ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNITY ACT EVA ESCAPE Harrisburg Are Community College TOPIC: Should English be the official language of America? SPECIFIC PURPOSE: To inform my audience about the benefits of declaring English as the official language of the United States of America. THESIS STATEMENT: The English Language Unity Act should be approved as it aims to declare English as the official language of the country. INTRODUCTION: I. Buenas tardes companeros de clase y profesores! Buoni compagni de classe pomeridiani e insegnante!
Magandang hapon po sainyong lahat! I just said “Good afternoon classmates and teacher! ” in three different languages; Spanish, Italian, and Filipino. II. Imagine doing this each day of your life, bearing in mind other people who talk in different languages. Luckily it is not our problem to face every day, but it is one of the many things the government and other related sectors do. They have to publish everything in other languages in consideration to other nationalities present in the country. III.
As a new immigrant myself and being someone who does not have that much knowledge of the country’s government system, I was curious to know about one surprising fact about the United States. IV. Now before I introduce my topic, let me ask you a quick question. What is the official language of the United States? For some of you who do not know, there is currently, no official language for the United States of America. As one of the major centers of commerce and trade, and a major English-speaking country, many assume that English is the country’s official language.
V. That is why today, my topic will be about the English Language Unity act since 2005. It is a proposed law that aims to declare English as the official language of the country. We will discuss what it proposes, what are the benefits we can get from it, and the concerns of the people who oppose this law. BODY I. Before we start anything else, let me clarify what exactly this act is. The English Language Unity Act is a bill proposed by US Representative Steve King. It intends to pronounce English as the official language of the United
States, in order to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States. It is also called “Official English” act because the term “official” refers to any function that binds the government and anything that is required by the law, which means that the bill is intended strictly only for the government. II. Declaring English the official language is essential and beneficial for the U. S. government and its citizens. Official English unites Americans, who speak more than 322 languages (2000, U.
S. Census), 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. III. Now, some of you may ask, why is it necessary for the United States to have an official language? A. The first reason why it is important is because the identity and history of the United States are intrinsically linked to the English Language. From its very founding, English was the common language of the US, and full participation in the national life was dependent on the ability to speak it.
Declaring English as the official language will give legal for to this history, and help provide unity to Americans at a time when many come from different backgrounds. B. US English, the organization that supports Official English, believe that people of the United States can grow strong instead of breaking up into dozens or hundreds of different groups, each with its own language and culture. According to the author Paul Lang in “The English Language Debate” of 1995, it is a common idea that people speaking in different languages will not be able to live together in harmony.
There is even an event in the Bible in the book of Genesis that tells a story of an early time when all people spoke the same language, lived and cooperated with each other. They all agreed and tried to build the Tower of Babel all the way to heaven. God punished them by making each person unable to understand the speech of every other person. Once the workers lost the ability to communicate, they were unable to continue working together. IV. Now that we know the reasons for proposing the English Language Unity Act, I will discuss what will be the different changes that the country will ndergo once this bill is approved and implemented as a law. A. The first rule that comes with this act is that citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language. B. Next, all official documents, records, legislation and regulations, as well as hearings, ceremonies and public meetings are conducted solely in English, with some common sense exceptions. C. Lastly, federal government sector shall be created specifically for the implementation of this bill. It is to enhance the role of English as the official language of the federal government.
Things such as improving access to services for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) will be one of the responsibilities of this sector. The established Federal agency shall examine the services it provides and develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access those services consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency. V. With all these changes that will happen. How will this act benefit the people of America if it is only intended for the government? U. S English lists 3 things: D.
According to them, Official English will promote unity. In any American coin, you will see these Latin words “E Pluribus Unum” the country’s motto which means “out of many, one. ” E. Second, Official English will empower immigrants. Immigrants will benefit from the elevation of English to official status. Instead of the mixed message government sends by making it possible to file tax returns, vote, become U. S. citizens and receive a host of other services in a variety of languages, immigrants will understand that they must know English to fully participate in the process of government.
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. English is the key to opportunity in this country. C. Lastly, Official English is common sense government. The designation of official English will eliminate the needless duplication of government services in multiple languages. 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. The money formerly spent on multi-lingual services can instead provide immigrants with the assistance they really need-classes to teach them English. VI. Now that we know the reasons and benefits we will get in approving this bill. Here are some frequently asked questions many people have about it. F. When are languages other than English permitted in government under official English legislation? i.
Official English legislation allows a variety of common sense exceptions permitting the use of languages other than English: public health and safety, international relations and national security, judicial proceedings (although actual trials would be conducted in English), tourism, foreign language instruction, terms of art or phrases from other languages, etc. G. How does official English affect private businesses and private citizens’ daily lives? ii. Official English legislation only applies to government functions.
Language policies in private business are not affected, and private citizens are still free to use any language they wish in their daily lives. H. Is official English legislation anti-immigrant? iii. Official English legislation is actually pro-immigrant. Immigrants learn English more quickly when there was less native language support around them. English also restricts them to low-skilled, low-paying jobs. Official English legislation encourages immigrants to learn English so they can truly enjoy the economic opportunities available to them in this country. CONCLUSION: I.
I believe that the English Unity Language Act should be approved. It will provide opportunities for those who cannot speak it, even if it means everyone has to learn the language sufficiently, despite of it being only limited to the government which means it does not affect the languages spoken in private businesses, religious services or private conversations. II. If I was able to convince you enough through my presentation to be in the pro-side of this English Language Unity Act. You can be a part of the US-English Movement Campaign. Visit their website for more details and answers to whatever questions you have.
Thank you and have a good day! Works Cited “Beta. ” H. R. 997. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. Bragg, Melvyn. The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language. New York: Arcade Pub. , 2004. Print. Feder, Jody. English as The Official Language of The United States. N. p. : Congressional Research Service, 2010. Print. “Get Involved. ” U. S. English. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. GovTrack. us. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. “Idebate. org. ” Idebate. org. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. Lang, Paul. The English Language Debate: One Nation, One Language? Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1995. Print.