Review: Bilingual in America

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Bilingual in America
{text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Bilingual in America {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Shonese Warrington {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} AED/200
October 18, 2009
Kimberly D. Jackson
Bilingual in America
There are many ongoing debates on whether or not our children should learn more than one language. I feel that it is imperative in today’s society to know more than one language. Knowing more than one language opens up so many doors. It looks great on a resume to show that you are bilingual. Most people still have the misconception that Spanish is the language that is the only language that would be worth their time learning. Actually the 2nd most spoken language in the world is Chinese; Spanish is third followed by Japanese and then French. In order for our children to compete in the world market they must speak at least one of these languages in my opinion. Our population is changing and the world is becoming more diverse. We must expose our children to other languages and cultures so they realize that the world is much bigger than what is outside of our door and we must make an effort to communicate with everyone in it. It will help all of us as a nation and more broadly a world if will all have the skills necessary to effectively communicate with one another. It will make the world seem as if it is not so vast if we have the ability to express ourselves to one another and be able to do it in each other’s native tongue. Why do so many people believe that English should be the official language? According to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), "According to 1990 U.S. Census data, there are more than 300 languages spoken in the United States by people whose primary language is a language other than English.” While diversity is truly an asset, the government is tasked with ensuring that non-English speakers participate in our government. By discouraging assimilation through accommodation, the Federal government is doing a disservice not only to those who deserve the same opportunities as everyone else, but to society as a whole. American studentscould become bilingual. Why not follow in the footsteps of our neighbor to the north, Canada? In 1763, Canada was taken over by the English after being in French rule. England and France tried to work out things peacefully. English for the most part was adopted as the majority language, except in Quebec. In 1867, Canada officially became a bilingual country. The French language, however, was not greeted with favor. French speakers were greeted with hostility and many areas passed anti-French laws. In 1960's after years of fighting a new policy was set up, after Quebec threatened to succeed. Today, battling still occurs, over 20 years ago Quebec banned outside English signs. Would this ever happen in America? In a country teeming with diversity, where racism still thrives, yes it would. Do not think that it is only Canada with problems with their bilingual policies. Paraguay, for instance has a bilingual language system that is revered throughout the world, but its system has issues. Paraguay has problems with its educational programs because some children speak Spanish but most speak the native language of Guarani. If learning another language was part of the everyday curriculum here in the United States it would give our kids a great educational advantage. The vast majority of children around the world know another language as well as their native tongue. In Europe, for example, where different countries are as close together as the different state are here. It is imperative that the children speak several different languages because of the close proximity of the different countries they often times travel back and forth between them especially if their families live along the border of two countries. With the influx of people coming to the Unites States from all over the world it is imperative as students and even...
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