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Studio Discussion: Education

Los Americanos studio discussion participants

Education is recognized as key to success in our society. Bilingual education -- instruction in both Spanish and English -- continues to generate debate throughout the west. Will more children learn to read if they are taught in their first language? Is English proficiency a necessary skill to thrive in the United States?

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Irene Chavolla photo

Irene Chavolla
Coordinator of Title I Migrant and LEP program, Idaho State Department of Education

  • We do not have a lot of bilingual classes, but we have two school districts that have true bilingual programs, Nampa and Blaine County.

  • The research really points that the students need a foundation in the language, in their first language and if they come to school speaking Spanish, then they need to build that foundation in Spanish in order for them to get the concepts in English.

  • What we really want is, we want the students to learn English, to be successful and to be productive citizens.
Rosa Jacobo photo

Rosa Jacobo

  • I went up to high school and I helped others and I am involved in many programs, so it takes a lot of desire to keep on going and to have an education.

  • I am hoping to get an education in dentistry.
Martin Torres photo

Martin Torres
Head Consul, Salt Lake City Consulate of Mexico

  • On one hand, the young kids that achieve, they have overcome all odds. Those are the very best that we have and you are taking them and you are keeping them and we lose them.
Peter Padilla photo

Peter Padilla
Vice President/General Manager, Azteca America Television and KREN-TV, Reno

  • I think it is important for Hispanic youth and we as Hispanic adults to set good examples not only for our own culture but for all of the Americans that are not Hispanic so that we can talk about the positive contributions that we make to society and many people do make positive contributions and we need to focus on those things.
Liliam Lujan-Hickey photo

Liliam Lujan-Hickey
Regional chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas; President of the USHCC Foundation

  • One of the first things I learned is that to receive funding from the federal government is like marketing.
Julio Elizondo photo

Julio Elizondo
Boise State University student and Manager with Sears Credit

  • And so it was ingrained in me that no I shouldn’t speak my language if I wanted to fit in ...
Leobarda Elizondo photo

Julio Elizondo & Leobarda Elizondo
Julio: Student; Leobarda: Agricultural worker and Julio's mother

  • God does not discriminate, who are we to?
John Phiilip Santos photo

John Phillip Santos

  • We are still stuck in these anxieties of our monolingual past when we are becoming a nation of many languages and many cultures.
Alan Simpson photo

Alan K. Simpson
Former U.S. Senator, Wyoming

  • English is the language of success, I don’t care how you put it, you can dance on the head of a pin, you can talk about bilingual . . . it’s the language of success.
Mary Gutierrez photo

Mary Gutierrez
2nd grade teacher/Bilingual teacher

  • Most of those children are in the classroom because their parents would like for them to be enriched by learning a second language.

  • I would like to say that my primary job is to teach those kids skills and concepts, and regardless of what language they speak, that is my primary job. And I want to do it in the way that they are going to be most successful and that is why for those Spanish-speaking children, it may be in their language
John Phiilip Santos photo

John Phillip Santos

  • I think that if we embrace superficial economic goals exclusively, we do that at the cost of really what makes us unique.
Leslie Mix photo

Leslie Mix
President/CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern Nevada

  • Most people who are going to be successful in this country recognize that they’ve got to learn English ...
Angeles Jacobo photo

Angeles Jacobo

  • I know that education is the key to success.
Josefina Estrada photo

Josefina Estrada
Human Resources Administrator, KNPB-TV

  • I will always be bilingual. And my children will struggle to be bilingual because they’re growing up here in America. But I do think two languages are important because it continues your awareness of who you are, where you came from, your family.

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