English as a national language of America - Essay Example

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Should English be made the national language of America? National language can be defined as the widespread prevalent language in a specific region or country. It can be seen as a symbol of national identity since it has a special affiliation with a people…
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English as a national language of America
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Download file to see previous pages Noah Webster is regarded as the founding father of the American English who realized the need for standardization of the language and worth of linguistic identity (Language Translation Inc., 2006). According to surveys, English is considered as the official language in fifty-one countries and in twenty-seven states of America. Statistics show that it is the mother language of 82% of the population and almost 96% can actually speak it fluently, therefore we can conclude that English is in effect the national language of the American people. In spite of this, it is not recognized as the official language at the federal level and the states have adopted miscellaneous policies with some embracing English as the official language, others implementing no official language and still others mirroring the culture of bilingualism. Even 71% of the Hispanics voted in favor of English as the national language since this will escalate their chances of a achieving a first-class education, enhancing their earning capability, ensuing in better career prospects as well as empowerment. Although, there is plenty of desire and determination for migrants to learn English yet 5% of the population still fails to comprehend it so implementing it officially will give a boost to this particular segment of population. A report published in the Monthly Labor Review America affirms that migrants don’t learn English quickly when excessive linguistic welfare is made available to them. As a consequence, immigrants are demoted to lesser rewarding jobs and are hindered in achieving the American dream. United States is composed of people from diverse cultural backgrounds but the federal laws provide no right to non-native speaker to receive foreign-language services or information (King, 1997). Thereby, it can be deduced that knowing English is a prerequisite to become a citizen since it is the de facto national language that binds all American citizens into a nation. It is worth noting that states which implemented English as the official language have not proscribed the use of a foreign language in case of any public interest issue, for instance: tourism, medical, public safety, imparting foreign languages and other genuine needs. The government can afford to provide such services in the face of a compelling public interest but not as right for every citizen. Presently, more than three hundred languages are spoken in America and non-native speakers constitute around 5% of the total population (Maschi, 2012). Consequently, a redundant stratum of bureaucracy and costs will be inevitable if the right to receive services in various foreign languages is granted. Ultimately this burden would have to be borne by taxpayers. Although, many perceive learning English as racism but the argument does not hold weight since discrimination is based upon inherent characteristics like religion, color, race which are unalterable. On the other hand, every individual has the choice of learning English to communicate and blend in the American culture. But, advocating that learning English is extremely difficult for a specific race is biased. An official language does not inhibit free speech but only serves as a pre-condition of intellectual capacity for civic involvement. Similarly, educational system would profit from statutory encouragement to promote competency in English and discouraging linguistic preferences which would enable the students to make a successful ingress into the social and political system (Pullum, 1987). None of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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