Bilingual is Better
Oct
07
2011

NPR and Latinos in the U.S.

Posted by:  |  Category: Bicultural Vida, Daily Blog

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NPR and Latinos in the U.S.

{Photo by: makdune}

I’ve been a fan of NPR for a very long time for a lot of reasons, but mainly because, as a journalist, I feel there’s little quality news programming left out there. If you listen to NPR, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, then this would be a great time for you to check it out.

Starting next week, NPR will begin a series entitled Two Languages, Many Voices: Latinos in the U.S. on Morning Edition. The series will run from Monday, Oct. 10 through Monday, Oct. 17. As soon as we found out, we knew we wanted to share this with you because many of the topics to be covered in the series are not only of utmost interest, but relevant to many of the conversations we have in this space.

Check for yourself what will be covered in Two Languages, Many Voices:

Dual Language Public Schools in Iowa – Mon. 10/10

Really? Yes! There’s a place in the state that’s the first majority minority town where, over the last 30 to 40 years, Mexican immigrants have moved to work in a meat processing plant. Many of them have stayed and made West Liberty their home. The town has a strong Latino culture, including dual language programs in its public schools, and now others (read: non-Latinos) want to take advantage of this.

I’m really looking forward to this story because, while I know Latinos are pretty much anywhere in the country, I find it fascinating that given the anti-immigrant sentiment we currently live, some people are able to appreciate the contribution of immigrants and the value of the Latino culture and everything that comes with it. Along with the on-air story, NPR tells us there’ll be all sorts of multimedia content online, including photos and maps.

Bilingual Families & Technology – Wed. 10/12

This report will look at how access to technology differs depending on the language you speak. In other words, while you might be able to access the internet, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to find all the useful information it has to offer if English is not your dominant language.

The part I’m interested in is the reporter’s visit with a three-generational bilingual family where everyone has the same technology, but not the same access to the internet. 

Oldest Bilingual Immersion School – Friday 10/14

NPR’s education correspondent Claudio Sanchez reports on Coral Way Elementary School, which is in Miami and has the oldest bilingual immersion program in the nation. While it started with a bilingual program to help English language learners – in this case Cuban exiles in the 60s –assimilate to their new environment, it is now a dual language immersion school. (Oh, how I miss Miami!)

As you can imagine, this is right up our alley – especially because Sanchez will explore what we all want to know: why haven’t more schools adopted this immersion model? Plus, we’re super excited to announce that we’ll be interviewing him about this story and the topic as a whole some time next week, so be sure to come back for that.

In fact, we’re working with NPR to bring you not only that interview, but also previews of some of the programming they’ll have starting next week. By the way, besides the stories mentioned above, there will also be others on marketing, religion and Hollywood – definitely something for everyone.

What do you think about NPR dedicating a whole week to topics related to Latinos in the U.S. Which story sounds the most interesting to you? Why?

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