The Role Of Language Essay

792 words - 3 pages

American society is not a homogeneous society in respect to races, religions and languages. It is a country of many immigrants who are still coming to America from all over the world. Many immigrants have been coming to the U.S.A from non-English speaking countries such as Mexico, China, Russia, Japan, Puerto Rico and many other countries. It is understandable why these immigrants in the beginning choose their place of residence in the U.S.A in the communities that speak their own language. Since the majority of newcomers cannot speak English, they are forced to live in the areas where they will be able to communicate with people in their native language and where they will find markets that carry familiar food and other familiar products. This is a way of survival for them. Such communities as China Town, Little Tokyo, the Armenian Community in Glendale and the Russian Community in Fairfax are some examples of communities of people speaking a common tongue. The concentration of people in these communities certainly creates an obstacle in their way to become an active member of American society since these immigrants will never be able to fully learn English if they decide to continue living within the boundaries of their small communities. Illiterate people will not be able to see the woods behind the trees. In other words they will live their lives within their small communities without getting a chance to realize what the real world and real America is about. The real world is built up on the language habits of people and these habits would largely effect people' lives in today's society.People who do not have good writing and reading skills will always have a disadvantage in today's American society. Most of these people do not vote. As Jonathan Kozol said in "The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society," "Illiterate citizens seldom vote. Those who do are forced to cast a vote of questionable worth. They cannot make informed decisions based on serious print information" (Kozol 506). So they will not know which candidate will represent their interest. Besides, illiterate parents cannot assist their children with their homework assignments or contact a teacher when needed. "They are afraid to visit in the classroom. They do not want to humiliate their child or themselves." (Kozol 507). They cannot read the notices received from welfare offices or from...

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