The English Language
Please read two essays in your Language Awareness anthology (eleventh edition): “Should English Be the Law?” by King (page 483 ff.) and “In Plain English: Let’s Make It Official” by Krauthammer (page 493 ff.).
Your assignment is to write a bias-controlled APA position paper on Official English. Be sure you follow all the conventions of an APA academic research paper. This especially includes, for a position paper, the writing of an informative Introductory Paragraph (IP). Your IP should contain orientation information as necessary to lead your reader into the content of your paper. The IP should also announce the Research Question plus the Sources to be used in the paper. At its end, the IP must posit its Thesis that will preside over the entire development of the paper.
As sources for your paper, you must use the King text and the Krauthammer text. You may use any additional text from Language Awareness’s Chapter Fourteen or any other chapter. You must use a minimum of two additional sources beyond King and Krauthammer, however. If you choose to go beyond Language Awareness (such as through Wilson Library’s databases or Google searches), you must treat them on a par with King and Krauthammer. All four sources must be properly introduced and handled in a bias-controlled way. Every source you list on the References page of your paper must be paraphrased, summarized, and/or directly quoted within the text of your paper. All sources must be properly documented both within the paper and on the References page. Make sure that every source you work with in your paper is academically valid, and make sure that I know you understand each of your sources accurately.
Position Paper: The English Language
This paper reviews the ongoing debate concerning the position of the English language on a national set-up. Different enacted laws exist in support for the language to be recognized as the national language. Moreover, the issue has been addressed by various newspapers and television stations and has attained the attraction of global audiences. The debate seems to take a different turn with every new century. Currently, the statement commonly used as an overt rhetoric, “English is a global language,” seems to have solid confirmation globally. As such, many people say that English is everywhere and it is the most preferred language for communication. Many people use the language with a perception that the influence is not voluntary but forced. In most cases they are at a place where circumstances lead to the utilization of the language. In this light, English should not be used as an official language of the entire world.
The Unifying Aspect of a Language
The introduction of English language dates back to the 17th century. The wave was initiated by the arrival of the North American settlers. In ancient history,the first attempt that almost phased out the language occurred when the French troops decided to establish French as the primary language. As a result of the establishment of French as the primary language, it was almost impossible to find the traces of English language. Due to the developing effect of multilingualism, it is hard to predict the future of a language (Crawford, 2008). Many people believe that the art of preserving a language is either by vocally or legally seeking for its establishment. While some communities believe that their language defines their identity, other communities feel that the more they impose the importance of their language the more people will appreciate and endorse it. Neither of these ideas seems to settle the issue of the primary language. This study seeks to explore the research question: does the global acceptance of one word declare its importance over other languages? The study will put focus on references that have significantly contributed to this subject and they include: Krauthammer on “Lets make it official”, King’s “In-plain English”, Crystal “Two thousand million” and Krzyżanowski on “multilingual Europe” History shows that English is recognized as a national language in many countries by law (Crawford, 2008). An analysis of the unifying factor of the English language reveals two challenges: accepting the place of multilingualism and neglecting the cultural and traditional effect of other languages.
Review of Literature
According to Krauthammer (2006) language is a force that separates national identity. About the dangers of bilingualism, the author looks back to the history of Canada where the issue caused social unrest and threats of separation. Comparing this predicament to the situation in U.S., the author suggests that the single common language has brought a sense of unification for over two decades. Further, the author highlights that the success was attained because of the country’s mastery in assimilating the immigrant’s language to English. In actual sense, the decisions of the government on the use of English language by the immigrant are still debated though it has not been fully declared as an official language. The author thus suggests that once one visits or is an immigrant of an individual country, the individuals are subject to the rule of that nation. As soon as they declare that they are subject to a particular country, they are required to conform to the laws. The author being multilingual supports the freedom that people have in extending their language to another generation; however, of utmost importance is the understanding that the presence of some linguistic communities does not overwrite the existing language that the country upholds for the purpose of unification.
Crystal (2008) did an extensive study on the development of English language from 1558 to the status in the 21st century. The first influence of the language was estimated to have an average of 6 million speakers during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first Queen Elizabeth I. The study highlights the growth in the 1970s totaling to over 300 million speakers as a deliberate measure of spreading the language . The global estimated spread of English language by 1980s was about 700 million speakers. Some of the users used it as a first language, others as a second language while other used it as a foreign language. All these numbers indicate the significant spread and use of English language globally. The essence of the proliferation of the language is seen as a way of replacing the existing languages. However, the author observes that the language gave a common point of contact for the global relation. In his finding, the author brings out his idea regarding ‘uncertain expectation.’ This concept as defined is that English has is usually used as a standard language in many ways. As such, most of the regular exams are recorded in English, and when one travels around the world, most of the sign posts and instructions found in airports and roads are mainly in English. In conclusion, he sets a figure of 2 billion speakers of English language with the expectation that the number grows larger every day. The author firmly suggests that “it is evident that English is a global language.”
On the contrary, Krzyżanowski, (2009) looks at how the European Union policy on multilingualism has enriched the European community. Specifically focusing the study on German and Polish nationals the author suggests that the idea has improved the relationships within some institutions. Besides, the author adds that the diversity is highly viewed as the desirable factor that shows that the region is inclusive. From the observation, the author suggests that the image created by the acceptance to the multilingualism may serve as a solution to the uproar caused of the current debates concerning language. Regarding creating a democratic image, the study observes that Germany and Poland continually explore how the discussions concerning language contribute to promoting or deny the citizen of their democratic rights.
The author highlights that European policy is dependent on the bi-dimensional model of communication; public concerns and freedom in the public spaces upheld. The study concludes by observing that the national platforms accommodate the variety of multilingualism, but the media has played a great role in creating the existing problem of language separation. Further, the study also examines how certain ideologies regarding language were a factor of creation by the media. In conclusion, the author suggests that the point of separating the reality from the perception may be difficult to unveil.
King (1997) observes that historical records inform the public that the governments may not be able to change the force that is behind language. As such, the states cannot force citizens to practice using a particular language and replace it with the preferred language. Regarding enacting laws that will ensure that a specific language is enforced, he believes that “the public believes that the law can alter behavior.” His argument is that it may be challenging to pass a law that restricts the use of a particular language to citizens that are free and democratic. The author highlighted the issues that surround India as a nation and the inclusion of English language. In his view, India embraces English and has included it as one of the constitutionally recognized languages amongst others. The background of the issue was derived from some experiences that happened after India got its independence. The author narrates of how certain absolutists in the country attempted to force Indian language to the public which resulted in the street uproar and the death of many citizens. In conclusion, the author believes that “language does not threaten the unity of any country.”
Analysis and Conclusion
The use of a language does not equal its importance over other languages. Even though English as a language has gained significant influence over the world, the use of the language is not a symbol that the language is necessary or most preferred. The factors that surround the use of the language have been observed to be either voluntary or forced. However, studies confirm that once a citizen is forced to use a particular language they are likely to oppose with equal force. The optional use of language may bring a unifying sense within a society. Language goes deeper than just physical communication. Language gives a meaning of the identity and origin of different people. The aspect of multilingualism is a reality that one cannot deny. The attempt of changing one’s language affects culture and association. As observed, the law has not successfully solved the issue of language in any given country. The society and the media play a significant role in either fueling negative ideas concerning language or bringing people together. In conclusion, I would not prefer using English as the official language in the entire world.
Crystal, D. (2008). Two thousand million?. English Today, 24(01), 3-6.
Crawford, J. (2008). Language Legislation in the USA. James Crawford’s Language Policy Web Site and Emporium. James Crawford, nd, 24.
King, R. D. (1997). Should English be the law?. ATLANTIC-BOSTON-, 279, 55-65.
Krauthammer, C. (2006). In Plain English: Let’s Make It Official. Language Awareness, 493-95.
Krauthammer, C. (2013). In plain English: Let’s make it official. In P. Eschholz, A. Rosa, & V. Clark (Eds.), Language awareness: Readings for college writers (11th ed.) (pp. 483-492). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Krzyżanowski, M. (2009). Discourses about Enlarged and multilingual Europe: Perspectives from german and polish national public spheres. In Language, discourse and identity in central Europe (pp. 23-47). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
I’m really sorry, Kathy, but this paper does not demonstrate to me that you can write an academic position paper at the college level. It never actually writes directly about the subject of Official English, which is imperative if this paper is going to take a position on this debate. Particularly frustrating is the fact that you refer to so many people and other things without introducing them, so the reader has no idea who or what you’re talking about. There are also ESL errors in the text as well as grammar and punctuation errors. I read your entire paper, and I still don’t know if you favor English as the US’s official language or not—or if you would prefer that English would be the official language of the entire world. That shouldn’t happen: Any reader of any academic position paper should know by the end of the Introduction what the position of the paper is.
65% = 97