A few weeks ago we were given the assignment of writing an essay about the English-only movement and what its affect would be on people in America today. The idea of making English the only spoken language in America baffled me. I felt that the idea neglected the civil rights of the people. That English is not the only language spoken in the world. Languages like Chines, Spanish, and Hindi consume more than 2/3 of the Earth's population.
What right do we have to say that if you're an American you should only speak English? How do we expect to compete in a global economy when we deny the language of our competitors? The ideas just doesn't make sense. It seems like there would be more pain than gain if the English-only Movement were to go through.
In an ideal world, we would able to accept each others faults. We would not discriminate each other by the color of our skin, the language we speak, or the beliefs we hold. Living in the 21st century means being open to new ideas. Conservatism can only take you so far. Breaking the mold and accepting new ideas will help pave the way for a world where we don't judge a man by the color of his skin, the language he speaks, or the beliefs he holds but by the actions he commits and the words eh expresses.
Below is my essay on the topic and I hope you can give me your feedback as to why or why not he English-only movement should come into play.
America is known across the globe as “the melting pot”; a combination of a wide variety of cultures that works off their differences to make America as powerful as it is today. In America we emphasize equality across all citizens and are careful not to insult the views and beliefs of others. The respect we have for the culture of others is key to America’s success. Movements like the English-only movement contradict the belief of equality that serves as America’s foundation. The English-only movement thus poses a threat to the civil rights, educational opportunities, and free speech of the individual.
As an American citizen, we are all created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as it says in the Declaration of Independence. The English-only movement poses a threat to the civil rights of the American citizen. As American citizens, we should be free to speak the language we are most comfortable with. Speaking in our native tongue does not conflict with the civil rights of our fellow man. On the contrary, it spreads awareness of the different cultures and lifestyles that exist in America. The English-only movement would not promote national unity, but ironically cause conflict between the clashing of two or more cultures. The respect for people of different languages and cultures is something that the English-only movement does not promote, thus conflicting with the civil rights of the American citizen.
By promoting movements like the English-only movement, we are hindering the educational opportunities we provide to our students. Students that do not primarily speak English would be expected to understand and perform like any other student at their grade level. The English-only movement makes it that much harder for a student who does not speak English to compete and excel academically. How are we expected to compete in a global economy if we reject the languages of the people who we wish to conduct business with? The opportunities we are providing our students with are even further limited to only the countries that primarily speak English. The English-only movement thus inhibits the academic advancement of many language minority children.
The free speech of the individual would be at risk if something like the English-only movements were to come into play. As Americans we are granted freedom of speech under the first amendment. Freedom of speech allows us as Americans to speak our minds without any sort of censorship or limitations. The English-only movement goes against the American citizen’s right to freedom of speech under the first amendment and the definition of what it means to be an American. The connection that language serves between parents and their children is fundamental in the development of the child. The English-only movement would thus prevent parents from transmitting to their children the complex set of values, beliefs, wisdom, and understanding that provides the foundation for their children’s learning.
In conclusion, movements like the English-only movement contradict the belief of equality that serves as America’s foundation. In America we emphasize equality across all citizens and are careful not to insult the views and beliefs of others. The respect we have for the culture of others is key to America’s success. . The English-only movement thus poses a threat to the civil rights, educational opportunities, and free speech of the individual.
Sincerely, Hector Guzman