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Volunteer Teaching WIth the onset of globalism and the
WIth the onset of globalism and the world of commerce becoming more easily accessed, I find it important that we as English speakers spread the wealth a bit. There are many areas that this is relevant one being the world of tourism, better job opportunities for immigrants, a voice that can now be understood on a larger scale, and it can even affect the costs of overall emergency health care.
Tourism is no longer an industry for the rich leisurely. It is an option available to many who have a little money and a passport. Overall the population of people who can afford plane tickets and travel has increased dramatically. In some countries people are even expected to leave their home country and have a year abroad. This would make one think the level of living rises in the countries being visited, but sometimes this is not always the case. Many times it is not the locals who benefit but the wealthy investors from overseas. In many instances the locals are relegated to servant, chauffeur, or other jobs such as that. So what could be a huge exchange of culture, ideas, money and goods often turns into an exchange of services for money. We are all doing ourselves a disservice with this kind of behavoir. I believe that by volunteer teaching in some of these areas the rate of cultural exchange would increase along with the living standard of the locals. The whole world could benefit from the increase in cultural exchange and perhaps less culture would get lost if people got to have more control of the developmental circumstances in their areas instead of being at the whim of their developers.
Many English speaking countries are looked at as a ´Land of Opportunity´ by people from around the world. Every day thousands of new immigrants leave their home countries to find a better life. Although living standards may improve, they have only just began the battle of cultural assimilation. Many of these people are supporting families on low-income wages along with supporting extended family members in their mother countries. Often they have to work under poor conditions and for minimal wages. As a result their education is thwarted along with their rate of cultural assimilation. Studies show that nearly one fifth of hispanic immigrants in the United States live below the poverty line and 37% of that group does not carry a high school diploma. With volunteer teaching English to newer immigrants we can help them become better assets for whomever they are working and gain a culture more rich in it´s understanding and not only global in it´s trading but truly global in it´s content.
The price of health care is something that affects almost all of us. Many people who move to new countries have to depend entirely on the services of translators at hospitals and healthcare centers. Often times even if the translator is thorough, the rest of the staff may be ignorant of the sick or injured persons needs. This is often the case amongst Chinese people moving to the United States. They have an increased rate for developing type two diabetes later on in life (all though through poor diet and sedentary lifestyle the age is decreasing rapidly). After initial education and treatment many report a continued decline in health.
In a survey done with 52 Chinese Americans, the ones who preferred to speak English at the hospital scored an average of 85% on their knowledge of diabetes whereas those who preferred it to be in Chinese only scored an average of 63% on their knowledge of diabetes. Some seem to think that this comes from a lack of education after the diagnosis or information that is only related to dietary upkeep through traditional American cuisine which may do more harm than good for people who were raised on a completely different diet. Problems like these can really affect the overall price of healthcare due to more emergency situations that develop through a lack of understanding and health related issues. With proper education of the English language many people would be able to educate themselves on their own health issues more easily, take care of themselves, and spend less money on emergency health care costs.
I´m sure that there are many other reasons why we should increase the availability of English language education. As English is the official vehicular language of the world and as the world gets smaller our level of familiarity with one another will have to increase. No matter how we feel about leaving the country or having people coming to our countries, cultural mixing is something that is bound to happen. Let us use our language to empower those around us and to ensure that everyones gets heard as the world rapidly changes.
Krier, Brian, Bigotry Threatens The American Way of Life, The Temple News, 2007, www.temple-news.com
Writer unknown, Language Barrier Just One of the Road Blocks to Diabetes Control for Chinese Speaking Immigrants, Joslin Diabetes Center, February 7/ 2006, www.dlife.com
Writer unknown, Universal Language, www.wikipedia.com, April 10, 2007