English As The Official United States Language

1508 words - 6 pages

America is a country that, from its very founding, has a distinguishing quality that no other country in the world shares. This quality was the willingness to accept people of all different cultures as citizens of the country. This acceptance drew nearly every imaginable kind of person to the country, a country with just one primary language, English. With all this diversity came hundreds of new languages spoken by the immigrants. To this day there are still pockets of isolated ethnic groups that cannot speak English, the most prevalent language used in America. Every citizen of the United States should be able to speak English because it provides a medium by which people of all different cultures can communicate, interact, and thus co-exist peacefully. If English was spoken by all the citizens of this country it would allow differences to be set aside and would give everyone the opportunity to feel like they belong. This is not to say that English should be the only language spoken in the United States. It is very important for people to speak their original language, but communication among all citizens would allow Americans to unite.

For many immigrants that now live in America, the most challenging aspect of the move was fitting into the new environment. For immigrants that cannot speak English this transition from old to new is often very difficult because they feel socially isolated. For a Mexican immigrant named Richard Rodriguez, assimilation into the American society was unachievable without learning to speak English. At first, Rodriguez resisted to learn English because it was uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and he felt that he would loose part of his family bond. At the same time, Richard was separated from interacting with neighborhood children and other people in his community due to the break down in communication. Finally, Rodriguez realized that without a way to communicate with people in his community and the rest of the country he would never gain true individuality. Once Rodriguez became comfortable speaking English he quickly made friends with American children and obtained his social identity. Gaining his social identity and individuality encouraged him to be a stronger, more outgoing person. Now he considers himself an American even though he is still ethnically diverse. Senator S.I. Hayakawa who is also of ethnic decent states that, “Language is a necessary cause of our oneness as a society.” If a person cannot communicate their feelings, ideas, or opinions then there is no way for them to gain their individuality and they often won’t be able to succeed socially or financially.

Many Hispanic children have a hard time gaining their social individuality in America and because of this have trouble in school. Hispanics students have the highest high school drop out rate at around 50 percent. This high drop out rate can be attributed to the fact that many of the students can’t speak English and thus can’t...

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