Reagan as Governor of California signed a bill eliminating the state’s English-only instructional mandate and allowing bilingual education. Proposition 227, that has reformed the thirty year old bill, has taken affect on June 2, 1998. The proposition introduces a new way of teaching the English language to immigrant children. Such proposition is also called “English for the Children” or simply the Unz initiative after its author and chief financial backer, Ron K. Unz, a Silicon Valley millionaire and conservative Republican who has no children or background in education and has never set foot in a bilingual education class. “The Unz initiative calls for one year of courses taught in English, with an emphasis on learning the language; a system that many fear is a return to a past when children were sometimes punished for speaking Spanish, but that others say is a return to sanity” stated Don Terry in his article Bilingual Education Facing Toughest Test.
The founders of the United States of America were aware of the importance of the language of nation building. A nation’s language was thought to be the essence of national culture. There were movements to make English as the official language but failed in their attempt. Making English as the official language promotes unity among the people, serves as a means of communication for immigrants, helps in business, and cut government spending on bilingualism. For years, there has been considerable debate on whether English should be the official language of United States or not.
According to the U.S. census of 2012, 87% of Americans believe that English should be the official language of their proud country(Pro English). Even the states that make up the U.S.A. agree that English should become national. These states began a movement by making their official state language English. In the United States, there are currently 31 states possessing the official language of English(Krauthammer pg.145). Interesting enough, the majority of people who argue against English becoming official believe it would offend the American people.
We are trying to make America a unity, not to break it apart. Changing the national language to english in America has more cons than it has pros. It would not do any good to have a primary language and it would not make the land any stronger than it is now. America has been a country since 1783 and for 231 years as a nation, we have been perfectly fine without a primary language and has became a unity without one. Works Cited Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, Robin Dissin Aufses.
These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade Anya Kamenetz author of "Tough Week for the Common Core" writes that “[t]he Common Core [is] not, strictly speaking, national standards. They were developed independently of the federal government, and states are not under a mandate to adopt them,” but then goes on to say that the “standards received a big boost in the form of funding incentives from the Obama administration” (1). These “big boost[s]” are what concerns many like Bobby Jindal. “A few years ago, Jindal was one of the Common Core 's biggest proponents. But he has since had a change of heart” (3).
This fact juxtaposes paradoxically with the necessity of speaking English for success in our society, and the dying out of many languages native to immigrants after the third generation. Since no official policy at the federal level governs the official language of the United States, nor the teaching of foreign languages until after the Second World War, language education in the U.S. remained a patchwork of local policies. During the Cold War, foreign language education policy became a larger national concern, yet the establishment of foreign language education abutted a long-standing “English Only” attitude in the U.S. The two are linked, as the decrease in students studying foreign languages can be directly tied to the xenophobia during World War II that, in some cases, outlawed the teaching of foreign languages. William Riley Parker directly links the two, citing that the decrease in students studying foreign language was a result of the phobia of Germans that swept the nation during the 1940s.
The war’s purpose was to instill democracy, yet the war was waged with a lack of a constitutional warrant. What started as a few people protesting turned into the majority being opposed to the Vietnam War. The movement involved only a few dozen organizations in 1960, and overtime produced twelve hundred antiwar organizations a decade later. The antiwar movement was spurred by trends and perspectives on the war changing from 1965 to 1973, and contributing events such as the Mai Lai massacre and the Tet Offensive. The impact of the antiwar movement was clearly substantial, by the time the war had ended; the last Gallup poll recorded in May 1971 indicated that public approval of the war was at an all-time low of 28 percent.
The federal government should not make English the national language of the United States of America because not everyone speaks it. Even though it is the most common spoken language do not forget about those who do not know it. The government can not force anyone to learn or know any language. If English did become the official language those who do not know it would have trouble. They would not know how to speak, it so they would probably make mistakes.
American conservatives like Patrick Buchanan and Peter Brimelow think that what made America a successful country is that it was mostly composed for Europeans and Christian descendants that quickly assimilated “the American way”. However, the author rebutted that argument relying on the constitution of the United States. Fukuyama argued that the constitution never referred to a specific religion or ethnicity to identify an American citizen. American conservatives and the author also opined that another factor that makes an immigrant stay in the United States a successful one is the assimilation process. American conservatives opined that immigrants from underdeveloped countries have unstable families that could make harder the assimilation process for the children are less likely to do economically well.
What if english was the only official language of the United States? The cultural richness that we have slowly developed through hundreds of years in the United States would surely decrease. There are citizens of the U.S who would surely denounce this change and there are those who would welcome this change without hesitation. With this change would come equality and unity but there would also be a large amount of commotion. Making english the only official and legally recognized language in the United States would certainly be a positive change for those who only speak english.