Lifestyle & Culture

Melania, We Have an Idea for You

November 10, 2016

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    Melania Trump / iStockMelania Trump / iStock

MELANIA TRUMP is not the first immigrant US first lady; that distinction goes to Louisa Adams, John Quincy Adams’s English-born wife.

But the first lady back in 1825 no doubt had enough to do with keeping the alligator* out of the President’s Office; she  probably didn’t have time to adopt a personal cause or project, as modern first ladies are expected to do. And here Trump has a unique opportunity to capitalize on her foreign roots.

The first-lady-to-be spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about her concern over cyberbullying among children (yes, she acknowledged her discomfort with her own husband’s tendencies in that direction). But there’s a path that would be just as natural for her, and one that might smooth over some of the rough edges of president-elect Trump’s preoccupation with immigrants: ESL.

Yes, ESL, English as a Second Language.

Never mind that English is Melania Trump’s fifth language; her championing of ESL classes would cast a friendly  spotlight on a discipline that is crying out for more teachers. Apparently 10% of students in American schools are in ESL programs, but less than 1% of public-schoool teachers can teach ESL. In some areas of the country, such as Texas and Florida, both of which awarded their Electoral College votes to Donald Trump, the need for such teachers is dire, according to the

During the 2009-10 school year, the US Department of Education said, 4.7 million students were classified as English language learners, meaning they lacked proficiency in the language. Most education programs and policy are established at the state level, but the federal government makes grants to the states to help fund these programs.

Just by talking about the subject in the national spotlight, Melania Trump could have an early, and positive, effect on American life. In its own quiet way, an ESL project would underscore the sometimes-ignored fact that most of us Americans come from immigrant stock and had to learn the ways of our new land.

—Nancy McKeon


  • No kidding: The Marquis de Lafayette presented the beast to President Adams in 1827. He(?) was kept in the guest bathroom. And there were other creatures: The first lady raised silkworms, for fabric.

9 thoughts on “Melania, We Have an Idea for You

  1. Mairi Morrison says:

    I find Melania’s accent and way of speaking quite charming. I would not want her to change a thing. I realise President Trump was not preferred candidate of most folks in the corporate media but do try and be a little more balanced. Folks don’t come to a site like this for controversy.

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      I’m not sure what I wrote that offended you. No matter who you voted for, Melania Trump is the American First Lady now, and I was suggesting a project she could take on that would be beneficial to all.

      1. Mairi Morrison says:

        Did not say you offended me. I am not a snowflake and grew up with ‘sticks and stones’ as did Melania who by the way speaks five languages and has raised her son bilingually, yet every day is bombared with hate. Just terribly funny to me that on what should be a light hearted lifestyle site you lose the chance to celebrate our lovely first lady, perhaps by doing a roundup of her style or doing some reporting on her anti cyber bullying initiatives. That would be worthwhile. I’ll wait…not holding my breath

        1. Nancy McKeon says:

          Read my piece again and you will see that I note that our First Lady speaks five languages. (I didn’t know about her bringing up Barron as bilingual, which is a great gift for any child.)

          Melania is the most elegant and glamorous First Lady we’ve had in years (Michelle Obama had great style but downplayed the glamour; Melania harks back to Jackie Kennedy). But I’m afraid we cannot afford to buy the news pictures that show Melania in her fabulous outfits–you’ll see them around online, but often they’re pirated, and we don’t want to do that.

          1. mairi morrison says:

            Will have to disagree re Michelle being stylish or downplaying glamour. Just cause you say it doesn’t make it so. #fakenews.

            Folks go to lifestyle sites for fun not politics.

  2. Nancy says:

    Nice thought. But I’m still so sick to my stomach I can’t even grasp that she and her husband will be living in the White House. Hopefully, at least one of them will rise to the occasion. This is one way for Melania to do so.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Let us hope she does.

  3. Ginny Hamill says:

    Very constructive idea

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      And, we need more like it!

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