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Original Message
Forum Muslim Schools 
Topic Bilingualism 
Author Iftikhar 
Date Created 13/07/2014 16:43:20 
Message Switzerland has only existed since the 13th century. And the Swiss have four different official languages. English is not one of them. 40% of English is of French derivation. 40% of English words , most of them technical jargon and not used very often. About 70% of commonly used English words are from (Germanic) Old English, as is the structure of the language. The English language is poorly taught by teachers who were good at English but who have no idea of how difficult English can be and is for others and so they do a bad job badly.

“English is a funny language; that explains why we park our car on the driveway and drive our car on the parkway.” Some of our Germanic phrasal verbs are very weird. A Tunisian once told me that one of the things that amused him most about English was the way you could chop down a tree and then chop it up. Speakers of international English tend to avoid phrasal verbs, which is one of the reasons that their English sometimes sounds slightly stiff to native speakers.

English is my second language and it is very true that in order to appreciate your own language you have to know at least one more... and with this understanding one can see power and limitations of English. It is powerful all right, due in part to the fact that it is quite easy to learn (at least the basics of it) and quite logical one in its grammar (vs. its spelling), it is a language of choice for communicating between computers, technicians, scientists and a very poor language for communicating from heart to heart. Native English speakers have no concepts of what they are missing... It is even funny...when speaking to animals and children I unconsciously switch to my native tongue... Oh yes, you are not supposed to speak with animals... Oh yes, every living thing including babies have no gender and are IT in English... but cars and ships can be SHE...hmm... interesting... Oh, yes you have to pepper every sentence with I, MY, HAVE, GOT, WILL, AM, IS, ARE to such frequency that you infuse your Ego and property rights to the edge of Universe and delineate bounds of existence as it were a computer grid ... Oh yes, there is no difference for ME between YOU, my friend, and infinite multitude of other strangers, who ARE also YOU... And so it goes...Keep capitalizing "I" and stripping soul from things with every word... the language where I HAVE said a lot and YOU WILL hear nothing. English is advanced modern language and a great tool to know, but I am very grateful that my native tongue is archaic, messy, ambiguous and deeply poetic language. Of course a person brought up bilingually is going to do better at languages than a person brought up mono-lingually. They already have a huge advantage due to their knowledge of two different languages.

Children who speak English as a second language are outperforming native speakers in a range of academic GCSEs, according to official figures. For the first time last year, pupils who speak another language at home gained higher scores in core subjects than classmates with English as their mother tongue. Lord Nash, the Schools Minister, said non-English speaking pupils achieved better grades in the English Baccalaureate – the Government’s key measure of success – which marks out performance in disciplines as maths, science, foreign languages and humanities. It also emerged that the worst performing group overall was white British boys from working class families. The disclosure follows the publication of figures last month showing that English is no longer the first language for the majority of pupils at one in nine schools.

You need to find out what is meant by English as an additional language (EAL)pupil before commenting. Schools will categorize any ethnic pupil as EAL regardless of where they a born or how long they have been exposed to English in their environment, based on the fact that Urdu/Punjabi etc is mainly spoken at home. The vast majority of these EAL stats are in fact British born children and are essentially bilingual rather than EAL. Meaningless DFE stats. Speaking in the Lords, Baroness Coussins, the crossbench peer, asked the minister to agree that the “presence in schools of children who are bilingual or have English as an additional language tends, in fact, to raise overall school performance at GCSE, not damage it”.

Fabio Capello, England Italian manager, needs only 100 English words to manage the English team effectively and could even earn more than £4 million for his work and paying a large amount of tax. Who says that he is not fully integrated. Similarly, an immigrant with few English words could find a job in British economy and contribute for the betterment for the British society by paying all sorts of taxes. There is no need to be well versed in English. Without migration, British society and economy would have bled to death. Immigrants improved the inner cities of Britain. According to DC, mass immigration has led to "discomfort and disjointedness" in neighbourhoods because some immigrants have been unwilling to integrate or learn English. Migrants have created wealth and jobs because Brits rely on welfare system. According to a study, migrants contributed about £6 billion to British economy. That is equivalent to a 1.5% cut in basic rate of tax. Immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as native brits. More then one in three of the doctors gained their medical degree from abroad. Without them NHS would grind to halt. One in ten students in British universities come from non-EU and they pay much higher tuition fees than native Brits. Without them British Universities would go bust. This means that there will be no end to immigration in the near future, because of the ageing population and low birth rates. Britain had " benefited immeasurably" from immigration.

During colonial days, British did not follow local customs or culture. They didn't exactly "go native". They even forced the native Americans and native Australian to adopt all the evils of their culture and customs. They are still the underdogs of American and Australian societies. At least Australian Prime Minister apologised to the natives for their evil deeds. Brits living in Spain and France don't even bother learning the language of the new adopted country. Frankly suggesting that people don't want to become "British" they should move elsewhere is extremely irritating. Immigrants are in UK because they are needed, it was never an act of charity. Without migration, British economy and society will bleed to death. British culture and customs will undoubtedly change as it has for millennium due to immigration. I am not quite sure why Brits would be worried about that.

Bilingualism is great. It's hard to be really educated without being bilingual, because speaking a different language creates a different world and gives you a totally different perspective on life. So immigrants who speak other languages besides English are a great educational resource. He knows not England/English who only England/English knows.

Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one's culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children's alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grand parents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.

God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family.

IA

London School of Islamics Trust

 
      
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