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Analysis Pro Vs. Con

1015 words - 4 pages

Let's play a game of "WHAT IF?" However, instead of using childish concerns as the focus of our game, let us concentrate on socio-politcal issues. As a matter of fact, we have been playing a game of "WHAT IF?" throughout the entire semester. For instance, WHAT would have happened IF the constitutional congress had not merged the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan? Or, WHAT would happen if the delegates to the electoral college went against the grain and decided to cast their votes for whomever they saw fit? In fact, one big example of the "WHAT IF?" game would be the reflection papers assigned this semester. The purpose of these papers was to analyze two different perspectives on a certain "WHAT IF?" question. For instance, "WHAT would be the effects IF a constitutional amendment endorsed school prayer?" Moving on to the next question in our game, WHAT would be the effect on unity in the United States if English was adopted as the official language? Well, to provide us with some answers are our two contestants who will each offer arguments either for or against. Offering an endorsement for official adoption of English will be Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa, while James C. Stalker will provider a rebuttal on the issue. Hayakawa, a Canadian-born descendant of Japanese-immigrants, starts his piece by citing how Chinese-Americans and Japanese-Americans managed to quell generations of cultural strife by simply communicating in English in the years following WWII. The author parlays this example into the first point is his essay - English will unite the entire nation regardless of where they were born. With everyone speaking the same language, Hayakawa believes this will eliminate mistrust, bigotry and racial tension. His reasoning of this is based on the theory that if a country's population all speaks the similar language, it will foster a sense of pride and nationalism. He further strengthens this argument by citing examples of other countries where a divided language bases has caused a divided political scene - such as India, Belgium and Canada. Hayakawa then moves on to his next reason for the adoption of English as the official language, but uses his previous illustration as a stepping-off point. A divided language base will be a source of additional expense to any government. From the additional costs of having documents or signage in both language to the requirement of having additional services in order to accommodate bilingualism, the costs will add up. Such as in Canada, where the government spends $40,000,000 annually due to the bilingualism. He fears the U.S. government is heading towards such a reality and believes the government should have kept up its pressure on immigrants to learn English, instead of relaxing this stance with the cultural consciousness of the 1960s and 70s. Instead the government has "coddled" immigrants in their native language. The author then cites current methods of bilingual education as an example of this, using his...

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