6 March 2015
English literacy is the only literacy worth noting. Declaring English the official language is essential and beneficial for the United States government and its citizens. Official English unites Americans, who speak more than 322 languages by providing a common means of communication; it encourages immigrants to learn English in order to use government services and participate in the democratic process, and it defines a muchneeded common sense language policy.
Official English promotes unity. Our national motto is
E pluribus unum out of many, one. Immigrants of many nationalities built our nation, but the "melting pot" melded us into one people. This long tradition of assimilation has always included the adoption of English as the common means of communication. Unfortunately, the proliferation of multilingual government sends the opposite message to nonEnglish speakers: it is not necessary to learn
English because the government will accommodate them in other languages. It not only promotes unity but helps equalize immigrants as well.
Official English empowers immigrants. Providing multilingual services creates dependence on "linguistic welfare." Life without English proficiency in the United States is a life of lowskilled, lowpaying jobs. Studies of Census data show that an immigrant's income
rises about 30% as a result of learning English. Knowledge of English leads to the realization of the American Dream of increased economic opportunity and the ability to become a more productive member of society, which benefits everyone. It is not the responsibility of the government to provide services in the 322 different languages spoken in the United States. It is the responsibility of each individual to either learn English or to find a friend or family member to translate. Official English is an important part of American society.
The persistence of the myth of English monolingualism in this country reflects the belief that English is the only language that counts and the mentality that language diversity is