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29284: Hermantin (reply): 29276: Laforest (reply) Re: 29255: Bick (reply) RE: 29241: (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Your question is a very legitimate one which has been debated here in South
Florida where this program is being implemented. Beyond the much referenced
issues of culture and identity there are very practical reasons as to why
Creole should be offered as a foreign language in this part of the country.
Need for Reliable Interpreters: Many city, state and federal agencies are
relying on young Haitian Americans or American Haitians to serve as
interpreters for clients, patients etc. The level of MIS-interpretations
offered is really alarming. These young ones, who have never learned Creole
formally are using a very rudimentary, very rough version of Diaspora Creole,
confusing their Haiti born brethen and creating situations where they have hurt
rather than helped. Moreover a language program ( Creole language
interpretation and translation) offered at Miami Dade College is having a hard
time recruiting the right candidates, that is individuals fluent in Creole and
English with a mastery ( written and spoken) of both languages. Applicants are
either Haitian nationals with great proficiency in Creole and very limited
skills in English or vice versa.
The Hispanic community has identified the lack of literacy in Spanish as a
major problem in this community and have implemented a Spanish literacy program
for native speakers from Kindergarten at most public schools in this County.
Teaching children Creole is also important, because many of them have also
associated Creole with anger and punishment.... Mom screaming or Dad spanking.
The Creole heard on the radio is again for the most part people fighting and
insulting each other. The introduction of songs, poetry etc. would expose these
children to a whole other dimension of Creole, one that they certainly do not
experience at home.
And finally, Creole instruction is important because according to the experts
children have a better grasp of the English language when they also have a
mastery of the language spoken at home.