English As A English Language Essay

765 Words Sep 8th, 2015 4 Pages
In the 19th century, young scholars brazenly changed the course of language study by severing their ties to the classical Greek and Latin, and embraced the more modern, versatile English language. In this process of modernization, English became the prominent "mother tongue" and other modern languages (Spanish, French, Italian) became "foreign" languages. Out of this seemingly random occurrence caused by only a handful of people, a unique monolinguistic identity was born for North Americans. As the U.S. demographic evolves with more children raised in non-English households, it is questionable whether or not the "English-Only" movement is ethically sound.

The crux of this discussion lies at the end of the reading. "At a point when many North Americans hold it self-evident that English is already or about to be the global lingua franca, we need to ask some serious questions about the underlying sense of inevitability in this belief—and about whose English and whose interests it serves." (p.31) Is the "English Only" program perpetuating a system of power for white, educated, English-speaking descendants, or is it empowering our immigrant population? For native English speakers, the "English Only" program is somewhat of a relief. Many native English speakers, would presumably be horrified at the idea of taking a Chemistry or Biology course in anything other than English. For non-English speakers or ESL students, the "English Only" program could easily be viewed as just…

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