submitted by Jean Michaelides on 21.12.2006
From: Nicholas Laurantus
To: Sydney Morning Herald
The Editor, Sydney Morning Herald.
Brave New Ethnic World
Having read the long article under the above heading in S.M.IH. 2.6.78, I am wondering why the Eederal Government is bent on spending 50 million dollars on supposed migrant needs. A very large amount of cash for very obscure aims. I am an old migrant myself with 70 years residence here and of all the myriads of migrants that I have met, never did one of them ever complain to me for such need either in language or culture. And why should they? Here they enjoy their own language schools, churches, newspapers, clubs, societies, brotherhoods, “Glendie" and every conceivable form of social activity. In addition they have entered commerce, manufacture, trades, professions and even rural production. For all these privileges the migrants are grateful and for 99% of them this is their country.
But as regards the English language migrants should be left alone as we were during all this century. Not one dollar should be wasted because languages are acquired not taught. The youngsters of course whether born here or not must by law attend the excellent local schools where they will acquire perfect English in no time with natural pronunciation and all. All the rest of the migrants will learn in their occupations or from their children. The remarkable English language in its simplicity was never a problem to European people, hence its world wide popularity. Of course learning a language is drudgery and after middle age, almost an impossible task.
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