A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 30, 2015
“Bilingual education makes you illiterate in two languages”

"Bilingual education makes you illiterate in two languages” is an old satiric remark about bilingual education. “One delegate said that in Eire, people are rapidly becoming illiterate in two languages” was cited in 1948 about the introduction of the Irish language in Irish schools.

The saying became common in the United States by the 1960s and 1970s. “I don’t want to be a complete reactionary, but I’m not quite convinced hat turning out kids illiterate in two languages is real progress” was cited in a 1960 newspaper by American dramatist Morrie Ryskind (1895-1985). “Our pupils are going to be illiterate in two languages” wascited in a newspaper in 1962.


7 July 1948, Lexington (KY) Leader, pg. 13, col. 2:
“LESS IRISH SPOKEN”
Less Irish is spoken now than 25 years ago and efforts to bring about a revival of the tongue have been abortive, A. J. Faulkner, of Athlone, said at the convention of the Irish National Teachers’ Organization in Northern Ireland. One delegate said that in Eire, people are rapidly becoming illiterate in two languages.

4 December 1960, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Ryskind Tears Into Lobbyist Who Plead for U.S. Hand in Education,” by Morrie Ryskind, pg. 7-F, col. 8:
Would it be presumptuous of me to suggest holding back on the foreign languages till we made a better showing in our native tongue? I don’t want to be a complete reactionary, but I’m not quite convinced hat turning out kids illiterate in two languages is real progress.

27 September 1962, Boston (MA) Traveler, Earl Wilson syndicated entertainment column, pg. 32, col. 6:
A newspaper charged:

“Our pupils are going to be illiterate in two languages.”

17 March 1989, St. Albans (VT) Messenger, BFA (Bellows Free Academy) Mercury, “Lessons in life” by Sara Richard, pg. 2, col. 1:
Everyone should take a language. For many of you English fits into your schedule perfectly. But, for those of you who want to challenge yourself, try French. You think you screwed up now, wait ‘til you get out of this class. Although, once you get out of there, you will know a foreign language-English. Congratulations! You are now illiterate in two languages.

2 October 1992, Aberdeen (SD) American News, “Bilingualism is divisive” (editorial), pg. 4A, col. 1:
Yet, at the same time, the “bilingual” lobby also promotes education programs that leave many people essentially illiterate in two languages.

Google Groups: alt.books.tom-clancy
U.S. Borders
Tom Clancy
2/28/96
Clancy on a National Language:
Those American residents who do not speak English cannot participate in the economy. Why? Because I refuse to learn a foreign language at my age just to coddle somebody else - and as a practical matter, which
language(s) would I have to learn. How long would it take? What would it cost to get lessons.

Aside: Bi-lingual education in America merely guarantees that a person will emerge from it illiterate in TWO languages.

Google Books
Business Wit & Wisdom
By Richard Zera
Washington, DC:Beard Books
2005
Pg. 136:
Foreign language instruction helps many students become illiterate in two languages.

Twitter
Mozartian
‏@EelPieLtd
Bilingual education makes you illiterate in two languages.....
Author Unknown
9:09 AM - 12 Aug 2014

Twitter
♚ tryphena
‏@darkIaws
being bilingual: ah, yes, now i can be illiterate in two languages
9:51 AM - 18 Jun 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 • Permalink