Imagine what Christopher Columbus first said when stepping on American soil. Perhaps he said: “This land holds great promise.” Whatever he said the more fascinating question to ponder centers around what language did he speak, for Christopher Columbus, a multi-linguist, knew Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. So what happened to the diversity of languages in this land of promise? Many foreigners contribute to the melting pot of America, bringing their culture and language, yet American schools continue to teach just one language in today’s society. The heated debate among parents, educators, and politicians over a multilingual education in the United States began in the late nineteenth century. Over the next sixty years many crucial …show more content…
Government geared support for bilingual education in the 1970s, almost ruling bilingual education as a requirement by President Carter; nevertheless, President Reagan turned the country against bilingual education by undoing President Carter’s proposal, cutting bilingual education funds, and enacting English-Only Laws in more states over the course of the 1980s (Jost 1039) . Despite the lingering criticism from the 1980s, President Clinton reenacts the bilingual education law in 1994; however, President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, which requires all students to meet standards otherwise schools will receive penalties, negates the bilingual education law (Jost 1039). Since 1998, many states have passed loopholes bypassing the teaching of another language similar to California’s Proposition 227 stating the specific teaching method of English immersion, when students only receive instruction in English, for English language learners. Yet, other states like Utah and Minnesota have discovered the advantages and benefits of two-way bilingual immersion. Over these decades, the federal financial plays as the major culprit to the fluctuating support for bilingual education. Although the Total Spending Government Spending graphs, which includes Federal, State, and Local spending, from 1960 to 1990 demonstrate the increasing amount spent on education, the percentage of total money spent on education wavers from
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
All languages are important and realizing it will make you become a stronger, more diverse human being. We need take make an effort not only for ourselves but for other citizens living in the United States who don’t speak English; we need to make them feel welcomed into our country. Marjorie Agosín described that,”here in the United States, where I have lived since I was a young girl, the solitude of exile makes me feel that so little is mine, that not even the sky has the same constellations, the trees and the fauna the same names or sounds, or the rubbish the same smell. These are the dilemmas of one who writes in Spanish and lives in translation”(Agosin 599). Agosín has lived in the United States for quite some time now, yet still feels like she is living a life through “translation”. She should not feel this way, Agosin should feel apart of our country and feel as if she is a citizen. It is important for us to take a stand now to make language become apart of the curriculum within our school systems starting in Kindergarten, so that our children have a more diverse life filled with opportunities. One thing we know about the future for sure is that we will still have our knowledge about language, but it is how we use that knowledge that will depict how we will succeed in life and as a
• In 2001, No Child Left Behind replaced the Bilingual Education Act. This new bill was focused primarily on English Language Learners and brought about drastic change in both bilingual education and bilingualism
Here in America every single child is sent to school starting at the age of five years old for kindergarten, and sometimes as early as two years old for pre-school and continue on to get an education late into their twenties, some even going on to take classes the rest of their lives. Education in America is something that is readily available and even is required by law, but taken for granted by many children. On flip side third world countries often do not have schools or public education mandated by government, and most times it is not even available when most children yearn for it. Education is taken for granted in America, and in third world countries where education is almost completely absent something can be learned from their
A serious issue will occur when 311 languages are spoken throughout the United States , and not one of them is recognized as the official language. I have personally experienced the difficulties of trying to communicate with individuals in my own community, because of the language barrier. This controversy has existed
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
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.
Immigration, legal or not, has been a problem for the United States for a long time. In the U.S., promoters of bilingualism have supported the use of other languages for public services, including government documents, hospitals services, voting ballots, and bilingual education. In their essays “A Nation Divided by One Language” and “Viva Bilingualism”, James Crawford and James Fallows claim that it is not necessary to declare English the official language of the U.S. On the other hand, in their essays “English Should Be the Only Language” and “Why the U.S. Needs an Official Language”, S. I. Hayakawa and Mauro E. Mujica argue that English should be made the official language. They contend that
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?
Language has clearly become a powerful force in many countries where different communities actually want to split apart on the sole basis on the language they speak. An article about Spain’s language diversity explains how people feel so passionate about their native languages that the country had to create autonomous regions for each of the major languages, and people are still fighting to have their language become the dominant dialect (Berdichevsky 276). This is also seen repeatedly in America’s history where immigrants to the country struggle to keep their languages alive. These immigrants realize the important role that language plays in keeping a community together, and many immigrants from the same country will choose to live by each other in America and are resentful when they are forced to learn English. My own great-grandparents chose to live in an Italian neighborhood in Ohio when they first came from Italy so that their culture would not be lost. This allowed my grandma to learn Italian as well as English, and even though she was going to an English school she was still taught the morals of her culture because she was able to talk with the older Italian people who did not speak English. My grandma says that this has helped her throughout life because even though she lives in America she says, “I respect my Italian heritage,” and that it has helped “build my confidence” (12 April 2003).
Even though one out of every four children in the United States is an immigrant or the U.S.-born child of immigrants, many schools are ill-equipped to meet their needs. Immigrant youth frequently are learning two languages, an incredible asset, but one that many schools have yet to learn to support effectively. Using multiple forms of communication in the classroom, along with supporting native language development, takes skill and practice. The demands of standardized testing often force schools instead to emphasize rote learning in English, neglecting the incredible asset of children’s native languages and much of what researchers have discovered about how children learn second languages. Related to bilingual language development, immigrant
First and foremost, I am an African student very proud to be an African and going through an American system of education. There is so much we learn as Internation students in America. For instance, being independent, being culturally aware and being open minded just to mention a few. I came to America when I was only 19 years old. In Africa, I am considered underage.
A survey done by the Center for Applied Linguistics in 2008 found that "The findings indicate a serious disconnect between the national call to educate world citizens with high-level language skills and the current state of foreign language instruction in schools across the country"(Cal:Research). This is concerning as all of the competition for the U.S. is gaining a step and we 're doing nothing . If the U.S. expects to continue to be competitive in the global market we need to have bilingual citizens. In order to ensure this, we must require a foreign language be learned in high school.
From the time the Pilgrims landed in this great nation at Plymouth Rock, immigrants have been culturally diverse and have spoken many languages. When the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, they did not know how to communicate with the natives. Through intense study the natives learned the Pilgrims’ language. Even with the common language they were still a melting pot of different culture. Some would say that America has gotten over the language/ cultural barriers and now almost everyone speaks the common language of English, but there are still many immigrants who do not know English. Bilingual education is put into public schools for this reason, so that immigrant children can be assimilated to English gradually. The national language