Breaking through boundaries

This year I served as a substitute English teacher in a second-language class at the junior high level. Unfortunately, many students do not really want to learn English. Spanish is seen to be more desirable, and the speaking of Spanish to and from class and in class is encouraged by teacher aides. In talking with the children, I realized there exists a belief that North America will become bilingual. Mrs. Judy Little LaVerne, Calif. I read with a great pleasure Ann Taylor's ``Lost course in the banquet of literature'' in the July 9 Monitor's Home Forum. Her essay on essays appropriately appeared in the only newspaper of which I am aware that brings to its readers the same fresh literate insights on ``all sorts of subjects'' as do the essayists.

As a teacher trying to cultivate the reading habits of future professionals, I urge them to read the essayists and the Monitor. One contemporary essayist not mentioned by Ms. Taylor (who obviously could not name them all) is Lewis Thomas, who has a great attraction for students. His work meets the description quoted by the author: ``The highest expression of the civilized intellect.'' Jack A. Hiller, Professor Valparaiso, Ind.

Re the article July 5 on explorers.

It is amazing that people can be so quickly forgotten. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Martin and Osa Johnson were household words. They were America's most famous African explorers.

Their story started from modest beginnings and ended with a safari in the grand manner. They wound up buying two airplanes and covering the continent from the Cape to Cairo by air.

I have been trying to revive interest in this intrepid pair and their many narrow escapes. The Johnsons' aim was to make a pictorial record of primitive animal life before it was further contaminated by civilization. They shot 200,000 feet of motion picture film. Their expeditions were backed by the Museum of Natural History in New York and George Eastman, who accompanied them on one of their expeditions.

The Johnsons' last feature picture was titled ``Congorilla'' and was distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox. Julian Olney Glastonbury, Conn.

Those who agree with the Reagan administration's stand on comparable worth do not understand that women have been ``ghettoized'' into the lower-paying, career-stifling job classifications [``New fury over pay scales for women,'' June 19]. It is precisely because these jobs tend to be viewed as ``women's work'' that the pay scales are set so artificially. One need only look as far as the nearest hospital and compare the wages and job responsibilities of two classifications of employee -- one predominantly male and the other female -- in this case a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a custodian. In most cases custodians are paid more than LPNs, while these nurses are responsible for nearly every facet of a patient's care and well-being.

Comparable worth seeks to remedy the wage inequities based on years of sex-job stereotyping and sex discrimination. Steven B. Cook Haslett, Mich.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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