Fallow's viva bilingualism - Essay Example

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He begins the article by offering a background of various initiatives that have been put in place in America to ensure that English is made the official language of United States. Various…
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Fallows viva bilingualism
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Download file to see previous pages He notes that the initiatives are based on American fears. One of the fears is that the human brain cannot be able to accommodate different languages. The other fear is noted that America’s fear that English language is likely to be edged by other languages. In his argument, Fallows notes that it is possible for the brain to accommodate different languages. He notes competence gained by those who speak various languages such as in Indonesia and Malaysia. Fallows further notes that countries such as Japan have been encouraging study of English as a way of boosting communication. This is seen as a way of boosting prominence of English language rather than a threat to the existence of language. Analysis of the author essay will help in highlighting the intention of the author.
The author makes several claims in the essay. The first major claim is that the reason Americans are against bilingualism is that they view it as polygamy. The perception of bilingualism as polygamy makes Americans shy away from embracing other languages. In America society, polygamy is seen as failing to work as it leads to skewed commitment to the spouse. Commitment of man to one wife is seen as depleting what is available for the other wife. The same analogy is used in the English language. The author notes that the perception is that there is less room in individual’s brain. Hence, commitment to one language such as Spanish would mean lack of room to learn and understand another language such as English. The author uses statistics to highlight the reason for such behavior. He notes “Ninety –nine percent of all Americans can happily live their lives speaking and thinking about no other language but English” (Fallows, n.d, p 260).
The other major claim by the author is that fear of bilingualism is based on perceived threat to English language. He notes that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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