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Hispanic American Diversity - Essay Example

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Hispanic American Diversity Date Abstract The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: (1) to describe and present an argument regarding bilingualism in the United States; and (2) to relate two different Hispanic groups in the concept of bilingualism…
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Download file to see previous pages Bilingualism or knowing a second language can break down the linguistic barriers and promote international peaceful relations. The United States has diversified population. One of these populations is the Hispanic Americans. From 1967-2006, there was a 100 million increase in the US population, 36% were Hispanic Americans (Ochoa & Smith, 2009, 215). Hispanic Americans are divided into Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, and Central American. Hispanic Americans are facing the challenge of adapting to the American culture and preserving cultural heritage. Hispanic Americans considered bilingualism as a tool that meet and satisfy both ends of acculturation and heritage. Bilingualism in the United States The United States has diversified population comprising different ethnic minorities. Debates as to whether English should be declared as a national language continuously battles those in favor of bilingualism. Knowing the reasons why Hispanic Americans had preferred bilingualism influenced my position towards bilingualism, thus, my position is in favor of bilingualism that preserves one’s cultural heritage while adapting to American culture. Bilingualism has started during the pre-colonial times and has gained general acceptance towards minority groups who wanted to acquire the United States culture but also wanted to preserve one’s cultural heritage (Fitzgerald, 1993, 35). Bilingualism was respected and appreciated during the pre-colonial days as it was used in trading, teaching, and spreading gospel. It also reflects preservation of heritage as an individual right. However, political will dominates the United States in 1880 and has turned out bilingualism into an intensified English fluency. The implementation policy of English instruction only in schools was encouraged after the Spanish-American war. During those times up to the present, the debate still continues regarding the use of bilingualism or the enforcement of English as a national language. No members of the minority groups argue that English should not be learned nor used and the debate centered not only on language issues but of the preservation of cultural identity through utilization of ethnic languages. Presently, bilingualism in the United States continues to face challenges, controversies, and issues related to its general use. An increasing number of immigrants particularly Hispanic Americans emphasized the importance of bilingualism in international transactions, technological advancements, and language minorities position of power and authority. Bilingualism among Puerto Ricans Two of the most populous Hispanic Americans are Puerto Ricans and Cubans. In terms of bilingualism, Puerto Ricans are more pervasive than other Latino groups (Fishman, 2001, 44). Brought by acculturation, an increasing number of Puerto Ricans increasingly used English languagebut had remained Puerto Ricans culturally and socially. Although Puerto Ricans easily adapted the process of language shift or bilingualism, one can still recognize the selective features of Spanish language. Puerto Ricans are flexible in finding a way to communicate with other races even with the monolingual United States but still integrate Spanish characteristics into the United States’ language to mark their identity as Puerto Ricans and to connect with the political reality of the island (Fishman, 2001, 46). The continuous divergence of language ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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