Compared to other Countries, America stands less developed in bilingual abilities due to language requirements taught within our school systems curriculum. Being bilingual is an important skill to have in America, with multiple different prominent languages spoken within our country other than English, we are constantly surrounded by language. The problem that our country is dealing with now, is that we started with the idea that anyone that moved to America should adapt to our languages, instead of us Americans, taking the initiative to learn a new languages. In a report by Hyon Shin and Robert Kominski, showed the number of citizens in America that spoke a language other than English. The “data on speakers of languages other than English
The need for bilingual education is not directly related to the need for the student to have a more pleasant learning experience, but based more on the increasing need for these individuals to learn about their heritage, how they can present themselves to others in different scenarios, and being knowledgeable in both languages at a dual equivalence. The key
Bilingual education has been a debatable subject since its conception during the case of Lau vs. Nichols, in the early 1970’s. However, in that case, the court only ruling was that the children’s
Many community members think that if someone from another country wants to move to our society, they should come prepared. This leads them to the conclusion that we should not “Waste money,” on them. Also some say that it will distract other children and take away their precious learning time. For these reasons, some people say Bilingual classes are not needed at all.
Around 1959, bilingual education took flight in the United States. Starting in Miami and quickly making its way San Francisco, bilingual education soon led to the Bilingual Education Act, which promoted “No Child Left Behind”. Only twenty years later, the act acquired the attention of high schools around the country. Nonetheless, bilingual education is not always taken to be the cure-all for acclimating immigrants to the United States. In his article “Aria: A Memoir of Bilingual Childhood”, Richard Rodriguez argues that students should not take part in bilingual education by explaining how it takes away individuality and a sense of family through the use of ethos, diction, and imagery; Rodriguez also uses parallelism and ethos to point out how a bilingual childhood can help students feel connected to society.
The fifteenth chapter of Susan Tamasi and Lamont Antieau’s Language and Linguistic Diversity in the US is titled “Official English.” This particular chapter briefly looks into the history of linguistic laws in the United States followed by an examination of whether or not the United States should have English as its official language. Tamasi and Antieau provide multiple convincing arguments for each side of this issue, which consists of those for English as the sole language of government and those against such a measure. Overall, however, there are many underlying beliefs and nonlinguistic concepts—like national identity and history, politics, and economics—related to language and its usage in America. First of all, Tamasi and Antieau debunk
Although the founding fathers decided to leave the idea of establishing a national language out of the Constitution, there have been several movements to establish English as the national language since then. Even though none of these movements could garnish enough support to make this into a reality, they have been influential in that English is the official language in 31 states. In recent years, five additional states have considered legislation that would mandate English as well (Schwarz 2014). Since many individual states have sided on the issue, it poses the question of if the national government should follow the trend as well. A strong argument can be made that the United States should make English as the official language because it would promote unity and patriotism among Americans, be economically beneficial for the nation while rightfully placing the responsibility to learn English on the non-English speaking immigrants.
A common joke says “What do you call someone who speaks two languages?” in which the person being asked the question would usually respond with “bilingual.” It goes on to ask about those who speak three or four languages, but then there is a kicker. “What does one call someone who only speaks one language?” to which the punch line is “an American.” According to the 2006 General Social Survey, only 25 percent of American adults are fluent in a foreign language, while only 7 percent cite the source of this education to formal schooling (Devlin 1). Large amounts of evidence point to the benefits of being multilingual. Although the United States has a few laws that help immigrants assimilate through dual language programs, there is little to be
“Language is power. If you cannot understand or be understood you have no power. You are at the mercy of everyone.” – (Rudat, 1994, Stow, Dodd 356) Should Americans be required to learn Spanish as a second language? The construction of our nation stands on documents written in English, however English is not our official language nor has it ever been. America is a “melting pot” in which English is the most prominent language, followed closely by Spanish. Requiring Americans to learn Spanish is a great controversy; I strongly believe that it should be a requirement, because it improves academic achievements, career success, and cultural and social understanding. The controversy has great counter arguments such as the double standard Americans are held to, and further division of the country. Regarding the counterarguments, I still firmly believe that it should be a requirement because the integration of a second language in our schools is more beneficial to our country’s success as a whole.
Bilinguals in America experience unfair treatment and are looked at differently if English is not their native language. The subject of bilingualism is not a topic many are educated on. Uneducated English speakers use their dominance and popularity of their language to treat Spanish speakers like their language and culture does not belong in our country. Martin Espada and Richard Rodriguez speak of bilingualism in their well published essays, and they write about the struggles that American citizens face when they are bilingual in Spanish and English. This essay will clearly show each writer’s definition and arguments on bilingualism and my argument on the topic.
Language is considered a vital tool in the construction of someone’s identity and an expression of culture. English is the most widely spoken language in the world. The number of people who speak it as a second language is increasing dramatically. In the last couple of decades immigrants have chosen to make the United States their home, but some proceeded with caution by slowly adapting to the English language and culture. Others don’t want to learn and adapt to the English culture simply because they believe it will separate them from their own cultures and traditions. Therefore, the question struggling to be answered is, should English be the official language in the United States?
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Federal Bilingual Education Act of 1968, ended the War on Poverty. Bilingual education is the use of more than one language to deliver curriculum content. The bilingual education system is designed for students to become proficient in English, and also encourage students to become bi-cultural; and function in two, or more linguistic and cultural groups. The policy expressed U.S commitment to the needs of the growing number of children in the public schools, whose first language was not English. In 1968, the government passed the Bilingual Education Act, which required language minority students to be taught in both their native language and English. I myself had to undergo English as a
The problem with both bilingual education and English-as-a-second language instruction in the United States lies in our unwillingness to treat English for non-speakers as an academic subject (Haas, 2007). While the bilingual programs in California are thought to be mostly for people who speak Spanish, there are also Asian students that need to be taught proper English before continuing their education. As one anonymous teacher points out: "I have had 32 different languages spoken in my classroom over a 25-year period. Eighty-four languages are spoken in our district."(Anon 1998 & Haas 2007). Which for most teachers mean that it is both educationally and economically impossible to teach every student in their own native language.
Recently, the question of having an official language was revived due to public outrage after presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s controversial decision to speak Spanish on the campaign trail. This issue went dormant in the mid-1980s after a large push in Congress to establish English as the official language of the United States failed (King). However, with immigration coming to the forefront in the upcoming presidential election, it is now more relevant than ever. In light of the growing social and political unrest, specifically due to mounting racial tension throughout the country, the opposing opinions of the argument to create an official language need to be addressed in order to quell rising pressure between ethnic groups in the nation.
Growing up in a Hispanic household I was educated to only speak Spanish as soon as I entered the front door, nonetheless outside of our four walls, I was given the liberty of speaking pure English everywhere I went. Consequently, being a child of immigrant parents, who had difficulty understanding the English language my only job was to translate to Spanish in order for them to understand and respond in English in order for the other person to understand them. Ordinarily, I was not too fond of having to translate everything, rather it became an embarrassment for me. My parents stressed the idea that being bilingual will get one far in life, whether in school, a job or even just to communicate with others. At a young age, I could not comprehend why my parents expected me to be a bilingual child, until present years I have been able to appreciate the embarrassing moments of translation and the Spanish conversations I’ve had with my parents over the years. This advice has become an asset to my life; it primarily allows me to interact with a vast amount of people who share the same linguistic determinism. The concept of speaking more than one language is a true advantage in such a diverse country, as the United States. Though America’s mainland language is English there are many who believe that primarily those living in this country should exercise the English tongue. Democratic Representative Rush Holt writer of “Why Foreign Language Education Matters” he evaluates the