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September 3, 2013

Essay on ESL Language Policy

ESL Language Policy
Language policy is a policy driven by a State or an international organization in connection with one or more languages ​​spoken in the territories under its sovereignty, to change the corpus or status, generally to support the use, sometimes to limit the expansion, or even work towards its eradication. The use of bilingual road signs is probably the most important symbolic instrument of perception and institutionalization of bilingual reality of a territory.
A language policy may be in place to evolve the body of a language by taking a writing system, setting the vocabulary through the development of lexicons and dictionaries, by adopting rules of grammar and spelling, by encouraging the creation of terminology for limit borrowing in foreign languages. 
Primarily, there are two pre-dominant trends of language policies in the United States of America. States have relatively homogeneous language policy, despite two seemingly different trends emerging in American society. There are Americans who believe that English is threatened in this country and there are those who advocate the promotion of the wealth of different cultures supporting multilingualism in the United States.
Language and educational policies for children new to English in the United States go hand in hand instinctively.  This facet seems to have been deeply influenced by immediate social, political, and economic factors. (Thewes, 2003)  
Data secured from the 2000 Census have accentuated the fact that the number of children between the ages of 5 and 17 who speak a language other than English has increased by over 54% from the previous 1990 Census. This information is derived from self-reported language use and proficiency, and interpretation of the data by language and education policymakers is just beginning to emerge. Policymakers will likely use these data to formulate, alter, and institute language and educational policies affecting children for whom English is a new language. Such policies will ultimately affect classroom practice and the ways in which English language learners (ELLs) throughout the United States are educated.
Supporters of the unilingual English are the most numerous. It is supported by powerful and rich lobby groups such as ProEnglish (1994) which began a political struggle to promote official monolingualism. English would be in danger, according to a representative of this group, the group was found mostly accusing minorities in 1990 and in the Wall Street Journal: "English in the United States is threatened by [...] leaders of ethnic minorities and powerful dynamics that are funded largely by our own federal government."(Kreins, 2003) War business has paid off as 29 states, almost all between 1984 and 2003, have changed their legislation to protect English. They also passed laws protecting the English and ensure its dominance in the state administration, courts, elections, access to professions, driving licenses, etc.

In schools, the California Education Code that best describes this policy: "The State's policy is to ensure that all school students are fluent in English. The requirement that bilingual education be provided in situations where it is considered beneficial to students, bilingual education is allowed to the extent that it does not interfere with regular training program in English for all students. "bilingual education is permitted on a temporary basis, so that it allows non-English speakers to continue their instruction in English only.

The proponents of multilingualism are few and are mainly clustered around university organization and in many Hispanic Democrats, elected officials and business leaders. They perceive the movement as an attack against democracy and to make illegal any language other than English. So far, only the states of Rhode Island (1992), New Mexico (1989), Oregon (1989) and Washington (1989) preferred the policy of diverse languages. For the linguist James Crawford, a renowned expert on the subject (At War with Diversity: Language Policy in year US Age of Anxiety, 2000), the allophones will not become "better citizens" nor "the purest American" by enacting a official language. Such an attitude would open wide the doors rather witch-hunting language. In fact, any campaign official English in the United States would also have the effect of creating an additional reason for ethnic tension and discontent.
Currently, the official discourse is full of allusions loyalty to the English, an attitude perceived as "mandatory" in any good American citizen. They want to preserve their language and culture for an allophone is considered an act of "anti-American" and "unpatriotic." According to this view, language diversity inevitably leads to language conflict, ethnic hatred and political separatism. Under these conditions, Hispanics are held accountable for the balkanization of the United States.
Unlike the federal government, many states have adopted English as official language. Many believe that English is threatened in this country. The presence of high Hispanic groups (over 22 million speakers in the country) in major cities, not counting the blocks of Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.) has led several states - and a number of counties and cities - to adopt laws (or regulations) declaring the unilingual English.
Among U.S. citizens born abroad, there would be a significant "deterioration" in the number of speakers speaking English. This would be an increase of 63.5% (language) and 57% (less than very well). These results are perceived by many Americans as a disaster for social integration. There were 329 languages ​​spoken in the United States during the 2000 census.
At the end of 2007, there were 29 U.S. states that have adopted English as official language. This is Alabama (1990), Arizona (1988), Arkansas (1987), California (1986), North Carolina (1987), of South Carolina ( 1987), Colorado (1988), North Dakota (1987), South Dakota (1995), Florida (1988), Georgia (1986 and 1996), Hawaii (1978), the Illinois (1969), Indiana (1984), Kentucky (1984), Mississippi (1987), Montana (1995), Nebraska (1920), New Hampshire (1995), Tennessee (1984) , Virginia (1981 and 1996), Wyoming (1996), Alaska (1998), Missouri (1998), Utah (2000), New York (2001), Iowa ( 2002), Idaho (2007) and Kansas (2007).
The only U.S. state to adopt both official languages ​​is Hawaii in 1978 (English and Hawaiian), given that 1400 still speak Native Hawaiian and 250 over 60 years say they use at home There is no room for complacency. The case of Louisiana is different. English was declared the official language in 1812.  , which was followed by a bilingual English-French (Const. 1845 and 1852), but the Constitution of 1864, of inspiration northerner, has removed all legal provisions for the French and English and remained the only official language for the laws, documents and minutes. In 1868, Article 109 of the Constitution forbids the use of any language other than English. Paragraph 4 of Article 12 of the current Constitution (1974) makes no mention of either the English or French. We can therefore consider that Louisiana declares de jure English as official language because it is so only in fact (de facto).
Other states are preparing to adopt legislation unilingualism: Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin. So far, only a few states have rejected such measures, including Maryland and Washington state.

As for laws, many states have adopted measures concerning the language of justice and / or education to promote English and to ensure its dominance even provide exclusivity to the only English language: Colorado
, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, New York. The general objectives that guide U.S. law may be summarized as follows:

    (1) Removal of simultaneous interpretation services in hospitals.
    (2) Removal of emergency telephone services in Spanish.
(3) Printing of ballots in English only.
    (4) Remove the Spanish language can be used in courts and other public services.
    (5) Removal of bilingual education services and all that accompanies them.
    (6) Removal of radio and television broadcasting in languages
​​other than English.
    (7) Elimination of works in languages
​​other public libraries.
    (8) Information and telephone directories available in English only.
    (9) Removal of signs, billboards and signs in Spanish.
    (10) Tourist information available in English only.
(11) Advertising in English only.
    (12) Disposal of information published in Spanish on the state-subsidized housing.

Be careful, these are usually measures from organizations within the scope of jurisdiction of a State (and municipalities), not private companies ... provided that they do not receive government subsidies. Also, in general, these statements formalization of English have been interpreted as having a symbolic effect, and especially as not prohibiting completely the use of other languages
​​in the functioning of institutions and services of the state.
For example, when tourist offices, libraries or advertising owned by private companies, they are generally not subject to any restrictions on the language legislation of a unilingual state official, but in the event that a private claim of state subsidies, it may be subject to the Official State unilingual.
However, the State concerned at least hope that its language legislation will have a ripple effect on U.S. companies, and it is! Anyway, this usually involves official monolingualism that the state must take all steps to ensure that is maintained and enhanced the role of English as a common language, that public funds are never used to encourage any another language, that every citizen can force the state to implement the provisions relating to monolingualism and the courts have jurisdiction to hear cases for the purpose of implementing the provisions of the law.
Note that originally the Anglo-Saxons, who in turn become the Yankees, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) and the White ethnics, dominated throughout the Thirteen Colonies that gave birth to the American federation, because no of them being home to a national minority. The adoption of the federal system has not had to take account of ethnic differences, but rather to introduce an additional form of separation of powers and protect individual liberties. However, the problem of minorities began to wonder when the United States have expanded territorially, whether by settlement, the purchase or conquest. These new territories were home to people of different ethnic point of view: indigenous peoples and Hispanics (Chicanos or Latinos) from the west and southwest French Louisiana, Alaskan Inuit, Aleuts, Hawaiians, Puerto Ricans, etc.

In fact, English has always been the only language used by the U.S. government, whether in parliament, courts, utilities, signage, etc There were a few exceptions, for example, during the two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), while some messages were published in twenty languages. This expansive practice for English has always been present in the United States and it will not disappear anytime soon, especially since the "threat Hispanic" (the "Latin danger") risk of further strengthening, especially when presidents are conservative like George W. Bush.
In terms of language, in 1919, Franklin Roosevelt, to be President of the United States from 1932 to 1945, once made this statement “We have room for one purpose language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see That the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American Nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house.
The laws on bilingual education
Under pressure from Hispanic personalities, the U.S. Congress finally passed a few laws in matters of language. They all relate to education or bilingual education, apart from the measures provided for the right to vote. In the late sixties, members of Congress wanted to address the needs of a growing number of students who, because of their limited knowledge of English to non-existent, were perpetually failing at school; they were also disadvantaged compared to English-speaking children. This legislation was part of following the demands of black Americans and the passage of the Civil Rights Act (Civil Rights Act of 1964). Meanwhile, the facts showed that Hispanic students abandoned their studies heavily during schooling, while their number is growing in some states such as New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Florida and even in the states of New York and New England.
Include the Bilingual Education Act (Bilingual Education Act, 1965), the Act's emergency assistance to schools (Emergency School Aid Act, 1972), the Education Act to indigenous (Indian Education Act, 1972) and the Program on ethnic heritage (Ethnic Heritage Program, 1972). The bilingual education policy was aimed at children whose knowledge of English is limited. These laws are part, to repeat, in the course of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which had been obtained the supporters of the movement for civil rights for African Americans. At that time, Hispanic students abandoned their studies heavily during schooling, while their number increased as a result of exile Cubans in Florida, Mexicans in the states bordering Mexico, and Puerto Ricans in the states of New York and of New England.
The most important law on this issue was undoubtedly the Bilingual Education Act (Act bilingual education) established in 1965 under the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. The Bilingual Education Act is the short way (said title) to call the 1965 Act whose name was officially the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Act primary and secondary education) or simply the ESEA. The 1968 Act has been amended many times, but in 1994 it was called the Improving America's Schools Act (Act improving the school laws of America), while the short title was still Bilingual Education Act. Although the law on bilingual education in 1994 is now repealed, she served as a model in the U.S. for many years.
Under this open policy, the federal government had provided grants to states whose schools wanted to provide bilingual education. Despite the complexity of American education system, states have taken advantage of huge federal grants through the provisions of the ESEA Act, under Title VII ($ 428 million per year exclusively for the programs "bilingual") or Title I ( $ 8.6 billion), of which 75% may, in its discretion, be allocated to programs involving a language other than English. Of some 3.5 million students receiving this education, 65% would be Hispanic, the others distributed approximately between 150 and 300 other languages, especially Asian minorities, Native American or French (Louisiana, Maine). According to 1990 statistics, approximately 72% of students with limited skills in English (LEP) would be in six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

  Kreins, Jean-Marie (2003). History of Luxembourg (3rd edition ed.). Paris

Thewes, Guy (July 2003) (PDF). Les gouvernements du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg depuis 1848 (Édition limitée ed.). Luxembourg City: Service Information et Presse. 


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