Speaking English in the United States has always been natural to us U. However, it should be the official language to lower the apostrophize of trilingual and bilingual services.
Though this amendment died in Congress, it reappeared in various iterations over time, passing the House inand finding Senate approval 10 years later, as part of an immigration reform bill that itself failed to become law.
These days, the numbers are similar. In truth, for many English-only advocates, language has become a stand-in for less palatable sentiments, the fear of changing racial demographics among them. The tactic is neither new nor particularly subtle.
Commonality of speech creates a web of connections that hold a people together. Language is a national identity, to be preserved and protected, generally by the expulsion of others. This might even override considerations of race, as the black cultural theorist Frantz Fanon noted in his book Peau noire, masques blancspublished as Black Skin, White Masks in European immigrants, for example, have a long history of cold reception in the US, their foreign tongues or dialects revealing them as other even when their skin tone did not.
For Hayakawa, author of the first ELA legislation, co-founder of US English, and a Canadian immigrant of Japanese ancestry himself, this reality was acknowledged, if slightly spun.
Supporting migrants and their children to maintain their mother tongue is, he suggested, a racist policy, as it presumes that certain immigrants are incapable of learning English.
No provision is made, however, for non-English-speaking French-Canadians in Maine or Vermont, or Yiddish-speaking Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn, who are white and thus presumed to be able to learn English without difficulty. But the point is well-taken.
Speaking English, they might argue, does not guarantee humanity in the eyes of individuals or — perhaps more importantly — systems. Being able to communicate in English with police officers, for instance, has not kept young black males from filling the rosters of the US penal complex. They further argued that, since Ebonics was structured and spoken like any other language, its place in school texts was no more or less arbitrary than Standard English or Spanish.
Critics of the plan argued that Ebonics was nothing more than substandard English. It was also irrelevant to the world of employment, so adopting it in the classroom essentially doomed students to lives in the poor neighbourhoods where they grew up. The opposition won out and Ebonics was dropped.
The English spoken in Georgia, for instance, is very different from that spoken in Massachusetts. Midwesterners in Wisconsin and Illinois use pronunciations and phrases that sound comical to west Texans, and vice versa.
Ebonics was deeply entangled with white perceptions of black otherness, relating to race, class, morality and violence, thus draping it with an added layer of threat. Even in southern states, a white police officer is more likely to identify with a black driver who speaks regional English in an accent they share, than with one speaking the widely stereotyped urban style.
In other words, the other who speaks like me is more likely to win my favour than the other who compounds his otherness by speaking other than me. We wear the masks we think other people want to see While Ebonics might be a perfectly intelligible form of English to those who speak it, it goes against the grain of a white-dominated society in which belonging means talking the talk of Standard English.
Or that adopting Standard English might feel unreal — using language as a conscious, even self-conscious, performance. One prerequisite of being an American, as we have seen, is the ability to speak English.Should english be the official language essay.
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Should English be the Official Language of the United States Name ENG Instructor April 30, Should English be the Official Language of the United States The debate on whether the United States should make English the official language has been raging within the borders of the country for decades.
But don’t feel bad, the vast majority of people would answer that English is the official language of the United States of America. English is the de facto language since, at this point, it is the most widely spoken language in the nation. Federalist 51 essay summary statements.
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