LOS ANGELES — Mitt Romney’s Spanish-speaking son, Craig, has been invited to the finals of the Santillana National Spanish Spelling Bee at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N,M., on July 21.
The event offers the opportunity for all Spanish-speaking kids across the nation, be they mother-tongue speakers or children who are learning the language, to showcase their command of Spanish spelling. Thousands of kids have already been burning the midnight oil, learning complex words in the hope of being crowned the 2012 Spanish Spelling Bee champion.
Daniel Ward, editor of Language Magazine, the event’s media sponsor, thinks Craig should accept the invitation, “Not only would it demonstrate the Romney family’s commitment to universal education, it would also showcase their affiliation with the Hispanic community. Sure, it may infuriate English-only campaigners and some other conservatives, but they’re not likely to drop Romney anyway.”
Craig, the presumptive Republican nominee’s youngest son, stars in the campaign’s latest attempt to woo Latino voters - a Spanish-language television ad praising his father’s personal successes and dedication. He learned his Spanish during a two-year mission to Chile .
“Finally, we’re starting to celebrate the multilingualism of America. Craig Romney is a great example of a man who has benefited from acquiring a second language and the cultural understanding that comes from international experience. Instead of dumbing down our children, we’re recognizing that, like most of the world’s other children, they’ll need more than one language to succeed in our global village.”
As contestants prepare for the National Bee, they accrue valuable skills for academic learning. For example, they develop dictionary skills as they look up definitions, building greater understanding of the language. Spelling Bees not only validate and give equity to the Spanish language, but also contribute greatly to the development of a positive self-image for the contestants.