Grandmothers Tell a Story

Immigrants know the advantages of being bilingual and bicultural, as well as the frustrations. Host societies can be intolerant and impatient towards bilinguals, who have to interpret constantly. Nothing is simple once you have two words for one thing and two grammatical frameworks. Everyday speech is either difficult when it fails or magical when it works. This amounts to linguistic sophistication that schools are slow to recognize. The arbitrary nature of language is no surprise to people who live in two or more languages. Bringing bilingual families into their children’s formal education benefits students with enhanced self–esteem, and it also boosts the resolve of parents. Ultimately, schools learn to love the sophistication of difficulty and diversity.