Bilingual students to get language help

Feb. 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM
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MIAMI, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A Spanish language workshop was held in Miami to inspire educators to teach proper language skills to students caught in bilingualism, an expert says.

Gerardo Pina-Rosales, director of the New York-based North American Academy of the Spanish Language, held an all-day workshop Friday directed at helping teachers to perfect their Spanish language skills to pass their knowledge to students, The Miami Herald reported Sunday.

In an age when the English language is rarely spoken properly, similar problems are being encountered among Spanish-speaking students and those who are bilingual.

Many educators are critical of this so-called Spanglish, which proved embarrassing when used incorrectly at the American Music Awards.

An introduction was written, and apparently not vetted, for Enrique Iglesias. Two actors reading the TelePrompTer launching into the intro said: "Quiero introducir a Enrique Iglesias!"

Meaning they wanted to insert Iglesias into something, not introduce him to the audience.

"Ay," Gerardo Pina-Rosales lamented. "Using introducir instead of presentar is one of the most common mis-usages of Spanish."

"I'm guilty of speaking Spanglish sometimes, but I do it knowingly, and then I stop and think of the actual word in Spanish and correct myself," trilingual language expert Wilma Hernandez said. "It is a good exercise."

Correct pronunciations in Castilian Spanish is necessary to maintain a level of global understanding, the report said.

Toward that end, the language academy is working with the U.S. government to ensure documents and Web sites are written in widely accepted Castilian Spanish instead of Spanglish, or poor translations, or regionally influenced Spanish.

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