The Official Language Movement

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The Official Language Movement

Bilingual culture in the United States is more recognized now but it still has a lot of resistance. More than one in eight people in the United States have Spanish or Latin descendants (Schaefer, P.236, 2006). Bilingual language is still taught in most schools in the U.S. California in 1997 voters supported Proposition 227, calling for the end of bilingual teaching in schools (Schaefer, P.243, 2006). This didn’t seem to help the schools but rather make them fund the bilingual education themselves. Several of the United States individual states have already declared English as the official language.

There is an organization such as U.S. English that is devoted to protecting English as the common U.S. Language (American Libraries, 1988). It supports legislation to make English the official language. Not only is the controversy in schools and politics but sports. A little League umpire stopped a semifinal game in Massachusetts because the assistant coach had given instructions in Spanish and insisted that everyone speak “English only” (Keedle, 2005). The U.S. English group in 1995 did a poll of their own asking, "Do you think English should be made the official language of the United States?" the pole revealed 86 percent of US citizens were in favor (Torres, 1996). Polls such as these taken are often disputed. These kinds of polls should be taken buy an unbiased 3rd party.


Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Edition, by Richard T. Schaefer, 2006 (pages 236 and 243)

American Libraries, September 1, 1988

Read Magazine, Should English Be the official Language of the United States? By Jayne Keedle, October 7, 2005

The Language Crusade, Torres, J. 1996
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