Political problem essay

1. Would establishing English as the official language of US help to preserve English? No. The establishment of the English language as an official language was not formally done. It was just adopted as a consensus. According to Wiley, despite the existence of English as the official language, other languages will come into the picture as many races exist in the United States. However, since it was for a long time that English was used as an official language, the people are used to it. 2. Is monolingualism a bad thing? If so, why? If not, why not?

No. It is not a bad thing. It is preservation of language. It is up to the country to enact laws in establishing a single language to be used for communication. But monolingualism is not really legall practiced in the US. For example, Germans who migrated to the US were allowed to speak their own language while in the public, in schools, in the church and in their homes. (Wiley, p. 1). 3. How can multilingualism be seen as a political and social problem? It is a political problem in the sense that it confuses the people as well as immigrants.

It is argued that immigrants as minorities must surrender using their own language and use English for instance as official language in exchange of the privilege to stay in the US. However, there is no law that supports that. So then, immigrants are actually allowed to use their own language while in the public. On the social side, immigrants should not be forced to use language of the new country since we also owe them their contributions to the country such as technical expertise, labor and opportunities for economic expansion. 4.

Do you believe that bilingualism/multilingualism is a benefit to children, helping them to learn all their languages more thoroughly, or do you believe that it is a detriment causing confusion and delay in acquiring their languages? By history, language-minority children become illiterate in both English and their native language due to unequal educational access and not self-imposed isolation or when they are not allowed to use their own language. Therefore, the problem is not on bilingualism/multilingualism but on unequal access to education.

bilingualism/multilingualism-cannot cause confusion for the children, it enhances their knowledge, knowing different languages adds confidence for the children in their interactions with people 5. Would you predict that the English Only movement will be successful in the US in the future? Why, or why not? No. It will not be successful in the US. The influx of immigrants to work in the US thereby contributed special skills and technical knowledge, business expansion and labor or manpower, there is no reason to deny them of their rights to use their own language.

Besides, they are free to use the English language when at times they are forced to do so for them to be understood by English-speaking people. 6. Hornberger, in the assigned class reading, mentioned the ‘twin plea’ of immigrants with regard to language. On the one hand, many immigrants desire resources which will allow them to become fluent in the dominant language of their new country. On the other hand, there is also a strong wish to preserve, and even perpetuate, the culture and language of the home nation.

With this in mind, discuss the position of non-English-speaking immigrants in the US in the context of the English Only movement. Position of non-English speaking immigrants is that since there are tolerance-oriented policies allowing them to use their own language while in the US, the state must continue it non-interference in their linguistic life as language-minority communities. 7. Are guidelines needed for determining whether a dialect or a pidgin is a separate language (“its own languages”)? If so, what should they be? If not, why not? No.

There should be no guidelines to be applied since we cannot stop the practice of minorities in using their own language due to tolerance-oriented policies that they already experienced. Besides, there is a strong proposal to use multilingual for purposes to preserve and promote linguistic diversity and cultural diversity. There are also criticisms of English only policy such as ignoring the civil rights of the people in the US, failure to promote integration of language-minority children, and attempt to disenfranchise minority citizens. 8. Do you agree that a language is “a dialect with an army and a navy”? If so, why? If not, why not?

No. language must be used freely. Besides, the influx of linguistic imperialism is now at hand and there should be no neglect by the Americans for the need to communicate with foreign markets in order to strengthen business expansion opportunities. 9. Can language policy alone save a dying language? Justify your answer. Yes. The government must ensure to eliminate the tolerance-oriented policies that it already practiced if only to save the dying language. For example, minorites should not be given opportunities to have an interpreter while transacting with the government but should be forced to learn the English language.

Justifiable laws and statutes must be enacted and implemented to all people including the language minorities in order to preserve the dying language. Without doing so, people will always claim their civil rights as traditionally held by them. 10. What are some problems with establishing one or more languages as official in a country? That is: would it be more beneficial/peaceful/fair to have NO official language(s)? Justify your answer. Conservatives will always discriminate the language minorities if they fail to speak English in the country.

However, it is beneficial to establish no official languages since there is a need to go with the flow of economic development worldwide. Immigrants are needed in our country since they can contribute to our economic strength as they present special technical skills, cheap labor, manpower, business expansion opportunities, and even raw materials necessary for economic advancement of the USA. The American melting pot scenario is bound to continue until such time that there will be no barriers in terms of language and culture since assimilation can never be prevented. 11.

A common saying among creators of writing systems is “Write the way you talk”. What difficulties will you likely run into if you try to follow this advice in devising a writing system for a language with many and diverse dialects? According to Hornberger, allowing a bilingual system for example is successful in an English-Spanish speaking school. However, identity problems set forth as minority students were prevented by minority population to assert the right to speak a second language. In other words, members of the minority population themselves discreetly disallow their groups members to use bilingualism.

Hence, it is difficult to write the way you talk when a teacher thought that all of the students really wanted to speak as instructed. 12. Distinguish between official, implicit, and convert language policies, and give an example of each. Official-it is implemented through laws like when government or the state resources as planned by it further official use of English by means of using it as medium in government’s printing and distribution laws and governmental business records are all written in English.

Implicit-have the appearance of being policy although there is no official sanction, example is the English language policies in different states Covert/tacit-are more insidious, cloaked fully in lofty goal aimed at aiding minority groups example are human rights laws 13. Hornberger maintains that whether a language is considered a “majority” or a “minority” language has more to do with power than with numbers of speakers. To what extent do you feel that this statement is true? Justify your answer with reference to specific examples.

Power is the basis to know whether language can be adopted or not. We are aware that minority languages are frowned upon in the USA. However, we need to presence of the immigrants as they are helpful to our economy. As such, there is accumulative evidence that language policy and language education can serve as a vehicle for promoting the vitality and stability of minority languages. There is no way of preventing the ever-increasing numbers of minorities who speak their own languages. Hence, the best way to approach the scenario is to study and acknowledge the versatility of languages.

14. Is language death inevitable or avoidable? Who cares if a language dies, and why? The death of a language is inevitable. However, if a person knows many languages, he is worth the same since it adds to his confidence in dealing with different people. A language may die, but the ability of a person to be versatile, and not monolinguistic will make him worthy and popular which could lead to success. There is no hard and fast proof that a language already died. Once a person knows a particular language, it will remain useful to him and be used when necessary.

In the United States, it does not mean that if immigrants will be allowed to speak their own native tongue, English will be lost as a language. As time goes by, all people will speak different languages in accordance with necessity, time, formality and language policies. Hence, death of a language may be inevitable but its power and influence over those that use it in their lifetime and existence will make the language continuously exist. 15. Wiley talks about “antighettoisation” as a reason for having one official language. Does this reason apply to US?

Why or why not? No. Antighettoization is not applicable to the United States. The notion that language minorities deliberately isolate themselves distorts the historical experience of most immigrant communities. It is rare in American history, according to Wiley that language minority groups sought a self-imposed isolation. For example, among the Amish, these people tried to assimilate with the new culture they are in. The only reason why some of their children become functionally illiterate in both English and Amish language is due to unequal access to education.

16. Consider the English Only movement (as described by Wiley) from the perspective of other countries you’ve learned about in this class (e. g. , China, USSR, India, Canada etc). Is such a movement likely in any country (or countries) other than the US? Justify your answer (and remember that an “X only” movement elsewhere could have some language other than English as its focus! ). The major beliefs of monolingualism as an ideology is similar or parallel with other countries wherein other languages are dominant in their culture since immigration has occurred too.

In India, a policy of coercive assimilation was implemented and Indian custom was destroyed. The people are forced to attend English-only boarding schools then. The imposition of English-only policies was tarried with widespread persecution of German speakers. Some 5,000 German-speaking Mennonites went to Canada to escape. 17. Compare the minority-language policies of China or Canada with those of the US. In what way(s0 are the policies similar? How do they differ? Yes. Minority language policies of China and Canada are the same with the United States.

Bilingualism is applied in the said countries such that most of the people preserved their native language while learning English. For example, French speakers in Canada have retained their language more successfully in comparison to their counterparts in other states of the US. 18. If you find a language that has been heavily influenced in its grammatical structure by a neighboring language but has borrowed few or no loanwords from that language, what would you conclude about the most likely process that led to the structural influence?

It is then concluded that language and cultural assimilation is fast and dynamic when multilingualism and bilingualism are allowed in different countries such that the tendency to borrow terminologies could eventually happen. Besides, borrowing other languages would make learning different languages easier and fun. 19. What are some social (= sociolinguistic) and linguistic factors that permit rough predictions about the linguistics results of language contact? Language contact is the use of more than one language in the same place and at the same time.

Linguistic factors include the fact that neighboring speaker groups may be on friendly terms like sharing of resources and engaging of trade, or in some instances, they could be hostile to each other. Speaking different languages involving language contact can also result to discrimination like what happened in Montana wherein Salih-speaking children were beaten for speaking their native language instead of English. 20. What are the main differences in the origins and structure of pidgins, creoles, and bilingual mixed languages?

Pidgins Creoles Bilingual mixed languages 21. Why are French and Latin loanwords more frequent in formal English prose than in informal writing and conversation (and Beatles songs)? This is because most French and Latin literary artists contributed much and influenced the English literary development. Besides, USA is said to be a nation of immigrants and language assimilation is strong particularly in French and Latin. 22. What reason(s) does Fishman give to support his belief that multilingualism is a good thing?

Fishman reasons that multilingualism is a means of enriching the lives not only of the students but also of the teachers in the schools they were in. Mutilingualism contributes much to the economy of the United States of America. It is also a valid and even urgent goal for multi-cultural citizenship in the USA wherein the influx of immigrants never waned. Multilingualism can also contribute to cultural enrichment in the United States. 23. Discuss the status of immigrant languages in US.

Is it possible to recognize/accommodate these languages, and also indigenous languages, while simultaneously recognizing the importance of English? If language is part of national identity, is having just one language vital to an American identity? The status of immigrant languages in the United States is now increasing since there is no particular law that totally prevents immigrants to speak their own language. Those who speak Spanish in some states are allowed to do so in such a way that Germans are also allowed to speak German in schools, churches and in the public as well.

There is no problem in allowing this scenario to happen since different setting requires different languages. For example, a Spanish speaking national can be forced to learn English since laws of which he needs to know and understand are printed in English. However, when the Spanish national buys food in stores, he could speak Spanish of the salesmen who attended him knows Spanish as well. In schools, children who learn different languages are advanced and capable of learning different cultures and understand the economic and political developments of countries.

Therefore, it is acceptable to preserve the importance of English while allowing other languages to flourish by looking into its advantages for the country. Finally, since the national identity of the United States cannot be lost by losing its official language, it is meritorious to allow other languages to be used in different transactions. Language is not a strong indicator that a country has maintained its national identity but patriotism and aspirations for economic, political and social development. 24.

Discuss ways in which multilingualism is in the national interest of the US or some other country. Include at least three examples of events or locations where multilingualism would be useful. There is a present expansion of imperialism and capitalism worldwide. Countries from all over the world are trying to expand their business in order to maintain economic development and financial independence. In the United States, different nationalities come into the country to expand their business and some of these countries are China, Germany, Indians and even Asians.

Language is a basic tool in order to be successful in international trade. If the Americans for example, know how to speak different languages and will not only stick to English in having business transactions with the said countries, it will be easier for them to present proposals and agreements in relation to business. Besides, international students exist in the United States such that students coming from other parts of the world enrolled into the premiere universities in the United States.

Multilingualism is the best way to facilitate these developments. Besides, in cultural enrichment that is done in beauty pageants being attended by numerous nationalities, using different languages is the best way to make the event successful. 25. Wiley, in discussing language policy, points out that repression of minority languages can happen even in the absence of an official national language. How can this happen? And does the establishment of an official language necessarily lead to repression of minority languages?

Repression of minority languages can happen even in the absence of an official language since these minorities alone repress their own members in speaking different languages. Besides, the problem is not in language policies but on the unequal access to educational facilities. There is no doubt that many children are illiterate due to the fact that their educational development is in jeopardy. If there be a national language established, repression of minority language cannot happen since self-imposed isolation can still be discreetly used by the minorities.