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English as Only US Official Language - Essay Example

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English as Only US Official Language

Other like-minded movements followed but none has so far prospered because of the chief argument that an attitude of intolerance towards languages other than English is undemocratic and impinges on individual liberties. The policy has nonetheless gained headway in at least 27 states, where pro-English laws or resolutions have already been enacted. On the federal level, two opposing lobbies have been organized represented by the English Plus movement that pushes for bilingualism, and the English Only group that clamors for monolingualism and for English to be declared as the only official national language. This paper dissects the pros and cons of the issue and evaluates which side makes more sense and a stronger case.
Topic Sentence 2 - Spanish is perceived to be the biggest threat to English since Hispanics comprise the largest number of immigrants in the US, such that more and more public utilities and documents are inscribed in Spanish especially in areas where there are large immigrant communities.
There are over 300 languages spoken in the US by people whose primary language is not English, but Hispanic immigrants easily qualify as the largest group of non-English speakers because of the proximity of the US to Latin America. According to the US Bureau of Census, in a tone that suggests warning, 100 million people of Hispanic origins will be all over the 50 states of the Union by 2050 (Lynch 11). Because of this large-scale immigration of Hispanics, Spanish has become the unofficial second language of the US (Rodriguez 3). This bothers Americans with native roots that perceive the growth of Spanish-speaking communities as a threat to English. Why is this predominantly used immigrant language in America considered a threat to English Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) explains that Spanish is making inroads into the predominant position that should be occupied by English among Americans. This is duality that must be avoided at all costs because "it would weaken American identity and sow the seeds of disunity and conflict." The possible weakening of the American identity and the potential of bilingualism to breed disunity is the battle slogan of such organizations as the English Only movement, Official English and the US English Inc., the latter a political lobby group founded by the late Senator from Alaska Samuel Hayakawa and Dr. John Tanton in 1983. These groups feel that English is losing out to Spanish and call for federal legislation to declare English as the official language, specifying that no other state law or policy shall be enforced that requires the use of any language other than English.

English Only advocates point to Hartford in Connecticut to show that English is retreating in favor of Spanish and that the threat is real (Mujica 5). Hispanics comprise 40 percent of the population of this typical American city, where half of its Spanish-speaking people do not speak English at all so Spanish is the ...Show more

Summary

Topic Sentence 1 - Bilingualism has long been part of the linguistic setting in the US as a nation of immigrants, but there is an increasing number of Americans born to the English language who feel that immigrants' languages are threatening to drown their own heritage and culture such that it is time to assert the predominance of English by legal fiat.
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