Your Questions About An Impaired Use Of Language

September 30, 2013
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Joseph asks…

How would that pilot program not make Puerto Rico have english as the main language?

My biggest concern: would puerto ricans abandon spanish If everyone wad bilingual? because the mainland speaks english in their daily/personal lives?

Would other countries be as bilingual as Puerto Rico?

Would their be less and less english as the child progresses into high school(like in Sweden)?

Would their be more classes in english or Spanish?

If everyone was bilingual, what are the odds they would only speak english when needed, and speak spanish 99.9% in their daily/personal life? Would culture be dominated in Spanish?

Would their children’s first language be english or Spanish? Why?

Would puerto ricans from puerto rico still be known as “Spanish speaking people”?

Would Puerto Ricans speak in english or Spanish first to a Puerto Rican?

What things would be in english in society once everyone is bilingual? What about Spanish?

Would they still have local media only in Spanish?

Would the government function in Spanish 99% of the time?

Would it be a Spanish majority state? If it was bilingual?
Would it be harder to see the “real Puerto Rico”?

Would it be easy to learn and become fluent in Spanish by immersion if you move there if you want?

admin answers:

Since we already know spanish the program needs to put more effort in teaching / mastering english.
However, the aim of the program is to improve the knowledge of english, not replacing spanish.

Would puerto ricans abandon spanish If everyone were bilingual? No.

Because the mainland speaks english in their daily/personal lives?
* True, the mainland speaks english, but Puerto Rico is not mainland.
* English will be used by puertorricans when needed or desired. There is no need or desire to abandon spanish. There is no need, in Puerto Rico, to use english all the time.

* There are many countries around the world where two or more languages or dialects are used. Asia, Africa, Europe are full of examples of this. Switzerland has four official languages, most of the residents of that european country are fluent in two or more of those languages.

Would their be less and less english as the child progresses into high school(like in Sweden)?
* No. English is taught as a second language and is mandatory in all grades from Kindergarden to High School, both at public or private schools.
* Most public schools teach in spanish all courses, with the obvious exception of the english class that is taught in english. In the first grades the teachers may translate to spanish some instructions as the kids progress learning the words in english. However, as the kids progress during the years the % of spanish used in the english classroom will decrease and by high school I would expect no spanish be used inside the english classroom, unless the task being studied is the spanish definition of a new english word. In the rest of other courses (math, science, history, spanish, arts, physical education, other elective courses) are given in spanish.
* A pilot bilingual program was started a few years ago, in selected public schools, where the Math, Science and English courses are taught in english, and the Spanish and History courses are taught in spanish.
* Many private schools, from decades ago, have billingual programs implemented where most classes are taught in english.

Would their be more classes in english or Spanish?
* At the public schools bilingual pilot program:
*** Courses taught in english: English, Math, Science
*** Courses taught in spanish: Spanish, History/Social Studies
*** Not sure which languages are used at elective courses like Physical Education, Arts, Drama, etc.

* Spanish will continue to dominate Puerto Rico’s culture.

Would their children’s first language be english or Spanish? Spanish.
Why? It is our “mother language”.

Would puerto ricans from puerto rico still be known as “Spanish speaking people”?
* A spanish/english billingual puertorrican is a “Spanish speaking person” and at the same time an “English speaking person”. Same as a english/french bilingual canadian is an “English speaking person” and at the same time a “French speaking person”.

Would Puerto Ricans speak in english or Spanish first to a Puerto Rican?
* If we know that the other person understands spanish we will use spanish to communicate to that person, unless the circumtances around us determines that english should be used. For example:
if speaking to the PR Resident Commissioner at:
1 a hearing at the Congress I would use english.
2 a hearing at the PR Legislature I would use spanish.
3 in his office, just the two of us, I would use spanish.
4 in his office with a House Representative from Misouri who do not know enough spanish to follow a conversation, I would use english so that this spanish-impaired person can understand what I’m saying.

What things would be in english in society once everyone is bilingual? What about Spanish?
* If everyone is billingual, then subtitles in spanish for a movie with english audio/sound would not be required.
* Spanish will be use at most times / events / activities, unless when:
*** communicating to a non spanish speaking person.
*** in certain business processes (like when doing business with a non spanish speaking person).
*** others.

Would they still have local media only in Spanish?
* Sure, why not.

Would the government function in Spanish 99% of the time?
* No, maybe 99.99% of the time.

Would it be a Spanish majority state? If it was bilingual?
* PR would be a state where most people have as our first language spanish, and then english as a second language.
* Both languages with official language status, just spanish being the dominant one.
* The population of billingual people will continue to increase over the time, meaning more and more people would be able to use english with ease when they want or when they need to.

Would it be harder to see the “real Puerto Rico”? No, just come here and see.
Would it be easy to learn and become fluent in Spanish by immersion if you move there if you want?
Sure.

Carol asks…

how do you teach a toddler sign language?

my daughter is speech impaired and i wanted to teach her to sign.i have asked her speech therapist many times for help but with no success.any help?
she’s 2 and a half,she will be three in july.

admin answers:

My daughter, now four, just graduated from speech therapy, and also used sign. It is NEVER too early to begin.
Try searching for Baby signs and there will be sights that offer basic signs for free, check your local PBS for the show Signing Time, it is great, my daughter still loves it. Also Baby Einstiens just put out a baby signs video.
Watch these shows with your child and use the signs while you say the word, help her learn the signs by using hand over hand (use your hands to make her hands do the movements), you may be amazed at how fast she picks up signs, especially for her favorite things. My Daughter was learning them faster than i was, she thought it was funny to make us guess what sign she was using.

James asks…

If someone is hearing impaired do they think in sign language?

Whenever I think to myself I can hear my voice. But if someone who was born deaf would they think in sign language?

admin answers:

No, my sister is hearing impaired. And I have asked her many times about this matter. She just explains that she thinks like everyone else. In words. You can never actually hear yourself in thoughts. It’s just your brain playing a trick on you. Thinking that you actually are listening to yourself. All you are doing is thinking of the words and putting a noise to it. Just as they do. They just convert the words into hand motions to express what they think to everyone else.

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