ERIC Number: ED407881
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Myths about Language Diversity and Literacy in the United States. ERIC Digest.
Wiley, Terrence G.
Four common myths or misconceptions in the United States about language are discussed, drawing on historical evidence and contemporary data. These myths are that: (1) the predominance of English and English literacy is threatened; (2) English literacy is the only literacy worth noting; (3) English illiteracy is high because language minorities are not as eager to learn English and assimilate as prior generations were; and (4) the best way to promote English literacy is to immerse children and adults in English-only instruction. It is concluded that the persistence of the myth of English monolingualism in the United States reflects the belief that English is the only language that counts, and the mentality that language diversity is a problem rather than a resource. Most national literacy estimates are based solely on English abilities, tending to inflate the perception that there is a literacy crisis. Contains 18 references. (MSE) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Cultural Pluralism, English, English (Second Language), Immersion Programs, Language Attitudes, Language of Instruction, Language Role, Limited English Speaking, Literacy, Minority Groups, Public Opinion
NCLE, 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: Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education, Washington, DC.