The "English Only" Debate Persuasive Essay by scribbler

The "English Only" Debate
A review of the arguments for and against a law mandating the use of the English language in the United States.
# 152966 | 722 words | 3 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 01, 2013 in Language (General) , Hot Topics (Immigration)

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The paper discusses the debate in the United States about whether to demand "English Only" or to accept bilingualism in America's melting pot of cultures. The paper notes that it is difficult to mandate culture and language, but for efficiency in both the public sector and within the school system, a common language is necessary. The paper draws the conclusion that immigrants must learn English as a way to communicate officially with the rest of the nation and acquire an education and employment, however, at the same time, they can embrace a native language and culture and benefit from being bilingual at home.

Should English Be the Law?
In Plain English: Let's Make it Official

From the Paper:

"One of the basic tenets of culture is language. Throughout history, individual cultures were able to remain stable and identifiable based on language. In fact, one historical example of a dominant culture attempting to spread itself through language was that of the Ancient Roman Empire, who demanded that Latin become the lingua franca in every country they occupied. There seems to be a similar debate in the United States, really becoming vocal in the 1980s about whether to demand "English Only" or allow for America's melting pot of cultures and respond accordingly with appropriate bilingualism as needed.
"If history teaches anything, it teaches that it is difficult to mandate culture and language. However, it also seems that there is a bit of a Catch-22 we face. If one travels abroad, English is often a common language for expression and travel. However, it is not an official language; anything that is done regarding mail, governmental forms, etc. is done in the language of that country, not translated into 25 languages, and the person immigrating to that country is expected to learn the language of the country well enough to at least be able to complete the necessary bureaucratic forms to work and live."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • King, R. (1997, April). Should English Be the Law? Retrieved November 2010, from The Atlantic Online:
  • Krauthhammer, C. (2006, June 4). In Plain English: Let's Make it Official. Retrieved November 2010, from Time Magazine:,9171,1200741-1,00.html
  • Marquez, M. (n.d.). Why and When we Speak Spanish in Public. Retrieved November 2010, from RFSD.K12:

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The "English Only" Debate (2013, May 01) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The "English Only" Debate" 01 May 2013. Web. 23 March. 2023. <>