America and the English Language Essay

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America and the English Language

To what degree do the words you use define the person you are? This is a central question in the hotly debated issue of making English the official language of the United States. If English did become the official language, the rights of people who do not speak English would be violated and the nation would be further segregated. Just as schools were segregated in our past, this again would show that segregation equals discrimination. People must understand that every citizen deserves the right to celebrate their diversity. The government need not interfere with the words that come out of people's mouths. In a country torn by prejudice and segregation, the official language should serve as a reminder
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But, how can America promise that if its laws are intolerant to the immigrants languages? By not accepting their language, they are immediately set up to be an outsider. They are seen as foreigners as opposed to citizens. People who don't speak English are often assumed not to be Americans. In order to assist in the conversion of the immigrants to a new society, is necessary to provide them with signs, documents, ballots that they can understand.

As Dickstein points out, denying them of materials in their language does not help them learn English any faster. He proposes that America should not be "English-only but strive to be English Plus." By this he means that we should not prohibit the use of other languages in order to make immigrants speak English. On the contrary, he suggests that "English Plus, like English-only, demands that everything feasible be done to encourage all Americans to achieve a minimum level of competence in English and to share a vision of what it means to be American." People who do not speak English should be responsible for learning the language. America should make access to English classes more attainable and widespread. After all, a person does not just pick up a language because the government requires it. It takes months or even years of practice and hard work. So in the mean time, it makes no sense to deny them of articles in their own languages.

America was once described as a "melting pot". This…