ENG 122: English Composition II
Instructor: Deborah Busby
October 15, 2012
English as the Official Language of the United States
When people think of the United States of America what would be the first thing that comes to their minds? The first thing that comes to most minds is freedom of speech or freedom in general. As the United States stands today it does not have an “official” language. Thirty-one out of 50 states already have legislation designating English as their official language but it is still not the official language of the United States of America (Map in Which, 2012). Why does the United States need an official language? The main purpose is to preserve English as the common, unifying language of the nation, the states, and the individual counties, by coding it into law. There are many benefits that could come from having an official language. Having an official language could benefit education and government finances. There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to making English the official language of the United States. Any confused or misguided citizen should continue reading for more information. Why does the United States Need an Official Language
English as the common language will unify language of the nation, the states, and the individual counties, by coding it into law. According to Dr. Rosaline Pedalino Porter (2012) the two main objectives are: 1) Restoring the incentives for immigrants to assimilate and learn English. 2) Increasing savings in federal expenditures by discontinuing automatic taxpayer-funded interpreters, translated documents, websites, etc. There are no immigration enforcement provisions in this legislation. (Pg. 3) If English was established as the official language of the United States it would simply mean for the federal government to act officially (or with legally authority) it must communicate in English (Porter, 2012). Unless the government has a compelling public interest for using another language it would use the official language alone. An example of this would be multilingual information warning Americans about how to prevent diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. This would be an excepted area for translation. The government will not deny any person their right to retrieve important information. Services would also still be provided in the court room, in case an immigrant needs an appointed lawyer or does not fully understand their rights. Designating an official language will not take away from the citizens of the United States, it will simply improve our unity as a nation. Benefits of designating English as the official language of the United States Benefits of having an official language include saving money and educational success. An official language would promote literacy, which means every person would speak fluently in the English language. Classes are already provided for those who would like to learn English. These ESL (English as a Second Language) classes are offered for free online at http://www.sdce.edu/classes/esl. According to Daniel (2012) immigrants who fluently speak English in America earn about 55% more than American-born employees (Financial Benefits, para.1). Financial benefits would include immigrants, as well as the government. Educational success would also come into play. To succeed in your studies, you should place more emphasis on language. An official language also encourages unity. Most Americans think maintaining English as the official language is vital in preserving national unity. Another financial benefit includes the government. Due to the fact that the United States does not have an official language, many documents are often typed in different languages costing the government unnecessary money. The government would save money that would have been spent on translating various documents as well as offering...