I agree with the premise: English is necessary to get ahead in The United States. However, I disagree with your assessment: most of the Latino men and women I know in this country ONLY speak English.
Zealot teachers and the desire to get ahead have completely obliterated Spanish from our heritage. Besides, how many Americans speak more than one language fluently?
Better yet, how many Americans speak English correctly? I think we should start by teaching our President how to pronounce it—nuclear is not pronounced “nucular”.
Lets teach and encourage our youth to read and speak more than one language. I am embarrassed that when they travel overseas Americans expect everyone to speak English to them. Few would even bother to take a language book to at least try to learn survival phrases. Most are upset because the rest of the world will not answer them in English.
I grew up in Puerto Rico. I started English the minute I stepped in school, and French in second grade. My English teachers taught me to speak English. The other classes I took were taught in our professor’s preferred language. If the teacher was American, History would be taught in English, if the teacher was Puerto Rican, Math would be taught in Spanish.
The problem with bilingual education in the USA is: you have to expose the children to English starting in preschool—don’t wait for high school to try to “catch up”. And, please, teach them another language, any language—not just Spanish—just as vigorously alongside.
My Puerto Rican sister in Connecticut has five children all of which were educated in the US. They all speak beautiful English and have college degrees. None of them speak Spanish. My sister in Puerto Rico has two daughters. They are being educated in Puerto Rico and they are both bilingual. I speak three languages fluently.
Spanish as a second language is dying in the USA. ”English only” bothers me because Americans makes it sound like Hispanics should be ashamed to speak Spanish.
“English is the language of business, and Spanish, don’t forget, is the language of love and romance. The only poem worth reading is the one written in Spanish, because it is the only one that sings! A truly educated person speaks more than one language fluently.” Mosaic Virus by Carlos T Mock, MD