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Teacher Reports on Newt Gingrich's Spanish Progress

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Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, aims to soon be able to give interviews in Spanish, according to an article inThe Politico, based on an interview with his private Spanish tutor.

A couple of months ago Mr. Gingrich offended some Latinos by equating bilingual education with "the language of living in the ghetto," according to news reports. He later appeared in a video on YouTube in which he tried--in Spanish--to clarify his comments. See my earlier posts, "More on Newt Gingrich's Spanish Lessons," and "Newt Gingrich Offers an Apology of Sorts."

At the time the video was made, Mr. Gingrich's Spanish fluency level was mid-intermediate, according to Ricardo Gonzalez, his teacher from an Atlanta-based company, Bilingual America. According to today's article in The Politico, Mr. Gonzalez sat in on the recording of Mr. Gingrich's message on YouTube to make sure the former congressman didn't make matters worse in the clarification.

Mr. Gonzalez says Mr. Gingrich is on track to be able to give interviews in Spanish by fall.

3 Comments

I´m not sure what is the purpose of this coverage of Newt Gingrich´s studying Spanish. But if the purpose is to make fun of him for doing so, then it is absolutely out of order. We should be encouraging more people to study Spanish and other languages.

Gingrich's learning Spanish or any other language has to be a "good thing." It might make him more sensitive to the pitfalls and perils of second language acquisition, and senstive to the plight of people trying to negociate the English language.

You would better serve your readers by focusing on the language learning and its benefits rather than try to get political. I frankly am not interested in your opinion of Newt Gingrich's politics of learning spanish. How does the fact that you think he insulted latinos have anything to do with language learning? I speak fluent french and I am learning spanish. I am totally against illegal immigration. Are the two mutually exclusive? I don't think so. So stick to language learning. I don't think the world needs to read another liberal viewpoint. There are already enough of those to go around without you adding to the heap.

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