True American

True American

by Rosemary C. Salomone
     
 

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True American is a look at the history and current politics of languages - English and the many native languages of immigrants - as they play out in schools, historically a central force for assimilation and Americanization. While she does discuss the history of and debates over bilingual education programs, her focus is an analysis of the passionate support for an

Overview

True American is a look at the history and current politics of languages - English and the many native languages of immigrants - as they play out in schools, historically a central force for assimilation and Americanization. While she does discuss the history of and debates over bilingual education programs, her focus is an analysis of the passionate support for an English-only America. She uses the myths about the assimilation of previous immigrant groups and the debates over how best to educate children of the “new immigrants” as a window for exploring what it means to be a “true American” in an age of globalization and transnationalism.Underlying her discussion of these various debates is Salomone’s call for a more inclusive sense of the “we” that demands respect for linguistic and cultural differences, rather than mere toleration. She argues that we can politically equal and culturally compatible without being culturally identical or monolingual.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

True American provides teachers of immigrant students with a vision of an American identity and education that includes language, civic engagement, and a common historical memory.
— L. Lockard

Times Higher Education

True American by Rosemary Salomone is a valuable contribution to this growing field of research. In it, the author skillfully weaves a narrative of U.S. legislative history affecting language education into a solid rebuttal of the numerous myths about bilingualism on which the relevant laws and bills have been premised...Anti-immigrationists brandishing the mythical "problem" of bilingualism continue to fuel vitriolic debates, while reactionary legislation reasserts the prominence of English in education and public life. This, Salomone concludes, is to the detriment of U.S. authorities that have hitherto ignored heritage-language speakers as a potential solution to problems in national security, international trade and the U.S.'s geopolitical standing.
— Darren Paffey

Nancy Foner
True American provides an insightful and engaging analysis of debates over language policy in schools that are at the heart of concerns about immigration. Salomone shows that views about immigrant schooling and language in the past are too often romanticized myths. Looking at the present, she sheds light on the complex ways that language policies and educational practices are linked to notions of identity.
Martha Minow
True American is an impressive synthesis of cultural and legal history, social science research, and literary understanding that look at immigration and the politics of language, language education, and debates about multiculturalism. It uses anecdotes and stories, as well as research, to offer a lively account of the deep issues behind the headlines
Michael Olivas
American attitudes toward languages other than English are full of contradictions as we absorb non-English speakers into our stubbornly-monolingual society. We claim that the foreign-born don't learn English, when the loss of the native language is a more widespread problem. Legal scholar Rosemary C. Salomone is among our most astute and thoughtful education observers. In True American, she proves to be an exceptional listener as well.
Kenneth Karst
True American should be required reading for those involved in educating the children of immigrants. How can we make sure that they learn English, and still maintain parents' support for their schooling? A further complication is the demand in the world economy for multilingual Americans. Salomone offers wise responses to all these concerns.
Times Higher Education - Darren Paffey
True American by Rosemary Salomone is a valuable contribution to this growing field of research. In it, the author skillfully weaves a narrative of U.S. legislative history affecting language education into a solid rebuttal of the numerous myths about bilingualism on which the relevant laws and bills have been premised...Anti-immigrationists brandishing the mythical "problem" of bilingualism continue to fuel vitriolic debates, while reactionary legislation reasserts the prominence of English in education and public life. This, Salomone concludes, is to the detriment of U.S. authorities that have hitherto ignored heritage-language speakers as a potential solution to problems in national security, international trade and the U.S.'s geopolitical standing.
Choice - L. Lockard
True American provides teachers of immigrant students with a vision of an American identity and education that includes language, civic engagement, and a common historical memory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674056831
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
442 KB

What People are saying about this

Martha Minow
True American is an impressive synthesis of cultural and legal history, social science research, and literary understanding that look at immigration and the politics of language, language education, and debates about multiculturalism. It uses anecdotes and stories, as well as research, to offer a lively account of the deep issues behind the headlines
Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Dean, Harvard Law School
Nancy Foner
True American provides an insightful and engaging analysis of debates over language policy in schools that are at the heart of concerns about immigration. Salomone shows that views about immigrant schooling and language in the past are too often romanticized myths. Looking at the present, she sheds light on the complex ways that language policies and educational practices are linked to notions of identity.
Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Kenneth Karst
True American should be required reading for those involved in educating the children of immigrants. How can we make sure that they learn English, and still maintain parents' support for their schooling? A further complication is the demand in the world economy for multilingual Americans. Salomone offers wise responses to all these concerns.
Kenneth Karst, David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles
Michael Olivas
American attitudes toward languages other than English are full of contradictions as we absorb non-English speakers into our stubbornly-monolingual society. We claim that the foreign-born don't learn English, when the loss of the native language is a more widespread problem. Legal scholar Rosemary C. Salomone is among our most astute and thoughtful education observers. In True American, she proves to be an exceptional listener as well.
Michael Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law, University of Houston Law Center

Meet the Author

Rosemary C. Salomone is Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John’s University and author of Same, Different, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling.

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