This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

When English Is Not A Choice: A Social Conflict Analysis Of The English Only Movement

2014 words - 9 pages

In recent years, large numbers of immigrants have migrated into the USA from Mexico, Philippine, Vietnam, China, and other counties. As of 2009, immigrants comprised 12.5% (38.5 million) of the total U.S. population (Batalova and Aaron par. 7). In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau found that 50.4% of children younger than the age of one were Hispanic, black, Asian American, or belonging to other minority groups (Morello and Ted par. 2), and more than 60 million people who are 5 years old and older spoke a language other than English at home (Camille 3). Faced with the cultural diversity brought by immigrants, many nativists worry that the United States will lose the English language as an ...view middle of the document...

S. Senator S. I. Hayakawa founded a political lobbying organization, U.S. English, with Dr. John Tanton. Within four years of its founding, it had succeeded in having its proposals contemplated in forty-eight states (Wiley 329). In 1987, opponents of English-Only policies formed “English-Plus” which aimed to preserve and promote linguistic diversity and cultural diversity (Wiley 329). In 1994, Tanton and other former U.S. English associates founded ProEnglish specifically to support Arizona's English-only law. In the 1990s, the English-only movement became less active due to wide criticism of English-Only policies from leaders of ethnic and immigrant groups and many professional educational organizations (Wiley 329).
So far, the English-only movement still has not managed to make English the official language of USA, but recently it developed support through various national activities and local English-only campaigns and regained much national recognition. U.S. English claims over 120,000 members, with more than 50,000 in the state of California (Chen and Henderson par. 4). A total of 31 states including California, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, and South Dakota have declared English as their official language. Most recently, Oklahoma passed official English legislation in 2010. Rep. Steve King of Iowa is currently trying to pass an official English bill in the 112th Congress. H.R. 997 is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives (“What is Official English” par. 3).
The most common argument for linguistic assimilation is national unity. U.S. English claims that cultural diversity is endangering the country’s linguistic unity. Furthermore, they posit that once this unity “has broken down,” society will “fade into noisy Babel and then chaos” (Portes 370). U.S. English also widely distributed a flyer entitled “Questions and Answers about Official English,” which contended that English is the language of opportunity in this country and its pervasive teaching reduces inequality (1). The flyering was one of many incidents that reflect supporters of the English-only policy persuading immigrants into believing the English-only approach is essential to immigrant success and can reduce inequality between English-speakers and non-English speakers. However, social conflict theorists argue that an English-only approach is inherently unfair to non-English speakers because it makes the default assumption that native English-speakers are of a dominant status and non-English speakers are of an inferior status. In effect, the social conflict theory, rationalizes that the English-only policy promotes the de-facto status of native English speakers over non-English speakers.
Macionis defines the social-conflict approach as “a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change” (12). A social conflict analysis emphasizes how more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. To...

Find Another Essay On When English Is Not a Choice: A Social Conflict Analysis of the English-Only Movement

Ebonics is Not a Seperate Language but Improper Form of English

3060 words - 12 pages Resolution of the Board of Education, 1997. P. 1)." During the times of slavery, ebonics was also spoken as Gullah, which is a combination of West African languages, and English. Ebonics is a term coined by psychologist Robert Williams, resulting from the combination of two words, "ebony" and "phonics" in order to describe its dialect (The Daily O'Collegian Editorial Board. 1997. P. 1). The controversy behind ebonics is whether or not it is

Analysis of English Only Law Essay-Pro vs. Con

1030 words - 4 pages Analyis Of English Only Law Essays -- Pro Vs ConLet'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

Dove Project only targets females a - English III - Assignment

684 words - 3 pages of positive and practicable body image. However, boys tend to be omitted from many campaigns promoting self confidence. For example, the Dove company began the Dove Self-Esteem Project. The mission of the project states, “At Dove, we have a vision of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Our mission is to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look—helping girls to raise

English only law

1809 words - 7 pages language of one's choice. Are "English-only" laws illegal? It is probably still an unsolved question that immigrants currently think that learning English can give them the key to kingdom, opening the doors to educational and economic opportunity. (Holeywell) A further complication in the debate over "English-only" is the fact that many Americans have trouble taking it seriously. Language is inescapable, bound up not only with the politics, but

Think about a time in your life when you exhibited grit or did not exhibit grit - college English - Essay

877 words - 4 pages The Time I Had Grit  What is grit? Grit can be defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. Grit to me means the ability to continue despite the challenges, and obstacles to achieve a given goal. Where does grit come from? Is it inborn, or is it a quality you develop as you mature? The time   I had grit was when I didn’t make the cheerleading team my freshman year of high school. Without grit I could never have gotten through this

When Pigs Can Fly, I'll Be A King - English - Essay

850 words - 4 pages a king who is greedy, always making the choice that would put more money into my pockets. I would be a king who’s susceptible to bribery, favouring the rich over the poor. I don’t think I would be a king, as a result of my poor decision-making skills. Possibly, I could be a king because of my leadership talents. I would be a king who acts as a symbol to inspire loyalty among my subjects. Although, what kind of symbol would I be? I would be a king

Last Friday I went to a conference. In Chicago. When I arrived at the airport - english - english

2755 words - 12 pages is April who studied 8-9 hours a day. All the eight contestants were determined to win the contest, but at the end of the day there is only one winner. Nupur Lala won the contest, inspiring many other spellers with her motivation, confidence and determination. This type of competition and its preparation help kids in their educational development and future long-term goals. The Spelling Bee benefit children in their development of grit through

"Monster: An Autobiography of an LA Gang Member" Included is works cited This paper was only written for a 200 level English class Analyze the representation of violence in one scene in "Monster"

929 words - 4 pages he thinks will make him a gangster, or someone that doesn't need to be scared because he will be able to protect himself and he will also have people to back him up if he gets into a situation he is unable to handle alone.Scott's word choice adds to the violent atmosphere described throughout the book. The word choice in this particular scene is helpful because it allows the reader to grasp the concept of the violence of gangs not only towards

The Need for Love when Teaching English as a Foreign Language

1248 words - 5 pages transition from speaking one language to their peers to speaking English to me. I am only fluent in one language. There have been many things which have deterred me from learned another language. The most prevalent is I would not even now where to start. When I tell people I am an EL teacher their first response is to inquire about my fluency in Spanish. While many of my students speak Spanish it is not the only language I work with on a daily

"A Bad Choice" This is a standard english 101 narrative essay with a good descriptive story and meets a required 800 words

833 words - 3 pages ground. Moments later, distant sirens could be heard, but I knew that the fate of the old man and my friend were gone with the ashes of the burning Benz. I could not weep; all I could do was reflect my tragic choice through my mind over and over again as the sounds of the sirens grew louder. My conscience was weakened with sorrow and misery. The foolish choice I made would haunt me for the rest of my needless life. If I would have taken a taxi in the beginning, this tragedy would be nothing more than a late night of drinking and dreaming.

Internal, Not External: An Analysis of “Theme for English B”

1127 words - 5 pages -Americans during the Harlem Renaissance because of the and although this is not directly mentioned in the poem, the speaker seems to feel as if he believes that just as whites feel superior to African-Americans, the roles can also be reversed, as shown in lines thirty-four and thirty-five when the speaker says, “Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you.” Hughes was not one to conform to the

Similar Essays

English Only Movement Essay

1109 words - 4 pages significant evidence supportive of a resolution in contradiction of the English-Only Movement. I truly believe that this crusade, if made into a national obligation, would have a horde of negative implications for the general welfare of many citizens and residents who are not proficient in English, through no doing of their own. The English-only movement is socially divisive and poses a threat to human welfare. Finally, it is my firm belief that the

Odysseus Is Not A Hero English Essay

1139 words - 5 pages Odysseus: Hero or Not? Odysseus is well known for being a hero in Homer’s The Odyssey. Homer’s The Odyssey takes place in Greece, after the Trojan War has ended. It follows the adventure of Odysseus as he travels back to his home. Many people consider Odysseus a hero; he is not. Odysseus is not a hero because he made very foolish decisions, was self-centered, and did not have a good heart. Odysseus was not smart at making decisions. When

Is Brutus A Hero Or Not English 2 Persuasive Essay

827 words - 4 pages killed him, Caesar, not half as willingly as he now kills himself. Brutus realizes what the conspirators have done to both Caesar and him. Under the influence of Cassius, Brutus is lead to believe killing Caesar is the correct thing to do, the only option to save Rome from ambitiousness of Caesar. "Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius" (I2.1.179). Brutus, forever righteous, believes the death of Caesar should be sacrificial with a

Protest Music Associated With A Movement For Social Change, Injustice And War English Research Paper

556 words - 3 pages EXTENDED RESPONSE DRAFT TALLICA Protest music first originated in America 1776. These protest songs were about the black slavery at the time. But protest music occurred more often in the 1800’s because of slavey and temperance to women’s rights to abolitionism. Protest music is songs that are associated with a movement for social change, injustice, War and civil rights. Music Artists use protest themes in their music to convey issues that