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English-Only Debate Paper

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English-Only Debate Paper
Anne-Cecile Grundy
Grand Canyon University
ESL 523N
September 26, 2010
English language learners are a very heterogeneous and complex group of children, with diverse gifts, educational needs, backgrounds, languages, and goals. They are the fastest growing section of the student population in schools and offer challenges and opportunities to the American education. In this study, the writer will explore the arguments of both sides of the English-only issue, which started decades ago and is still very active today. Emphasis will be placed on the comparison and contrast of the positions presented by advocates and opponents of the English-only debate and will be supported with state’ voter-driven initiatives and laws relating to English language learners.

English-Only Debate Paper In the eighteen century, education in the United States was provided in different languages: German, Dutch, French or Swedish. After World War I, when German was a proscribed language, the American population started to think about an education solely in English. However, until 1968, the language policies were left to the discretion of the school, church, city, or state. At this time, the federal government dictated how the non-English-speaking students should be taught, and therefore, started a very controversial debate in the public education sector (Porter, 1998). “In September 1995, Representative John T. Doolittle (R-Cal.) proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would establish English as the official language of the United States” (, 2010).
Comparing and Contrasting Both Sides of the English-Only Issue In the United States, the English-only debate has become more and more prevalent. The English-only movement advocates for an education provided in English as the official...

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