What a great article discussing the backlash that Coke received for the Super bowl ad where people sang “America the Beautiful,” in different languages. I ,too, got goose bumps when I heard this song, relishing in our beautiful nation filled with all kinds of languages and people. But apparently a lot of people disagree. Is it ”unpatriotic” to sing this song in multiple languages?
The author of the article, Angela Jackson founder of the Global Language Project, discusses the similar backlash that she incurred when she launched the first Arabic language program in an elementary school in Harlem. Questions were raised, “How could we teach Arabic in American schools? It must be part of some type of conspiracy?”
It seems as if some folks are limited to the shortsighted thinking that assumes American children should only learn English and will only need English in their lives.
Some great quotes from her article:
” Giving these students fluency in a second language helps them in their future educational and employment career goals, making them highly coveted, multilingual employees.
“The Huffington Post recently reported that kids who speak a second language score 150-plus points higher on standardized tests and that employees who speak a second language earn 10-percent to 20-percent more than their monolingual peers.”
“It’s ironic that the Coke commercial is being called unpatriotic. What I find un-American is our current public school system where a child’s ZIP code is directly linked to their future educational prospects”
Check out the full article here: The Language of Life: What makes America beautiful?