Getting It Right

By Carol Eiber, OFLA past president

Stow-Munroe Falls High School, retired

Several articles with good news have come through my home and languished in a file on my desk for some time now. They are too good not to share with the Cardinal readers; they are reassurance that others besides us are seeing the need for foreign language education in the workplace and home.

In a trade publication, Kitchen & Bath Design News (June, 2014), Steve Nicholls writes, “craftsmanship in the U.S. is produced by workers whose native language is not English
(his workforce speaks Spanish) and that if they are constantly struggling to understand, the projects will run much more slowly. He suggests that the business owner and manager should learn some of the language of the workers. Making that one effort, he writes, will establish a better connection wit the workers. He also suggests loading a [Spanish] app on a phone to improve listening comprehension, posting signage in the workers
cultural celebrations. He reminds the readers that recognition of a workers is a key to improving relations with them. He also states that for the workers, learning English is key to success and increased responsibility in the work place since the clients and designers learn another language: take classes, watch television, listen to podcasts, etc. To test for comprehension he suggests that the craftsman sketch back to the manager what is to be
built. Does this sound familiar? This business owner is getting it right! Rick Armon, a writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, wrote an article (December 29, 2014), He reported that the university noticed an increase in medical students taking Spanish and a professor, Parizad Dejbord health professionals to better communicate with their patients and families. The situation central to the article was how a speech therapist was able to establish a better relationship with her young patients. Although an interpreter is always there for therapy sessions, the classes have helped build better rapport and cultural proficiency as well as basic communication. The University of Akron and Children’s Hospital are getting it right!

And finally, a column from Dear Abby dealt with bilingualism. A grandmother had written to Abby criticizing her daughter with her children while the grandparents were there. Abby had advised that the mother should speak English when the grandparents were there. “Bilingual Mom in Oregon” responded to Abby’s advice and defended the mother’s efforts at raising her kids to be bilingual, saying that it is difficult to pass on another language here in America, and that translation for the grandparents should also take place. “Bilingualism is an incredible gift to give a child. It broadens mental development, thought patterns and world perspective.

Bilingual Mom in Oregon has it right!

This entry was posted in Vol. 54, No. 1 - Fall 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

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