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From: [Name Withheld]
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: They Don't Want To Assimilate
A question for Guzzardi: what is assimilation?
Is it an attempt to
mimic Americans? Which Americans? Country folks from the
pinewoods of East Texas? New Yorkers? Californians?
Ann Coulter or
Noam Chomsky or Bill
Kristol? I can see how one can assimilate into a
monolithic society, but America is too diverse.
As far as learning English is concerned, everybody who really needs to do it, does. Learning a foreign language is a difficult undertaking involving much time and effort - why do it if the payoff isn't worth it? And some folks simply have no knack for languages.
Guzzardi makes many correct observations but misses the big picture. You can't teach old dogs new tricks, but children do assimilate very fast.
My two kids speak English way better than Russian and behave exactly like typical American kids of their age. We have friends from many countries, and their situations are similar - children speak English as the first language even though parents speak to them in Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and other tongues. All prefer American food and entertainment.
Children are the future; their parents' foreignness will die with them.
The reader lives in Texas where he is taking graduate courses in business administration.