Contrary to popular belief, English is not the most commonly spoken language in the world. In fact, Mandarin is. Why is the English language practically forced on people?
I recently learned that as a part of the United States citizenship test, individuals must be able to speak English. Being considered “passing” in this portion is dependent on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)officer present during the interview.
In addition to speaking, an individual seeking citizenship must also complete a reading and writing section, which includes 10 out of a possible 100 questions about the state and federal government.
Many of the questions on this test are unknown to the average American. This system sounds an awful lot like the system historically put in place to pretty much ensure African Americans could not vote, since only U.S. citizens can vote.
African Americans were from a different country, didn’t have the same level of education, and did not speak the same language, which is similar to some immigrants coming here.
I think many Americans view immigrants now the same way white people viewed African Americans back then.
Interestingly enough, most immigrants know multiple language, but not necessarily English. Many countries require that their citizens learn two languages, if not more.
Most Americans only know one: English. Yes, English is one of the most spoken languages in the world, but why is it so heavily pushed here?
There are multiple reasons that English is not declared as the official language of the United States.
First, English speakers were not the first ones in America, Native Americans were. Colonists immorally dominated the Native Americans and forced their languages on them; however, this was not just English. There were Spaniards, French, and more colonists from other European countries.
Second, because we have so many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds here, America is considered a “salad bowl.” Obviously, people from different cultures might not speak English at all, because it isn’t their native language.
Many are so insistent on making English the official language of the United States, but why? I think it is to make it more difficult for non-white people to be accommodated for.
A few years ago, when companies started printing in Spanish as well as English on labels, I heard numerous people moan and groan while making their usual racist comments.
For me, it didn’t change my daily life, so I didn’t care, and I’m sure it made the lives of many people a lot easier.
According to the Census, Latinx individuals make up more than 18% of the population, which is second behind white people. This means that over 59 million people in America are possibly speaking English as a second language.
More teachers are employed to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in schools. In fact, ISU used to have an interlink program for ESL students but got rid of it after 2019. I used to have the privilege of helping and tutoring these students before the program ended.
Besides America having a language barrier, we are also one of the only three countries that do not use the metric system. I think people here are allergic to change, and a new measurement system is one of them.
Many Americans are a part of individualistic society, which means that they only lookout for themselves. I think this ideal has been apparent as of recent and will probably, unfortunately, continue.
This way of thinking will continue to make it difficult for non-English speaking people to acclimate to American society.