at Niagra Falls, US side. While waiting for what seemed like forever for our guests to pick out souvenirs, I heard the cashier complaining about how stupid the Asian tourists were because all the crap they sold was made in China. We saw Americans get off a church bus from a nearby city and then swarm a large group of Amish men and take pics. Another person ran up and said that they don’t really like being in photos, and the church group actually loudly complained, saying then that if they don’t like America they could leave. I’m guessing the Amish lived about the same distance from Buffalo that these nitwits lived. The concept of the Ugly American has been around for decades and decades. Mark Twain has quite the good time with that truth.

  • Like 10
  • Sad 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

We were at Niagra Falls, US side. While waiting for what seemed like forever for our guests to pick out souvenirs, I heard the cashier complaining about how stupid the Asian tourists were because all the crap they sold was made in China. We saw Americans get off a church bus from a nearby city and then swarm a large group of Amish men and take pics. Another person ran up and said that they don’t really like being in photos, and the church group actually loudly complained, saying then that if they don’t like America they could leave. I’m guessing the Amish lived about the same distance from Buffalo that these nitwits lived. The concept of the Ugly American has been around for decades and decades. Mark Twain has quite the good time with that truth.

But really, that’s just ugly human being. Might have been Americans that time, but ugly behavior isn’t bound by nationality, sadly. 
Thankfully it’s the exception and not the rule. We just notice and remember the exception because it’s loud.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, wintermom said:

 

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

All of these things happen in the US.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Wow, I went to a school with 800-ish students and the local high school my kids are districted for has over 2800 this school year! I know some schools are small but I’ve never personally seen a public one outside of rural Alaska that is under 200 kids.

Take a look at a map of IA. There are small towns pretty evenly spread throughout every single part of the state. It doesn’t have the geographical barriers or differences of many other states and virtually all of the land can be used for farming. The vast majority of those small towns have at least one school. People have far fewer children these days than when I grew up there surrounded by double digit sized Catholic families and went to a high school of under 250 (representing three towns), but small towns do not want to lose their schools. For athletic competitions, my high school was not even in the smallest size classification.

Even in my current state of Oregon, there are some very small schools in the rural eastern portion of the state. There are counties there that are larger in area than some other states, so the distance between towns is too large to just combine all students for high school. For sports here now, the smallest classification (1A) is for fewer than 90 students in the high school and the next (2A) is for fewer than 205.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been following this thread terribly closely. My experience, as an American tourist and someone who lives in an area frequented by tourists, is that tourists in general tend to stand out. They are obviously not comfortable even if they are enjoying themselves. Overseas, I think Americans are typically a little heavier than people are in most places. I don't consider myself terribly overweight, and my genes are heavy on the British Isles, but even there, where you would think I'd blend nicely, I felt rather large. Moreso in other international spots. Tourists in groups tend to lose perspective. It's like they are watching the whole experience on television or something. I suppose also there's a sense of "I'll never see these people again." I try to give people grace because who knows how others interpret my behavior when I'm traveling.

Years ago I was taking my then-11 yo to visit the Southwest, looking at places where we used to live but that she did not remember. It was April, and somewhat chilly, but felt warm to the Alaska girl, and she was eager to play in the water at one of the state parks. I will never forget the small crowd of tourists that gathered around her to watch and shoot photos. You can only see a couple of onlookers in the photo below (one shooting his own photo), but there were many and it was funny. I imagine they thought we were local, but we were just a couple of fellow foolish tourists ;-)

4412_1140187179513_7874178_n.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Wow, I went to a school with 800-ish students and the local high school my kids are districted for has over 2800 this school year! I know some schools are small but I’ve never personally seen a public one outside of rural Alaska that is under 200 kids.

Our local public school only has about 12 kids per grade, so approximately 50 high schoolers. This is in the rural midwest.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, maize said:

I was just discussing school size with my sister yesterday. The local public high school has about 700 students per grade. I have a theory that one reason we lean toward such large schools is because competitive sports--football especially--are such a big deal. If you want to field a really strong team you need a large student body to recruit from.

At least when I was growing up in IA, high school athletics were also a very big thing and almost everyone did at least one sport,  but it didn’t matter what size high school you attended because at least for conference, district, and state championships, you were competing against schools of similar size. You might compete against larger schools during the regular season to hone your skills, but all of the championships were based on school size. For cross country and track, we had at least 25% of the school population competing and we didn’t even have a track. But we won numerous championships, including many state titles.  Similarly for baseball, they had enough players and pitchers to field several teams and to this day my hometown, with its Field of Dreams ball field surrounded by a cornfield, regularly wins state championships.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

13 hours ago, arctic_bunny said:

I’ve been reading through this whole thread, searching for something to apologize for! I’ve never seen the show, but I’m sorry it’s weird!

 

So weird.  It must be a party in the writer's room, though.  I imagine they're like 'Ok, here's a thing.  We need 15 different ways to describe it.  Annnnd GO."

8 hours ago, dmmetler said:

My brother was a 2 time Citizen Bee National finalist (competition for high school students on Civics and US Government) and according to him, whenever there was a question in the written rounds on the preamble, you could tell when anyone got to it because they would start humming. These were the top 2 students from each state, plus a handful from US bases abroad, US Territories, and one from Washington DC. I figured that was a good justification for using songs as a big part of our homeschooling until DD got old enough to fight me on it :). And indeed, I kept hearing Geography Songs in my head every time a place name was mentioned in the world Congress. Sigh....

 

My high school offered French, Spanish, or Latin. Since the highest performing kids were encouraged to take Latin (the better to get high SAT scores) that meant a lot of us left high school with one spoken language. There are a few bilingual magnet schools in my area (and I rather wish I’d had the money to send DD to the triple immersion school where each class had a teacher who spoke only English, one who spoke only Spanish, and one who spoke only Mandarin to the kids. That might have been worth dealing with the school for.), but most schools do not begin foreign language until 8th or 9th grade, and few kids get any level of fluency. It is normal for University level classes to begin from scratch-and end with minimal fluency as well. Efforts for kids who come in speaking a different home language focus on getting them fluent enough in English to join a mainstream class, and while some subjects may be taught in their home language in the meantime, it is a stopgap. 

Immigrant parents who want their child to actually be fluent in their home language send them to German School, Chinese School, Korean School, etc, which are run by community groups for their kids, but if you are outside that community, you will never know such exist, nor be invited to participate. 

I live in Appalachia on the map, although both DH and I come from families with ties to other parts of the country and parents who moved for work reasons, and both of us have beliefs more like those original cultures. Being fluent in  second language, or more, is one of the major reasons why people I know IRL homeschool or after school. 

 

 

 

I also grew up in Appalachia.  I lucked up and had TWO languages in high school.  The French teacher moved, so he was replaced with a Spanish teacher. 🤣  I'm not sure that the typical American's lack of fluency in a second language is a failure of the education system so much as it is a lack of necessity to use one in everyday life.  Fluency comes from using that language outside of the classroom.  The only time I got to use my high school French in real life was when I was IN France.  (Dh used to travel to Quebec to use his.)  I had some  conversations, but it was a struggle because I'd studied two other languages after taking said high school French.  My worst dabbling-in-languages moment came when I exhausted my vocabulary describing an envelope to a shop keeper because I needed to buy an envelope but didn't know the word for envelope in French.  Go ahead! Laugh AT me. 

If every state spoke a different language, we'd be better at it as a group.  A lot of people speak a little bit of Spanish because they live near where it's useful to know some.  My daughter got straight A's in high school and college Spanish, but what really helped her fluency was working with ESOL kid every day and NEEDING that language to communicate.  There is a necessity and opportunity component to language acquisition that's not easy to come by in the US.  If we didn't produce many movies or tv shows, I'll bet people would pick up another language just to watch television.

7 hours ago, Above The Rowan said:

 

Ive been reading this thread from the start, and I don’t actually often hit reply - but this comment made me laugh out loud for real. 

I live in the town where most of Letterkenny is filmed. That show is one of my faves and makes me laugh - mostly because it’s so terrifyingly accurate. The way they live, the things they do and say, is actual life in my area of Ontario (and from what I gather, also some small towns in rural prairie areas)  

I adore Letterkenney, and I feel strangely protective of it lol - but I do agree that it’s weird af. 

 

I came home late from class last week and my ds and dh were laughing hysterically when I opened the door.  I walked in on a group of Goths having an epi-pen fight?  It took me watching a few episodes to even get my bearings with that show.  I can't even think of anything to compare it to  What would the sub-genre even be?  Theatrical Hick?  And that bartender?  And the minister? And the whole thing with The Ginger and the ostrich? WTF? I can't look away!

7 hours ago, wintermom said:

We can all do with less stress in our lives. And there are a ton of boardies dealing with some very serious personal issues. A little gentleness can go a long way, instead of jumping in "guns blazing," as the saying goes.

 

Pew pew pew !!!!! You're not the boss of me! I came to dance!

 

ETA:  I wanted to chime in on the size of our local high school.  The one near my house is the small one in the district.  It has about 2000 students.  The largest school in the entire state of WV has this many.  Our local schools seem huge to me.  There are also no long bus rides to "away games"  because the other schools are only a few miles away.  It's definitely a different culture from where I grew up. I mean, the whole town just doesn't come out to high school football games because there are other things to do.  I lived here for almost two decades before I realized they don't have middle school football here.  I just assumed that was universal but my daughter looked at me like I had two heads when I asked how the high school managed to share the football field with the middle school on the same property. In my defense, my kids didn't GO to middle school.

Edited by KungFuPanda
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

What I REALLY want to know is why Canada seems to largely get a pass on everything when not one of them has explained WTH "Letterkenney" is all about.  It's really weird and they should take some responsibility for it.

Letterkenney is the most amazing thing ever!!!! I have loved most Canadian shows I've seen but letterkenney is the best.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, MEmama said:

Colin Woodward should be required reading in all high school US history classes, IMO. All his books are fabulous and incredibly well researched but this one particularly stands out to me. I’ve read it several times and still learn something new every time. I am encouraging DS to read it before he takes APUSH (AP US History) next year.

I'm always excited when you reference him or his work. I truly believe if every North American (includes Canadian and some Mexican history as well) read this book they would gain valuable insight and a deeper understanding of the effects that historical immigration patterns had on our current political and social cultures. 
 

Woodward lives in my general area and I keep hoping to get the chance to see him speak. 

The WTM forum is killing me with book recommendations. I would have more time to read them if I spent less time here. But if I spent less time here, I wouldnt know about all these great books...

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Most people in the US aren't going to use a 2nd language, except possibly Spanish.  I took 5 years of French in school and have never used it in my adult life.  I wish I'd studied Spanish, because I'd actually have a chance to use it here in Texas.  

When my oldest children were in school they wanted to study German. I tried to convince them to study Spanish because I thought it would be the most useful. They didn't listen and studied German and became quite fluent. They've proven me wrong again and again. One son works for an international company and when they found out he speaks German, he got put on teams for the sole purpose of traveling as their interpreter. They don't need Spanish speakers, but they do need German speakers. Later, we found out that dh's birth family are German immigrants who all speak German and that German is still one of the most commonly spoken foreign languages in our area. Now I let the younger ones study any language they want. What do I know?😂

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MEmama said:

But really, that’s just ugly human being. Might have been Americans that time, but ugly behavior isn’t bound by nationality, sadly. 
Thankfully it’s the exception and not the rule. We just notice and remember the exception because it’s loud.

I was responding to Garga, who was replying to someone else about hearing people say if you don’t like it then leave. Of course it’s ugly human being, but the whole point of this thread was describing how American tourists are often seen. I was describing how an entire group of American tourists, at a tourist site full of a ton of nationalities, were acting towards another group of people- who were also Americans but the first group of people were too clueless to know that. So people from around the world came to Niagra Falls and experienced poor behavior by American tourists.

eta- yes, I see that the cashier story isn’t relevant here, sorry. They happened the same morning and are stuck in my mind together.

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2020 at 8:41 PM, Sneezyone said:


When I speak about assimilation/conforming it means adopting WASP cultural norms with respect to social conventions, religion, dress, speech, and even hair. While it may be possible to thrive in various regions and smaller communities without adopting those norms, they have dominated our media landscape and business culture.

I don't agree at all that there is no variety in USA and everything is Waspy.  New Mexico certainly isn't.  I believe that there are more than 11 cultures in the US.  Noticing differences in cultures is something that really interests me.  And each place we were stationed at had a different culture. ---- some of the most pronounced differences were in regarding time.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

ETA: Here's the map and a brief summary of the American regional "nations."  I assume it's confusing for the international crowd who can't be expected to know this.  Here's a cheat sheet: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-map-11-separate-nations-colin-woodward-yankeedom-new-netherland-the-midlands-tidewater-greater-a8078261.html

For those of you interested in the different cultural nations/regions inside the US and how they came to be, this book is a helpful read: https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?crid=MJOSG9DO0U6Y&keywords=american+nations+colin+woodard&qid=1579408161&sprefix=American+nationas%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1

I think it is a super simplistic.  First of all, they have my state in only one category.  They do not haveboart of it being more like Appalachia. They di not have part of it having decidedly French influences. And it doesn't have my city which is most decidedly not the Deep South with rigid social structures. My city, which will in a few years,be age largest city in my state, is full of people who did not come from here.  And since it is very much a nerd city, no rigid social structures either.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...