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English Only Movement

(see also Xenophobia, Anti-Immigrant Movement, American Empire)

On the Web  •  In the Library  •  CD & Audio  •  Film & Video Search


A globalized economy requires widespread multilinguality. This is the normal human condition in most of the globe; but due to the isolation, size, power & ethnocentrism of the US, Americans have for the most part been denied it. This is changing fast with the latest waves of mass immigration: today a fifth of all Americans speak a language other than English at home. (Among these, with half a million or more speakers each, are at least the following: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Hindi-Urdu, Bengali, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, & Kreyol). We can either consolidate & draw upon this astongishing strength, or neglect & suppress it (as we did with the languages of our 19th & early 20th-century immigrants) to our shame, great long-term disadvantage & possible peril.

On the Web: Articles

The English-Only Movement.

On the Web: Specialized Sites

Joint National Committee for Languages.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.

In the Library: Articles

Arington, Michele. "English-only laws & direct legislation: the battle in the states over language minority rights," Journal of Law & Politics 7,2 (win 91).

Gurwitt, Rob. "English-only campaign is spreading," Governing 1,11 (1988).

Hayakawa, S.I. "English only spoken here...or should be," California Magazine (5/86).

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books

Baron, Dennis. The English-Only Question: An Official Language for Americans? (New Haven: Yale, 1990).

Crawford, James. Hold Your Tongue: Bilingualism & the Politics of English Only (Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992).

Edwards, Rep. Don & others. The English Only Movement: An Agenda for Discrimination (Washington: LULAC, 1986).

Human Rights Watch. "English Only": The Attack on Minority Language Speakers in the US (NY, 1992).

National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials. English Only: The Threat of Language Restrictions (Washington: NALEO, 1989).

Øverland, Orm (ed.) Not English Only: Redefining "American" in American Studies (Amsterdam: VU U., 2001).

Phillipson, Robert. English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy (London: Routledge, 2003).

Stritikus, Tom. Immigrant Children & the Politics of English-Only: Views from the Classroom (NY: LFB Scholarly, 2002).

Trasvina, John. Official English/English Only: More Than Meets the Eye (Washington: NEA, 1988).

In the Library: Fiction

In the Library: For Young Readers

In the Library: Poetry

In the Library: Drama

In the Library: Photography

CD & Audio

Film & Video

"English Only in America?" [1997], by Anne Diack, 25m. BBC film from Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
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