Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Today I went to the DMV to replace my lost driver's liscense.  To get a replacement, I had to show my birth certificate, Social Security card, voter registration, and marriage certificate.  And pay $10.  And stand in line for 30 minutes with a bored 4-yr-old.  And get fingerprinted.  And have my picture taken again.  Loads of fun.

Just an interesting observation, there were about 40 people in the DMV, and I only heard one other man speaking English.  Everyone else spoke Spanish.  Even the TV in the waiting area was on a Spanish station.  The form I filled out had Spanish on the front and English on the back.  The workers were bilingual.  

If we stay in Texas, I really need to work on developing Spanish language skills in Grace.  I have a very basic knowledge of the language, and perhaps by teaching Grace I can expand my own  knowledge as well.  I have some personal opinions/concerns about bilingual education based on my experience in the schools as a language committee chairperson.  Perhaps I'll delve into those experiences on a future post.  

I feel that English should be our national language, a preferred language, a useable language for all that call this country home.  After all, if I moved to China, I would make every effort to immerse myself in the Chinese language.  I would learn it, use it, and not expect everything to be translated into English for me.  Here in Texas, I do not think that businesses should be forced to print duplicates of everything in Spanish, add a Spanish option on their phone systems, hire expensive translators, or add a Spanish option on their computer systems (ATMs, etc.).  

Another interesting tidbit.....although my husband is certified to be a school principal in the state of Texas, he is not eligible to be a principal in the Fort Worth Independent School District because he is not bilingual.  In my mind, this is bordering on reverse discrimination.

That said, I also feel it is important to learn other languages.  Preferably a language that would be considered useful for the area of the country we live in, countries we are interested in, or future countries of travel.  In our case, because we live in Texas, that language is Spanish.

So, I will make every effort to teach Grace the Spanish language.  I will do this because it will expand her knowledge, give her new opportunities, and create a bond with the state of her birth. 


Anonymous said...

Florida has a lot of Spanish speaking people, and if I was up to learning a new language that would be it. I have tried before, but my brain really puts up a fight when I try to introduce new things. Ah but never say never, I may get in the mood again to try and learn. Grace is at a perfect age to learn though. It will be easier for her than us.

Mrs. Sprinkles said...

Wow--I had no idea that being bilingual was a requirement. Crazy. Does Todd plan on learning Spanish?

Joanna J. said...

Um, in a word, no. He does not plan on learning Spanish. Although, he does enjoy watching Dora the Explorer with Grace and helping her pronounce Spanish words with a heavy Tennessee accent. Does that count? :)