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Communicating Effectively in the New Global Office

why he had brought up the Middle East. Before I could tell him India was in South Asia, not the Middle East, he said, “I got two diplomas and several certifi cations and I am training to be a manager.” I nodded. He was the oldest worker in the store and talked like he knew what he was talking about. I asked him for some advice. ch a p t e r n i n e English English / 79 “What do you think I should do in order to do well in this job?” Ron made a study of me. “See, the problem witchu is that you don’t speak English. So, fi rst of all, you need to learn the

many years, marrying an "Hija del Pais" (child of the country) and having a large family of children. The title was made out in form. I paid for the stamp paper and saw him take the tittle to the best of reccolection. This was one of many cases proformed at the time by me. I remember this one more than some others becaus I had to be an interpreter for [him] and a man who had a Mexican wife & half grown children who could not speak English. I slept in K . house on this ranch 2 or 3 times, I think in 1848. Saw many animals & fields of vegetation, etc.

membership were mostly blurry with one critical exception: speaking English. Among the people we l i v i n g l o c a l l y , t h i n k i n g n a t i o n a l l y 189 interviewed, from staunch assimilationists to ardent multiculturalists, speaking English stood as the preeminent symbol of Americanness. The presence of immigrants intensifi ed that belief. Aside from speaking English, there were few other commonly held informal criteria for national belonging. In fact, interviewees were open to multiple ways of expressing an American identity, including those

workers’ encapsulation in a Spanish-speaking world derives from the nature of the jobs the employers provide: “In the case of a steward or dishwasher who hardly has guest interaction, when you can’t find someone who speaks English, we would waive the requirement, because, let’s face it, there aren’t that many English-language people who would be dishwashers.” It was not only grunt work in the service sector that seemed to attract a similar labor supply. Factory managers had the same problem; one re- spondent, for example, who had been searching for a driver, “couldn

up her laughter as she pointed to the other direction. “The bathroom,” she emphasized, “is right down the hallway.” I was so embarrassed that I refused to try to speak English again. I was so afraid that other people were going to laugh in my face again, and I wasn’t going to let that happen. After a while, my parents noticed that my English was not improving a bit. Everyday after school, they would ask me to speak in English, but I would always refuse and went in the living room to watch Chinese tele- vision programs. Frustrated, my parents decided that this

341 13 On Fallen Nature and the Two Cities nEry GabriEl lEMUs Perhaps one of my earliest recollections of prejudice that I can remem- ber happened around the age of eight. I recall boarding the RTD and having to explain to my mother what the bus driver said about the bus fair. The bus driver scornfully remarked, “Doesn’t your mom speak English? We live in America.” Indignation filled my small frame, and I felt like beating the crap out of that bigot. Somehow I knew there was a lack of empathy and a sense of contempt spewing from that man. That childhood


spoken in the United States and nativity of speakers, ca. 2010 / 225 33. Language spoken at home and related social characteristics for the largest immigrant groups and the native-born, 2010 / 228 Tables | xv 34. English-speaking ability of immigrants from largest source countries, 2010 / 230 35. Ability to speak English “very well” by age at U.S. arrival, decade of arrival, and highest education attained, among selected immigrant groups who speak a language other than English at home, 2010 / 232 36. The new second generation at a glance, 2008 / 265 37

. Bilingual bakery sign in East Harlem, New York, 2017. Nick Vossbrink, courtesy of Nick Vossbrink. epilogue . 255 children. Although the plaintiff s won their case, the testimony displays embedded prejudices against Spanish speakers. Rather than acknowledging the validity of regional distinctions in pronunciation or accents of students with limited English-language skills, district court judge Paul S. McCormick resorted to generalization. “A person may be of Spanish descent or origin, ancestry, and yet speak English perfectly as far as grammatical expression is

, in order for American national identity to be cohesive, immi- grants must not simply speak English, they must speak only English: “The remarkable rapidity and completeness of language transition in America is no mere happenstance, for it reflects the operation of strong social forces. In a country lacking centuries-old traditions and culture and receiving simultaneously millions of foreigners from the most diverse lands, language homogeneity came to be seen as the bedrock of nationhood and collective identity. Immigrants were not only compelled to speak English