English Required? You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

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The Ladies Professional Golf Association recently announced that tour members must be able to pass an oral evaluation test in English or face a suspension.

The LPGA plays in other countries and is made up of players from around the world. In other words, the LPGA is actually a world tour not just a United States tour.

Please do not misunderstand. The LPGA has the right to make guidelines for membership just as any group does. Failure to comply with the guidelines means an individual would no longer be eligible for membership. Just like Active Rain has membership guidelines and the various groups within AR have guidelines.

Let me paint the picture. A world wide organization is requiring their members to speak English well enough to pass an oral test. I'm not going to bring up players with disabilities (like deafness) and debate if they should be allowed to play on the LPGA tour. That is a different blog.

What I want to know is if this world organization can implement this guideline, why can't American public schools or the state Department of Motor Vehicles require an English proficiency exam?

There are non-English speaking students in school systems all over America. Why then can local schools not require students to pass an oral evaluation test in English to be able to attend that school?

Meanwhile at the Department of Motor Vehicles, if a potential driver can not pass the written portion of the test in English, he/she may request the test in another language. There are drivers on streets all over America unable to read, write, or speak English.

A statistic that is often used to debate against having English only DMV tests is that approximately 1 in 3 vehicles on the road do not have the state mandated minimum liability insurance. The idea is that if a non-English speaking person is not able to obtain a drivers license then the individual will not be able to purchase insurance.

That is not true. There are insurance companies out there that will provide coverage for individuals who have a DL issued from a foreign country.

Should we not be able to suspend these non-English speaking individuals from participating in the American way of life?

Immigrants to America who have completed their naturalization process passed a test. 

So I ask, If the LPGA can do this, Why can't American schools and the DMV?

It is the power of the Corporate Dollar.

Corporate sponsorship of the LPGA and the Pro-AM event the day before the tour event provides the majority of the money. Sponsors and amateurs who pay thousands of dollars to play with the top professionals want to be able to communicate effectively with the stars of the tour.

Now the question to you:

Do you live by principles? Or do you live by convenience? Do you run your business by principles? Or do you run your business by the power of the bottom dollar?

Rick Trowe and I'm Standing Up!

Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Interesting post...I'm going on principles here. Business also principles.

Aug 27, 2008 01:39 PM
John Tooley
John Tooley Insurance Agency - Owasso, OK

I think that this will always be a touchy point.  On the one hand we need a common standard for safety ability to conduct business, on the other hand I am continually impressed by the drive displayed by those immigrants that I meet whether English is their primary language or not.  However, those immigrants that I have spoken with who speak English indicate that this was a requirement for their citizenship.

Aug 27, 2008 03:41 PM
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

If you live here in the USA, and you are a citizen, you need to at least have a 6th grade command of English...JMHO.

Aug 27, 2008 04:16 PM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Interesting post!  At first I thought you were going to go the route of "inclusiveness" where we all need to just love one another, go green and sing "I'd love to teach the world to sing..."

However, you didn't!  Whew!

Point well made.

Not that there's anything wrong with loving others...

Aug 28, 2008 11:57 PM
Ronald Gillis
Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent) - Port Charlotte, FL
CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY

Yikes, I'm shocked about LPGA.  Like you said, they are international.  As far as schools go, I even think Karen has too low of a standard, although I realize so many are not at that level, it is astounding!  Certainly not sure there is an answer, or at least I don't have an answer, but you have a great point!


Aug 29, 2008 03:45 AM
Ann-Marie Clements
Candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Saint John, NB
Ed.D. candidate, Innovative Proactive Principa

Hi Rick, I have an LA jazz musician brother named Rick and a brother-in-law named Rick also.  Funny Eh! 

I believe that the "International" LPGA are limiting their competition by requiring an English Proficiency test before any international tour members can participate.  That gives the local Americans, Canadians & British tour members an advantage to winning the tour, but simultaneously limits the competition.  This is not smart business sense, because many of those potential foreign members will take their participation and their followers to another tour that will accept them, with that potential revenue going with them.  This no longer is a healthy competition.

As I've said in other blogs, you can't be proficient in a language for at least 5-6 years of using and studying that language, since you need to simulate it and understand the logic in it.  I was born in the U.S., but spent my first 5 years in Italy, so when I came back to the U.S. as a Kindergarten student, it took til the end of 5th grade or the beginning of 6th grade to really feel like an equal.  This was way before they had ESL (English as a Second Language).  The American's who think otherwise, should give it a try!

My grandparents from Italy and France, didn't learn a whole lot of English, but both my parents did, because they worked for Air France and had to make a good living in the U.S.  I do believe that anyone who enters the U.S. to stay, should learn English, but for people just competing in athletic or business deals should have an option to learn it, only if they want to.  That's what translators are for. 

Another way to approach this, is many of our U.S., Canadian & British business men & women don't bother to learn another language, even though they are traveling abroad to other countries that require it.  Most of them, think that it's the other countries obligation to learn English to work with us.  We have to be careful that other countries don't also "start the requirement to speak their language in order to do business with them", because we are demanding "English" on their citizens to compete in athletic competitions or anything else.


Aug 29, 2008 05:39 AM
Rick Trowe
Cerium Learning - Tulsa, OK
Go With Trowe

Thanks Bob - I will call you later

Ronald, thanks for the comment and the invitation. I want people who are living here, working here, going to school here to attempt to learn the language. But the LPGA members are clearly in a different situation.

Ann-Marie: thanks for your input. I value your opinion. You are a well traveled and educated person. A local sports radio guy who played MLB for a few years & also in Japan said he knew enough Japanese to take a cab, or order a meal in a restaurant, but couldn't conduct an interview w/o an interpreter. I think an interpreter in for the LPGA would be sufficient. If you were 1 of the best in the world at what you do & I could spend an afternoon hanging out, I don't care if we have an interpreter or speak directly. I would make it work.

Aug 29, 2008 10:03 AM
Kevin McGourty
Realty ONE Group - Phoenix, AZ

Rick - Good point...but why should the LPGA require all members to speak English. Maybe it should require all members to speak the three or four major languages in the world? I love America, but I don't like our "Self-Centered, World Revolves Us (or U.S.)" all the time.

Sep 02, 2008 10:12 AM