Thursday, July 30, 2009

"English Only?" My Grandmothers Solution"

My grandmother, on my father's side, emigrated to America with her husband, my grandfather, shortly after the turn of the last century, to escape the impending massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks. My grandfather died when my father was 11, and my grandmother went to work teaching immigrants citizenship classes for well over 50 years. She would speak the native tongue with her contemporaries, but, except for teaching them how to say: "Hello. How are you?" - and, "I'm fine, thank you." in her native tongue, never with her children. She instead taught her children, all of whom were born in America, "You live here. You learn, speak and think in the language of this country". They all did quite well for themselves, and their families, as a result.

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