English-Only is A Problem

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A big problem with rhetoric and writing today has to do with the fact that there is such a thing as an English-Only policy and people who support the idea. According to the Society for Human Research Management, an English-Only policy is a movement that pushes for English (specifically American English) to be the only language spoken within a certain facility. This policy has also been integrated within some our schools here in the United States. The United States still has no such thing as an official language, and although English is the primary used language for political documents, it is still not limiting in terms of language. According to education.findlaw.com, some states have already passed laws that require their schools to use an English-Only policy. That being said, a lot of schools, whether they are for this type of policy or against it, still tend to unintentionally follow an English-Only policy subconsciously, which is a growing issue.

One could also argue that an English-Only policy defies everything that the NCLB (No child Left Behind) policy stands for. No matter what disadvantage a student may have, equal learning requirements should all be experienced on the same level for students who are in the minority. Not only would this policy harshly degrade an ESL student’s learning experience, but it would also close doors for many of the English speakers, as the study of  other languages alone allows for students to explore other possible dialects which could improve their understanding of their own language because they have had to compare the similarities and the differences between the two. Aside from that, there are many other benefits from studying other languages such as familial and social benefits, perceived future educational benefits, cognitive benefits, and an overall understanding of oneself in general.

Because of these English-only based school systems, some cultures have been shoved or pushed away. We are all aware that language is a way of communication as well as expressing or reflecting an individual’s thoughts. When schools enforce policies such as English-only, they are taking away the very soul of what language represents: culture. This CANNOT be stressed enough. The United States claims to have total freedom and acceptance of many different cultures, but a lot our school policies do not reflect that. If we were to look upon the Hispanic/Latino population for example, specifically those who were born and raised in the United States, you would be surprised to see how many of them do not know Spanish very well or even at all. This is a very drastic situation because “English-only” school policies have become something of a wall or barrier that may or may not intend to separate them from their Spanish culture, but the fact is that these policies are quite segregating. It is not hard to see that these “English-only” policies are denying some of the most important rewards of knowing two or more languages.

“No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Provisions.” Findlaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

“Resolution on English-Only Instructional Policies.” NCTE Comprehensive News. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

“SHRM Online – Society for Human Resource Management.” SHRM Online – Society for Human Resource Management. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

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