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English Should Not Be the National Language of the Usa

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This sentiment was established by the English Only movement, which began in 1981 when Senator Hayakawa sponsored a constitutional amendment to make English the official language of the United States. Variations on his proposal have been before Congress ever since; the Language of Government Act has been pending before the House and Senate since 1991.

Despite increasing interest in the concept of a monolingual nation, arguments for the adoption of a national language have been mostly anecdotal and have overwhelmingly been based on misconceptions about language.

The territory that the U.S. now embodies was home to several languages before the advent of European settlers. Each of these indigenous languages was a fully developed system of communication with rich structures and expressive power. The languages were indicative of myriad cultures and ways of life.

Unfortunately, most of the indigenous languages of the United

States have become extinct or are severely threatened. All too often, their eradication was deliberate government policy. This is ostensible in the example of the Native Americans and their extermination from American society.

Becoming proficient in the heritage language can assist young people struggling with ethnic ambivalence, or negative attitudes toward their own culture. It enables them not only to explore their roots and associate more closely with fellow speakers of the language, but also to overcome feelings of alienation with a sense of pride in their community. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the world, approximately 6000 languages are spoken, of which only about 600 are confidently expected to survive this century. As our languages experience attrition, our cultures will simply follow suit. Our society has been described as one that is dominated by a loss of cultural and intellectual diversity, in which politically dominant languages and cultures simply overwhelm indigenous local ones. Any further legislation would only augment the embattlement that these cultures already face.

However, there are significant educational disadvantages in discouraging multilingualism as well. Psychologists have found that bilingualism is correlated with greater mental flexibility, perhaps because command of two symbolic systems provides more than one way to approach a problem. Cognitively, bilingual and multilingual students commonly exceed monolingual ones in academic prospects.

People that are bilingual are not only more mentally adroit, but they are more competitive economically as well. For several years, our world has been globalizing and approaching a community of interdependence. This world is diverse and fosters all existing languages. Consumers across the ocean speak other languages and require communication with similarly speaking people. Overseas, multilingualism increases availability of services and efficiency. Thus, bilingualism and biliteracy are valued increasingly by today's employers.

As members of our integrated world, we need speakers of different languages to succeed in the global economy. For this reason, it's shortsighted to demean



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