Ebonics was deeply entangled with white perceptions of black otherness, relating to race, class, morality and violence, thus draping it with an added layer of threat. Even in southern states, a white police officer is more likely to identify with a black driver who speaks regional English in an accent they share, than with one speaking the widely stereotyped urban style.
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In other words, the other who speaks like me is more likely to win my favour than the other who compounds his otherness by speaking other than me. While Ebonics might be a perfectly intelligible form of English to those who speak it, it goes against the grain of a white-dominated society in which belonging means talking the talk of Standard English. Or that adopting Standard English might feel unreal — using language as a conscious, even self-conscious, performance.
One prerequisite of being an American, as we have seen, is the ability to speak English.
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Performed with ease or clumsiness, awareness or not, guile or good faith, it is none the less something that must be enacted and portrayed, something that must be realized. We wear the masks we think other people want to see. Should those who come to US shores assimilate to US culture, or maintain their distinctive cultural markers? The question however is too simplistic: it essentialises both the issue and the nation. To the extent that America has a national culture, it has been shaped by elements that immigrants brought with them.
To a significant degree, these were absorbed into an expanding American-ness. While being absorbed, however, they maintained traces of their ancestry. Fidelity to a migrant past is not inherently threatening to a national future. It would be false to think that there is no price to be paid for those migrants who cannot communicate in English. Here as elsewhere, people who are isolated by language tend — much like poor people, or victims of sexual assault, for example — to get blamed for their condition.
Immigrants to the US who cannot or will not learn to speak English are necessarily isolated from their English-speaking fellows. The non-speaker is powerless to contest whatever conclusions they draw. Language is an organic force, and difficult to control. The troublesome example of official French policy in Quebec offers a cautionary tale. One promising avenue for integrating non-speakers comes in the form of bilingual immersion education.
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In southern California, home to a broad diversity of ethnicities and languages, such programmes are proliferating. I have lived this issue, and it is incomprehensible to me that anyone would oppose legislation which codifies the language policy for this country. Instead of making life easier for new immigrants — assuming this is a goal — such a law would likely just bar them from even more opportunities.
Likewise, since non-speakers would be further stigmatised, their nativist detractors could claim legal vindication for every exclusionary push. This is Alabama , they might say, we speak English. Pay for your paper and one of our best writers will immediately start working on it. While the writer is working on your order, you can either wait patiently for it to be delivered, or get in touch with your writer using our customer support system.
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Caroline Order Excellent as always! Alex Order Hanna Order Mia Order Kenny Order Maria Order It eliminates the need for translation that would otherwise lead to misinterpretation or failure to impact on the audience as intended. Each and every community shall retain its sovereign right to communicate in its desired language or medium, and to practice their beliefs and heritage. However, workplaces and other social dens will be far more interactive as there will be free flow of information. Finally, there has been a major misconception that English, as the official language, will lead to the loss of diversity in both language and culture.
Opponents of this proposition argue that it is culturally insensitive to introduce English as the official language. Language remains one of the salient aspects of any ethnic group. It is a means of passing their heritage and culture from one generation to another.
In addition, it ensures cohesion and the long-term survival of any ethnic group. However, this argument is eroded by the fact that English will be the official, rather than only, language of the United States. The misconception that ethnic minorities will be left out in the quest of the American dream is not entirely true.
Second and subsequent generations ought to adopt the American lifestyle. However, English does not impede them from learning about their culture and heritage. Nonetheless, caution needs to be taken when considering whether English should be the official language. Several factors ought to be considered. For instance, other language choices apart form English, the financial ramifications associated with having English as the official language, an overview as to the history and legal actions related to English as the official language and all other incidental information deemed relevant for the pursuance of such intentions.
The controversies surrounding this debate are unlikely to come to a conclusion any time soon. With a growing number of immigrants, opposition is likely to increase. However, second and subsequent generations have been observed to be fluent in the language and have adopted it as their language of choice in workplaces and on the social platform.