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What Are Your Thoughts About Commencement Speeches in Spanish?

High School Valedictorian Gives Speech in Spanish & Makes His Parents Proud

Posted by Jacqueline Burt

graduationThe way I see it, if my kid was graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, I'd be so deliriously happy and proud I wouldn't care what kind of a commencement address he gave. Shoot, he could get up there and sing Old McDonald Had a Farm -- he's valedictorian, woo-hoo! That's my boy! But I have to admit, the speech Orestimba High School valedictorian Saul Tello, Jr. gave at his graduation does kind of tug at the maternal heart strings.

It wasn't the content of the speech so much as the way he chose to deliver it: In Spanish, to honor his Spanish-speaking parents. Awww.

Of course, not everybody in the audience understood Spanish, which led to a bit of a problem.

Now, on the one hand, I get why non-Spanish-speaking audience members were upset -- it would kind of stink to not understand a word of the speech at your kid's graduation. But here's the thing: Originally, Saul Tello wanted to give the speech in both English and Spanish, but his principal, Jessie Ceja, told him there wouldn't be enough time. So Tello chose Spanish, for his parents' sake.

As a mom, I find that incredibly sweet. Plus, bear in mind that the population of California is 38% Latino. I'm sure his gesture was widely appreciated.

Apparently the school is planning to include inserts printed with both Spanish and English versions of the speech in future graduation programs, which seems like an excellent solution to me. Good luck, Saul!

Do you think giving his commencement address in Spanish was the right thing for this valedictorian to do?

by on Jun. 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Replies (391-397):
atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 23, 2012 at 8:35 PM

If people didn't conform years ago to English we would have these little areas that would speak, Croation, Italian, Polish, German, Spanish and so on and so on and no one would be able to speak to or with each other. 

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Jun. 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

That does exsist in almost every country of the world. There are many communities that are geared towards a specific race or religion.

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 24, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Every other country has a national language though that people do learn. Just like we used to be that way like I said. 

Quoting luckysevenwow:

That does exsist in almost every country of the world. There are many communities that are geared towards a specific race or religion.


Come join me at The Duggars Debate, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

annie2244
by Silver Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM
1 mom liked this

It's interesting that this post has veered to a debate of whether immigrants should learn the language, which, if this was the case, would have rendered unnecessary the Spanish-delivery of the valedictorian's speech.

The criticism of people who are not putting their reply in 100% correct English is ridiculous! If I don't voice my view in absolutely correct English that it's right to use English at a public function that celebrates scholarship in the us educational system (which has included in its core, the attainment of proficiency in English), then my view is invalidated??? I get that it's a little ironic, but invalid? Really? So, following that logic,  I have no credibility in voicing a view that dental health is important if I don't 100% follow daily dental health practices? I am not allowed to express a view that education is important if I don't have a doctorate?

Plus, I type my CM replies while on the treadmill often, and even if not, I'm not spending the time to go over my replies to fix any grammatical errors done in haste. Who cares? We're exchanging views, not grammar lessons.

Delivering a speech in front of hundreds in a language spoken by less than half the audience so that your personal audience members can understand it is indulgent, self-centered and rude! Giving a speech in other than the language of the country in which you have just been granted an award for academic excellence in the standards of that country, is ironic and insulting.

Bottom line? There were many options open to him that would have met the needs of the entire audience.

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM


Quoting annie2244:

It's interesting that this post has veered to a debate of whether immigrants should learn the language, which, if this was the case, would have rendered unnecessary the spanish-delivery of the valedictorian's speech.

The criticism of people who are not putting their reply in 100% correct english is ridiculous! If I don't voice my view in absolutely correct english that it's right to learn to speak english and use it at public functions, then my view is invalidated??? I get that it's a little ironic, but invalid? Really? So, following that logic,  I have no credibility in voicing a view that dental health is important if I don't 100% follow daily dental health practices? I am not allowed to express a view that education is important if I don't have a doctorate?

Delivering a speech in front of hundreds in a language spoken by less than half the audience so that your personal audience members can understand it is indulgent, self-centered and rude! Giving a speech in other than the language of the country in which you have just been granted an award for academic excellence in the standards of that country, is ironic and insulting.

Bottom line? There were many options open to him that would have met the needs of the entire audience.

Bottom line is the audience the speech was directed towards was the class. Each and every one of them understood English and got their diploma in English also.  You can think and write whatever you want to but we don't have to agree. 

Come join me at The Duggars Debate, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

woreoutmom5
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM

  Everyone keeps hollering that there is no official language in America....well, that's only because of all the fussy 'oh we have to be politically correct' baloney.... There should be an official language and it should be ENGLISH!  Doesnt mean other languages can't be spoken or respected...it just means we have one common and official language for everyone to work with. Sorry, but this country has spoken English for over 200 yrs.

It used to be a point of pride of immigrants to learn English as quickly as they could- they were PROUD of being Americans. So- are those coming to America not proud of being Americans? If so, learn the language... and if America is somewhere that you wanted to come in the first place...then be proud to be here, and understand that it is the values and cultural mores (sp?) that have been here for 200 yrs that makes America America.

If every immigrant wants to bring in their cultures from countries, situations, governments, etc that aren't working out (the reason they left there?) then do people not understand that eventually we will be plagued by the same problems, situations, etc?  

If you come to America... be proud to be here and be appreciative of what this country has given you and all the opportunities, etc this  country is currently giving you !

Also, note for all of us born Americans... we need to learn to be Proud and Appreciative of our Country and all the opportunities, etc that we have as Americans.

   Just sayin'  !!!!

doodlebug612
by on Jul. 6, 2013 at 9:42 AM

We will figure something if and when we do become the minority.

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