English as the Official Language of the U.S.?

Topics: United States, German language, Official language Pages: 3 (681 words) Published: May 6, 2013
English: To Be or Not To Be the Official Language of the United States?

For years, there has been debate over whether or not the Congress should pass legislation which would make English the official language in the United States of America. On one side of the spectrum, supporters of the issue feel that official English would help to unify America under one language, thus promoting a faster, cost-effective and efficient way of communicating. On the other side of the argument, opponents feel that making English the official language would be a detriment to our unique “melting pot” culture and would discourage immigrants and tourists. Those against official English also claim that discrimination against non-native speakers may become a problem as well.

From the perspective of the opposing side, everyone has the right to their own language. By making English the official language of America the nation would be denying certain rights and services to those who are non-native speakers. Moreover, America is known to be a “melting pot”, a multicultural nation built and maintained by immigrants. It is they who bring with them their multitude of cultures and languages that give the nation its diversity. These different languages and cultures lend to the nation an uncommon uniqueness. Furthermore, as pointed out by Dennis Barron, official English may be unnecessary as “without legislation [the United States has] managed to get over ninety-seven percent of the residents of this country to speak the national language. No country with an official language law even comes close.” He goes on to explain that in today’s era, non-native speakers are learning English “faster than earlier generations of immigrants”. He proposes that, instead of official English, the United States should adopt "English Plus", which would encourage residents to speak both English and another language. By doing this, culture in the United States would be more universal and the U.S....

Cited: Inhofe, James M., and Cecilia Munoz. "Should English Be Declared America 's National
Language?" The New York Times Upfront. Scholastic, 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2012.
"Official American." PBS. Macneil/Lehrer, 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2012.
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