The need for an US national language is a subject that has been brought to the forefront of every patriotic American’s thinking. Should every American citizen be required to know English? Should learning English be a requirement of becoming a citizen?
In times past, in order to work, shop or deal with the government in America you needed to know English. In current times this is not the case. Food items and articles of clothing are labeled in English and Spanish. Phone prompts require you to select one for English and two for Spanish, or vice versa. Many job applications now ask if you know Spanish as well as English. Even the government spends millions of dollars printing out Spanish forms and requires schools to educate Spanish speaking students. The question is, is this helping or hurting the US?
Polls tell us that the majority of Americans believe that we should have a national language and that anyone immigrating to America and planning to be here a while should be required to know English. Americans believe that many languages can cause division, whereas a common language is a thread that sustains a working society. A common language opens the doors of equal opportunities to all.
Does that mean that I cannot speak whatever language I want to in the privacy of my own home or when socializing with friends and family? Absolutely not! Let’s face and accept the fact that with the number of immigrants from many nations coming to America, it has become more like a vegetable medley than a melting pot. Other freedom loving and nonviolent cultures and languages should be able to be sustained in a free land.
However, every citizen should be required to be able to speak and read English. The government should not have to bear the cost of printing forms or posting road signs in several different languages. The only bilingual class in public schools should have the goal of teaching English as a second language.
The truth is, there are no real arguments against a national language other than the claims that it is racist or politically incorrect. All of the good arguments are on the side of establishing English as the national language and requiring anyone wanting to vote, have a driver’s license or work and pay taxes to know it.
So should American policy be ‘Speak English or else?’ United we stand, divided we fall. I believe that one thing that can unite us is an official national language. What do you think?