How English, as a global language has gained significance in America

Introduction

Discussing Language Policy is important because it relates directly and indirectly to the educational practices in America. Generally, Policies in this case Language Policies may evolve from either an official directive from the government that is the judiciary or the legislative bodies, or it can be as a result of non-official customs (Johnson, 51). Additionally, Policies may evolve as a result of the government not providing support for learning of a specific language by providing appropriate resources that ensure all groups in a learning institution get equal opportunity to acquire an official language in a particular country, in this case, America. It may also be as a result of the government not allowing other words from being learned in an institution language policy may evolve due to that factor.

America has managed to maintain a high level of monolingualism that makes English as its official language. However, over the years, their culture was threatened by other languages brought by the immigrants to America, which was described as competing factors to the English Language. This, therefore, led to the government launching a periodic assault on other languages so as to make English their common language (Leeman, 40). In 1971, the United States of America endorsed a law that mandates bilingual education for up to three years for minor linguistics students. This law was to ensure that the English language is taught in schools as a primary language. In 2002, Massachusetts was among the states chosen that got to elect against the multilingual programs in education. About 70 percent voted for the removal of the bilingual language in the education programs; this was because the parents of the immigrants could not be able to vote due to their citizenship status.

As a result, the immigrant children failed in their classes due to English Immersion into the education programs. There was an increase in anti-immigrant opinions on language policy in the US (Johnson, 51). Their views over the years became problematic as they regarded the passing of the law as a racial profile. The number of immigrants was recorded to increase, and according to the census conducted in 2000, it was found that one of the five students was a child of an immigrant or an immigrant both in an elementary school and in high school. However, the bilingual education constituted to proficiency in English as the minority of the linguistics students strived at achieving great success in the English language.

English, as a global language, gained significance in America in light of the non-existent official language (McKinney, np). The US has managed to maintain and protect the purity of their national language by reinforcing the use of the English language within and without its borders. Besides, they have managed to maintain a high level of monolingualism, which makes speaking in English become a liability. The immigrants, therefore, conform to the English culture once they arrive in the US.

The language policy movement in the US is a political movement that sees the use of other languages or influence of the immigrants into their state as a threat to the American identity and their national unity. The main focus of this political movement is in the educational sector for mostly the minority children in the US and also to ensure that the English language is the sole language of the US. A number of the immigrants speak Spanish, who then is the primary focus as the movement was considered as Hispanophobic, which characterizes the Spanish language (McKinney, np). The principal target of this movement is the Latino speakers; also, she argues that this movement may violate the human rights of the other people that speak different languages. In American history, the protruding role of the Spanish language portrays a direct threat to the English language.

Language policy is regarded as a political issue as the participants are divided into the assimilationists and pluralists who have different understandings of the language policy debate. Pluralists argue that language policy is linked to racism and inequality in the US. At the same time, the assimilationists view it as a form of socialization of the immigrants and other people, which, in the end, serves as a threat to national unity (Leeman, 40). In statements by Blackledge and Bourdieu suggests that the immigrants are empowered to succeed by being given English as a tool. It is also a way to enrich and immigrants through different beliefs and cultures in America. Such statements are liberal concerning the promotion of equal opportunity to all people, both citizens and immigrants (Johnson, 51). Pluralists advocate for multiracial and multicultural society through the language policy that is not involving English as the only language in the public sphere. On the other hand, assimilationists will argue that bilingualism brings conflicts as they view it as problematic.

The language policy exposes certain ideologies that are embedded in the English only movement. The movement is supported by some of the private organizations in the 1980s and other politicians who, through their websites and media, are pushing their efforts that broadcast the English Only Movement ideologies. Language policy is often viewed as ideological constructs that reproduce the production and reflect the dissemination of the power within their societies (Johnson, 51). Some of the cultural values are seen as a threat both in the institution for students and also at the national levels for the immigrants. It also contributes to the production of social difference brought by the higher worth of other languages than others. Last but not least, another ideology related to the English Language policy is the political identity of who is not American and who is.

Language policy reflects social relations and practices that argue that the English language needs to be protected and preserved since it is being threatened. English is essential to social coherence and national unity in America. Additionally, this language movement establishes unequal power in societies where people are oblivious. Ideologies may be seen to be discriminating against other languages and even those speaking that language in particular (Leeman, 40). The language policy ideologies are related to the culture and practices that are associated with the language used by the speaker.

Conclusion

There is a division between the Spanish speaking people and other immigrants that have chosen to maintain the use of their language and the Americans whose English is their first language and those that have chosen to assimilate the English language. Others, however, argue that the role of the English language has been misinterpreted over the years (Johnson, 51). Speaking English brings unity, while bilingualism brings destruction according to the above analysis. As the number of immigrants is increasing, American culture is slowly fading because English is significant in American Culture. Assimilation is critical to all the immigrants and all the non-English speakers in the US.

Works Cited

Johnson, David Cassells. “Research methods in language policy and planning.” The Oxford handbook of language policy and planning (2018): 51.

Leeman, Jennifer. “It’s all about English: the interplay of monolingual ideologies, language policies, and the US Census Bureau’s statistics on multilingualism.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2018.252 (2018): 21-43.

McKinney, Carolyn. “Researching Language Ideologies.” Qualitative Research Topics in Language Teacher Education (2019).

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