English Should Be Law?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 309
  • Published : April 16, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
English Should be the Law?
Whether or not English should be the law in the United States is an argument that is widely being considered. Some believe the United States should make English the official language, some do not. Various Americans believe it would unify the country by giving us a common thread, it would help immigrants in school and in the job market and it would be less expensive than having a multilingual nation. Many opposers of the law do not agree with it because they think they will lose their language and their culture, which is not the case. Many authors give substantial information in the text that it would help the country become more unified, it would greatly help immigrants coming to our country by giving them an even playing field in education and in the job market, also it would save the government and the taxpayers money rather than making the nation multilingual. In “Bilingualism in America: English should be the Official Language,” S.I. Hayakawa writes about how important it is that the government strictly encourages immigrants to learn to use English. Greg Lewis’, “An Open Letter to Diversity’s Victims” talks about how learning English in school would greatly benefit immigrants; especially later in life when they begin looking for a job. On a different note, but still quite similar, Myriam Marquez’s “Why and When we Speak Spanish in Public,” gives her view as a Hispanic. She also illustrates the importance of using English in most public settings, while still being able to speak your native language with your family.

In a nation where there are so many immigrants, with so many cultures, so many languages, so many races and so many religions, Americans could be united by using a common language, such as English. Hayakawa proves this by stating, “…by agreeing to learn and use a single, universally spoken language, we have been able to forge a unified people from an incredibly diverse population.” (Hayakawa 191). This means that Americans can become more united. If there were a common language enacted, a person would be able to communicate with others no matter where he or she goes or who they come into contact with. Even though Marquez is a Hispanic and her native language is Spanish, she says, “If I’m ever in a public place with my mom or dad and bump into an acquaintance who doesn’t speak Spanish, I will switch to English and introduce that person to my parents” (Marquez 201). She says this because even though she is Hispanic, she realizes that it is important that everyone can speak English so that they can communicate with each other. It is also obvious that it does not offend her to switch to English to speak with other. If English became the official language, more people would embrace it and less people would be offended by having to switch to English.

With the rising numbers of immigrants it is evident that they will need to go to school, and of course, later get at job. It will only benefit immigrants to learn English in school to help place them at an equal standard with competitors for jobs. There have been bilingual programs in schools across the nation and they have gotten mixed reviews. Bilingual programs would be beneficial if they were truly bilingual. S.I. Hayakawa says “that a truly bilingual program uses a child’s native language to teach English.” (Hayakawa 192). But there are so many programs that just teach English as a class instead of using Spanish, or another language, to gradually teach English, which would help the students come to speak fluent English. To support the claim of failing bilingual programs, there are parents of immigrant children, the children that these programs are made for, who do not support bilingual education. Hayakawa states, “In the Newhall School District in California, some Hispanic parents are raising their voices in criticism of its bilingual education program, which relies on native language instruction.” (Hayakawa 192)...
tracking img