ERIC Number: ED314545
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
English Only: The Threat of Language Restrictions. NALEO Background Paper Number 10.
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, Washington, DC.
The "Official English" (OE), or "English Only," movement claims that the United States is threatened by the use of languages other than English in schools, government, and business. The OE movement is contrary to a national tradition of recognition and respect for the contributions of immigrants to American life. Restrictions on multilingualism are based on and foster an atmosphere of intolerance and xenophobia. The language restrictionist movement is based on the assumption that limited English-speaking persons do not want to learn English. Yet, cities such as New York and Los Angeles have waiting lists for English classes of 10,000 to 30,000 people. The Latino communities of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, and New York are the prime targets of the OE efforts. Prohibiting the use of native languages is a threat to civil rights that denies access to voting, educational opportunities, and social services. Those who are serious about encouraging and enhancing the understanding and use of English should devote their efforts to the creation of more English classes and educational facilities. The following materials are appended: (1) a list of eight answers to commonly asked questions about language restriction; (2) a list of organizations opposed to OE; (3) a list of 36 references; and (4) a list of NALEO Education Fund publications. (FMW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Community
Authoring Institution: National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, Washington, DC.