ERIC Number: ED316019
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-25
Reference Count: N/A
Official Languages in the United States: Policies, Polemics, and Politics.
Macias, Reynaldo F.
A framework for discussing the issues associated with language policy in the United States is offered, highlighting the history of the country's diverse language groups and language policies. It is proposed that language politics, and often the policies themselves, reflect the social relations between groups within a society. The history of language groups looks at the distribution of major colonial languages, the influx of immigrant languages, and the incorporation of indigenous populations. Current and projected language diversity is examined. Two periods in the history of language policy are delineated, the first dating from the founding of the United States through the first quarter of the 20th century and the second from the end of the first quarter to the present day. Tolerance-oriented and oppression-oriented policies in the first period and their results are discussed. More restrictive language policies are also examined. Issues in the current debate over an official language are noted, including the constitutionality of proclaiming English as the official language, concern for the public status of non-English languages and their promotion, and interpretation of status legislation. Three winning essays in a 1987 contest on the importance of being bilingual are appended. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingualism, English, Ethnic Groups, Intergroup Relations, Language Planning, Language Role, Monolingualism, Multilingualism, Official Languages, Policy Formation, Political Influences, Public Policy, United States History
Tomas Rivera Center, 710 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tomas Rivera Center, Claremont, CA.
Identifiers - Location: United States