Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentImmigration · 1 decade ago

Did the immigrants of yore have government programs to teach English?

One refrain I hear from the pro-illegal crowd is that a huge reason illegal aliens from Mexico don't assimilate is because there are not enough (yep, you guessed it!) government programs to teach them English. OK, super. Let's flash back several decades to the immigrants from Italy, Germany, etc. and, to a lesser extent, places like Ireland. After they put in their day doing backbreaking work for little pay, they learned English and assimilated on their own.

So, given that, is it STILL unreasonable to expect people to assimilate without taxpayer help?

10 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'll tell you the way my great-grandparents learned. They sent thier kids to school, in the evenings the kids taught them. My grandmother still talks about sitting around the table in the evening teaching her parents how to speak and read English. No one else helped them, they did it on their own because they wanted to. My g-grandparents never spoke perfect English, but they were able to speak it fairly well after a few years.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    I worked in social services for over 15 years and there are plenty of places such as libraries, that provide ESL classes(FREE). Another good directory is the United Way. Also, lots of immigrants from Mexico, South and Central America are smarter than you think. They have english language skills but don't utilize because they get first hand spanish speaking american workers to help them out. I have pushed many to gain the confidence to speak it more frequently and thats all the problem is-lack of confidence. These spanish speaking american workers (government) aren't doing complaining americans a favor by servicing immigrants in spanish. The question is: why did the government start making it easy for spanish speaking only immigrants to utilize american services and spend tax payer money to make printed material in spanish? BTW, I am of Mexican descent, born and raised in Texas. My mother was a spanish speaking immigrant that came to Texas in the 50's and forced herself to learn the american way which included the english language and became a citizen. She wasn't given the red carpet treatment; so I cannot relate to those that do get it and continue to stay in the dark. No sympathy here, sister.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Most of them stayed in places where they talked both. Immigrants from Germany ended up in places with the Irish and they learned to communicate together. Personally I ain't never seen a immigrant that couldn't talk english unless it was a old person and then the family shielded them from the outside.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    No dear they did not. My ancestors hail from several different countries......some English speaking (England, Ireland, Scotland) others not (Germany). The German ancestors learned English and were proud of doing so.

    Source of this knowledge? My german great grandmother whose parents immigrated without speaking a word of English.

    At first. Sorry, don't think any govt sponsored English as a Second Language courses were involved.

    That whole personal responsibility and accountability thing seems to be lost on these pro illegal MENSA members.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, those immigrants learned the language through a pure desire to do so and a willingness to work hard at it.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    can u site anyone claiming what ur saying !?

    plus to answer ur question i am sure there were schools to teach them but as far as i know their learning used to take longer than it does take today . many of them even had news papers in their languages like the Polish ( correction ) which at a time had as many as 6000 different ones . anyways today is not different most people documented or not are learning English but of course it does take time like everything in life , oh and i hope u can show anyone saying what u just claimed !.

    look what i found , i hope u appreciate it :

    According to American history these earlier immigrants learned only as much English as they could get by with in order to survive. They encouraged their offspring to speak only the mother tongue at home and shunned efforts to "assimilate" and change their cultures. These same earlier immigrants received United States government assistance in the form of cash payments to help them get "settled". Today this financial help would be called welfare.

    http://www.elboricua.com/immigrants.html

    read more :

    Just like today's immigrants they spoke their mother tongue almost exclusively, their children spoke both their parents language and English, and their grandchildren (third generation) spoke almost exclusively English. This same pattern of immigrant behavior is alive today not only with Hispanic immigrants but with immigrants from all nations.

    Source(s): my second language is English and i know it does take time not matter how smart one may be . hispanics attitude towards learning English ( present time ) : http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/20.pdf
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    LMAO... so right... guess they dont read or know enough english to understand the public school system IS a government program which teaches english.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    trust me...if they can learn a language and able to talk, They CAN learn English! it's a matter of wanting to do it or not

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No they did not. And until 1920 women couldn't vote either.. times have changed. There are worse things my tax dollars are being spent on.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They learned by going to regular public school, no bilingual teachers...... imagine that!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.