ERIC Number: ED406849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
Official English and English Plus: An Update. ERIC Digest.
Lewelling, Vickie W.
This digest provides an overview of the opposing sides in the Official English debate--Official English and English Plus. Proponents of Official English seek to make English the official language of the United States through passage of a constitutional amendment. The movement is spearheaded by two groups, U.S. English and English First. Official English supporters are concerned that bilingual ballots are contradictory to citizenship laws and make non-English speakers prey to bloc voting. They believe that bilingual education advocates preservation of native language and cultures at the expense of learning English. Although the Senate convened hearings on official English in 1984, and the House did in 1988, an English language amendment has never come to a congressional vote. In 1991, proponents took a different approach and launched a statutory form of official English. This Language of Government bill has appeared in several versions, and one of these bills passed the House but not the Senate in 1996. A similar bill is pending in the 105th Congress. English Plus supporters see cultural diversity as a national strength, support bilingual ballots, and cite evidence that successful bilingual education programs result in faster acquisition of English. English Plus legislation in the form of non-binding/policy statement has been introduced in opposition to English only legislation, and several states have adopted English Plus resolutions. A 13-item bibliography is provided. (JL)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Civil Rights, Cultural Pluralism, English, English Only Movement, English (Second Language), Federal Legislation, Immigrants, Limited English Speaking, Non English Speaking, Official Languages, State Legislation, Voting
ERIC/CLL, 1118 22nd Street N.W., Washington, DC 20037.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.