Job hunting roadblock: Bi-lingual required | INFJ Forum

Job hunting roadblock: Bi-lingual required

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Sloe Djinn, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Looking for jobs in CA. Not only is the competition brutal, but there is an increasing trend of requiring that applicants are bilingual. It seems as though 1 in every 3 advertised openings requires English/Spanish fluency.

    I realize that in a place like CA it is just business and that if one cannot access the spanish-speaking population that they are potentially losing out on a huge market share. It is frustrating though, as it almost seems like a new form of employment discrimination.

    My purpose for this thread is not to result in immigrant bashing or anything like that. I'd like y'allz thoughts on this though. Can you claim to be an equal opportunity employer when you require that an applicant be bilingual?


     
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  2. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    I kind of have to agree...it is frustrating. On the other hand we expect most of Europe to be bi lingual as well...its a slippery slope...
     
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  3. OP
    Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    I thought about the European example as well. The difference is that in the EU, odds are you're going to know 2 or 3 languages before you're even allowed to graduate high school. Because that is not a requirement over here, there seems to be an existing bias in favor of the bilingual Latino population.
     
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  4. Entyqua

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    true enough...we are required to take a foreign language here, but it is not necessarily Spanish. I took french fat load a good it done me...I think there should be some requirement for a second language, and it should be taught from elementary school on...none of this two years in High School it does very little to learn that old.
     
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    Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Exactly. I just wonder what kind of uproar that such a change in policy might create, and how quickly it could be implemented. Maybe it's just me, but this change in the landscape of the job market has taken me by surprise.

    The situation looks like a cultural powder keg to me.
     
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  6. Entyqua

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    We already have ESL programs in our schools. It would not be difficult to change them to language programs all around. I see nothing wrong with teaching our children other languages...They learn faster at a young age so many languages could be taught.

    It is frustrating, but it is also difficult for them to get jobs when they dont speak English at all. If you go to france, you try to speak their language and they respect you for it, will speak english to you. but if you just go around asking htem if they speak english, the will not help. we are not the only country with bi-lingual issues.

    I see no reason why the same should not be said here...to become a citizen do you not need to know a certain amount of the language?
     
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  7. bamf

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    Makes sense to me. Spanish is a widely spoken language in your area, so in a competitive business landscape why wouldn't they want someone who's bilingual? I'd call it being competitive, hardly discriminative.

    I'd also be careful to call the Latino population advantaged, especially the bilingual portion of it. Historically the education of Latinos has been along the lines of "knocking" the Latino out of them. For generations education was about making them act like everyone else, and to make them forget their heritage. Until about 30 years ago Spanish speaking students were placed in Special Education classes because the teachers simply didn't want to deal with teaching them English. Speaking Spanish (including being bilingual) was thought to be a cognitive defect.

    I see nothing wrong with what they're doing. If this is some sort of job discrimination, asking for a college graduate would also be discrimination. We don't have equal access to jobs, it depends on our skills/experiences.

    I do think that Spanish should be taught throughout school, but that'd never happen in the current political environment. Nationalism runs too high, and people would claim that it's a ploy to replace English as the national language. Being an ESL teacher it's really frustrating to not speak a second language fluently. I can get by with German, but none of my students speak German. French and Spanish are the most common (thanks to colonialization) but I digress.
     
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  8. OP
    Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Yeah. For grown professionals though it isn't as easy. I have a decent grasp of spanish with 3 years post-HS, but I'm not fluent. This would require some amount of immersion in a spanish-speaking environment. I've got three years of experience in mental health, but I am automatically exempted from a good deal of social service/mental health jobs because of the increasing need for professionals who can cater to a burgeoning population of people who cannot speak english =P.

    Lame. I want to help but I can't because I can't communicate. It's not only that. I'm not trying to get into social services to get rich, but I at least need to put food on the table.
     
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    Sloe Djinn

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    Mf, I agree with you, but note that I didn't mean that the bilingual latino population is historically advantaged. I am referring to the current situation only.
     
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  10. CoffeeShopDiva

    CoffeeShopDiva Community Member

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    I live in Canada. Here its hard to get a reception job without speaking fluent french.

    Its frustrating, but I totally understand why!

    I have taken French for many years, but I am in no way fluent.
     
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