English the Official Language of the United States of America

Topics: United States, European Union, English language Pages: 5 (1593 words) Published: January 17, 2009
English the Official Language of the United States of America

With immigration being on the rise today one of the most talked about subjects is the English language. As of today the United States does not have an official language. There have been many attempts to pass different laws to make English the official language of the United States but to no avail. Usually with these laws Congress is trying to impose different immigration laws as well that get the bill rejected. English should be the official language of the United States. Even with people’s rights to free speech, English should be the official language as it can reduce costs in healthcare and education. Since July 4th, 1776 English has been the unofficial language of the United States of America. “Today there are many languages spoken in the United States. Declaring English the official language is essential and beneficial for the U.S. government and its citizens. Official English unites Americans, who speak more than 322 languages (2000, U.S. Census), by providing a common means of communication; it encourages immigrants to learn English in order to use government services and participate in the democratic process; and it defines a much-needed common sense language policy” (U.S. English Inc. 2008). With no official language for the United States communicating is difficult especially for educators and healthcare providers. One of the many downfalls of English not being the official language of the United States is the difficulty for healthcare providers and educators. So many different languages spoken in the Unites States makes it difficult for people to receive the proper healthcare that they may need. According to Glenn Flores M.D. in his article Language Barriers to Healthcare in the United States “Inadequate communication can have tragic consequences: in one case, the misinterpretation of a single word led to a patient's delayed care and preventable quadriplegia. A Spanish-speaking 18-year-old had stumbled into his girlfriend's home, told her he was "intoxicado," and collapsed. When the girlfriend and her mother repeated the term, the non–Spanish-speaking paramedics took it to mean "intoxicated"; the intended meaning was "nauseated." After more than 36 hours in the hospital being worked up for a drug overdose, the comatose patient was reevaluated and given a diagnosis of intracerebellar hematoma with brain-stem compression and a subdural hematoma secondary to a ruptured artery. (The hospital ended up paying a $71 million malpractice settlement.)” (July 20th, 2006 para. 6). With so much confusion, just this one instance caused the hospital to pay a significant amount in a malpractice settlement which inevitably causes healthcare costs to skyrocket. Because there are so many more students enrolling in school that do not speak English it is getting more difficult to teach and inspire the students. Woolcock (2008) has said “Immigration is putting schools under immense pressure as they are having to teach record numbers of children whose first language is not English. One in seven pupils at primary school and more than one in ten at secondary school have an overseas language as their mother tongue” (para. 1). With the language barriers today it is getting more difficult for the teachers to effectively teach English and non-English speaking students. Today there is more pressure on teachers to be able to communicate with non-English speaking students, fortunately; there are many resources now available to teachers and students than ever before to make the learning and teaching process easier. There are many online resources available such as Free Translation by Transparent Language that can provide translations from English to a variety of different languages as well as those languages to English. There are many who believe that the English language should not be the official language of the United States. Some believe the...
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