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English Only Debate

English-Only Debate The United States serves the home to a hundred and seventy-five languages, more than half of which were in use much before the arrival of the Europeans (Krauss, 1996). The proponents of the ‘English-only’ movement argue that the language is under potential siege from the severe and rapid immigration of the United States.

Asserting that making English an official language will serve many benefits, proponents of the movement debate that English has always served as the adhesive factor and a link between the diverse citizens of the United States. As a result of rapid, incessant immigration, English is losing its importance in its own land, and the move is necessary to restore its status to the language.

Social scientists such as Citrin et al. (1990), debate that the ‘English-only’ movement mirrors the ‘positive attachment’ of the loyalists of America and will serve to harness feelings of uniformity among its speakers.

The initial crusaders of the movement including Benjamin Franklin, asserted that the ‘English-only’ campaigns will avert the potential “disorders and inconveniences” arising due to lack of assimilation (Franklin, B. 1961). Proponents argue that America is becoming a melting pot not only in terms of cultures, but also in terms of languages.

The assimilation of other ethnic languages in the country has diversified the varieties of English in the current scenario. This has posed a considerable threat to the native English language.

If English is then the only language, it becomes a compulsion for the ethnic minorities to learn the correct use of the language which will ultimately increase its accurate usage….

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