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Speaking in Tongues Documentary

  1. The film follows the stories of Durrell, Jason, Julian, and Kelly. Please list the reasons and motivations mentioned in the film as to why each student (and their families) were interested in an immersion language program.
  1. Did anything in the film surprise you? If so, what was it?
  1. Are there any other issues related to bilingual/dual language education that you think should have been addressed in the film? In other words, what other aspect(s) of dual language immersion should be addressed further?

The following two statements from people in the film summarize two different perspectives about bilingual education and/or immersion language education in the United States. After reading the two statements, write a short reaction/reflection (150 – 250 words) about where you stand on the issue. Please place word count at the end of the reflection.

  • “There is no country that has more linguistic assets. But we seem to take pride in being monolingual and we even try to amend our constitutions to make sure that we remain monolingual when the rest of the world under globalization is learning second and third languages while we are essentially shooting our own feet. It is a national question. What does it mean to be an educated person in America today?”

-Ling-chi Wang (Scholar & Activist)

  • “In this country, so much is offered to the children to speak other languages. We don’t have to teach it in school. We really don’t. It’s taken away from their other curriculum. In America we should speak English. This is America. I don’t think I should be paying my taxes for someone else to learn a language.

– Kelly’s Great-Aunt

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