An argument in favor of having an official language

Submit Unity and Symbolism Many of the arguments I've read against having English as the official language can be re-construed as arguments in favor of it.

An argument in favor of having an official language

Introduction The debate on whether the United States should declare English as its official language has been a topic thoroughly discussed among the halls of Congress for some time now.

It is an issue that affects millions of individuals and has implications that may not be entirely known to those that it most seriously affects. Currently, there are 23 states that have declared English as the official language of their respective states.

However, for the majority of these states this declaration is viewed as symbolic, comparable to selecting a state flower. For other states such as California and Georgia, Official English statutes that are more restrictive, i. Proponents of Official English policies, as they are termed in brief, argue that English has been the dominant language for the better part of this century and should be made the official language in order to simplify government processes.

Many feel that by accommodating non-English speakers, one is performing a disservice to them by discouraging assimilation. While these individuals state that speaking a language other than English may be beneficial and do not discourage its use in the home, church or private place of business, they do not feel that the government should have to ensure that these individuals are able to participate in our government through their native tongue Sen.


This movement is primarily being headed by members of the Republican party, as well as organizations such as U. English and English First. The organization known as English First considers itself to be a national, non-profit grassroots lobbying organization whose goals include making English the official language of the United States, eliminating ineffective multilingual policies, and giving every child the opportunity to learn English English First.

Opponents of Official English policies argue that this type of legislation is unconstitutional. Restricting federal and state employees from communicating with individuals, especially immigrants, in a language other than English violates the first amendment according to these opponents.

Opponents also fear that this type of legislation will lead to ethnic and racial intolerance, and confirm to non-native English speakers that they are second class citizens in the eyes of the government of the United States ACLU.

As may be expected, many Democrats including the Clinton administration have tended to lobby against Official English policies along with other organizations such as the ACLU, various pro-bilingual associations, minority based non-profits groups as well as the National Education Association.

History Although not often acknowledged, the United States has a history of multilingualism. Before White settlers founded what is now known as the United States of America, this continent was occupied by indigenous people who spoke many different languages, none of them English.

Early on in American history, English co-existed with German, and then eventually with French and Spanish. Thus, the Articles of Confederation along with other documents printed by the first Continental Congress were published jointly in German and English.

This eventually lead to the Pennsylvania law which required schools to provide instruction in both of these languages, establishing the first ever bilingual education law.

Similarly, California also established laws declaring the state officially bilingual in existence for only 30 years and printed its first state constitutional proceedings in Spanish and English. By the turn of the century, Czech, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian and Polish bilingual education programs had also been implemented throughout the country National Education Association.

It was because of this sentiment that 20 Midwestern states created legislation that prevented any type of instruction in German. Accordingly, legislation was passed that made English the official language of Nebraska with the enactment of the Nebraska Act of National Education Association.Two bills, House Bill and H.B.

, are circulating that would make English the official language of Pennsylvania. Thirty-one other states have adopted English as their official language. Furthermore, the argument in favor of English as an official language does not, nor should it, preclude the continued existence and use of the numerous other languages spoken in the United States.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is home to nearly individual living languages. And it is also home to one of the strictest monolingual language policies in the world.

Both the US declaration of independence and US constitution are written in English. This itself make English the "de facto" official language of the United States.

Why not make it the de jure official language?

Big Issues

English is the official language of over 30 us States. English is the official language of over 30 US states, a vast majority of % Many of the arguments I've read against having English as the official language can be re-construed as arguments in favor of it.

The diversity of culture and opinion in the US has been one of it's founding principles, but coupled with that has been the coming together and uniting of .

An argument in favor of having an official language

Individuals who oppose establishing an official language have alternative feelings of unequal treatment, discriminatory action, view multilingual as an asset, and believe such legislation is unnecessary. With the increasing number of immigrants coming into this country, this matter can not be ignored.

Should the United States have an official language? |