Many people across the world have arguably expressed concern about America becoming a culturally diverse nation. Well, even though society regards America as a mere life fact, there is in no doubt some disadvantages exist. Primarily, one main issue is the barrier of language amongst the various languages found in the American nation. However, English and Spanish happen to be the two major languages, used in the United States. The first thought that would come to the mind of anyone is the reason why the Spanish speakers among other immigrants are traveling to the United States. It is obvious that immigrants into the United States are in pursuit of the American dream. Immigrants have a desire to create a successful and blissful life, characterized with many opportunities. However, this is most likely going to be faced with a lot of challenges because of the absence of a common language amongst the Americans (Bailey, 2004, pp.3-17). Apparently, any person, wishing to live in America, must acquaint themselves with the English language.
The need for people to learn to speak English well and adopt American lifestyles so as to fit in within the American culture is a topic that has drawn a lot of debate and more especially for those wishing to obtain citizenship in America. Research has shown that the “American dream” is the main reason as to why many immigrants have traveled to the United States. Well, getting there is one thing and becoming a citizen would require fulfilling other necessities. The situation could take different hypothetical forms, although one could stand out as more superior to the other, as it will be established at the end of this study.
For one, immigrants could become American citizens and co-exist with their culture and language amidst the American population. For instance, the Mexican Americans have endeavored to live in America with their culture and language. The Mexican Americans for long have been using Spanish and has made the language become the second commonly used language after English. Another hypothetical situation would be a case, where immigrants wishing to become American citizens assimilate into American lifestyles and learn to speak the commonly used language which is English. Looking at this subject from previous research, the reality of the situation in the United States on matters of obtaining American citizenship can be established. A careful discussion and analysis of the level of assimilation and multiculturalism that exists in the typical American population can be a very useful approach in determining successful thriving in the American society.
In today’s contemporary world, there are many people migrating into the United States. It has been found that anyone seeking to become a citizen of America must take a test as provided by the United States. The immigrant must have a good basic mastery of English in reading, writing and speaking. At the same time, the person must demonstrate some knowledge of the history of the United States, coupled with some few elements that define the American society (U.S. Citizenship Test to Change, 2003, par. 1-3). However, there are over three hundred different languages found in the American society. There are about fifteen million citizens in America who do not speak English in the first place, despite having a majority of about 80% who are English speakers. The total American population is about three hundred million people. This could be a tricky situation for anyone who wants to get to America and become a citizen, yet he or she is not willing to learn English and adopt the American lifestyle. All the same, some may argue in favor of the 5% who are not English speakers. Therefore, this research is important in establishing the fact about learning English to become an American citizen, and whether there is need to adopt American lifestyle (Kretzschmar, 2002, pp.12-21).
Making provision in the American constitution to offer government services in the different languages can be a difficult task. If the federal government provides the Spanish speaking population this right, the right would, naturally, be extended to the other languages that are found in the United States. This would illogically burden the services of the government, piling on a big layer of costs and bureaucracy. Moreover, inevitably, any person with a unique language will see it as a ‘right’ to have services, offered to them in their language. This is something that would be hard to come by. It may not even be sufficiently offered at some facility of the government. This can be a very bad amalgamation in public policy; a right that would be hard to be provide sufficiently and that may add on to the taxpayers’ burden through colossal sums of money, expended in the provision of these services (Laubeová, 2000, par. 3-6).
The English language has, mainly, been used to promote national unity and integration in the United States of America. English emerged out as the commonly spoken language, starting from the early 17th century. It could, thus, be very hard to change something that has been in America for so long just to favor a few individuals that want to become American citizens. The English language has defined a lot of sectors in the American nation. This includes politics, society, culture, education and entertainment among others. English forms a major part of the American lifestyles and it influences Americans’ way of living and social integration. The constitution, by itself, is written in English. The reason for this was that English is the language that is supposed to be spoken in America, though not yet declared as a national language. It can be frustrating for immigrants not to be in a position to respond, when receiving instructions in English which is obviously spoken in many corners of America.
Living a joyful and booming life for both immigrants and their children, wishing to live and work in America, calls for learning English and adopting American lifestyles. The Mexican American has in the past clung onto their culture and beliefs, but it is not surprising to realize that things have taken another course lately. Working with people from a more or less similar heritage is not sufficient enough to live and work in America. Schooling for children would require that they learn English. However, a lot of the people would want to stick to their culture and language, they will bend their predispositions at some point. Some researchers, therefore, feel that it is more prudent to get assimilated into the American society if success is to be realized in peoples’ lives (Finegan and Rickford, 2004, pp.34-67).
Immigration has swept the United States within the last thirty years. There is always a notion that the immigrants in the United States will adopt the western culture, and make an effort to speak the English language. The question has always been whether this would be a fundamental requirement before any person becomes a citizen in the United States. From the facts, presented through the history of the United States, there is little chance for a multiculturalism idea to realize maximum potential in the United States. Immigrants and the people, wishing to become citizens in the United States, have the challenge of learning how to speak English; otherwise it will defeat the purpose of their intentions and wish of becoming American citizens (Finegan, 2006, pp. 384-419).
The work place would require someone to learn how to speak English. Apparently, when Americans learn the “survival Spanish” or “construction Spanish”, it does not guarantee the immigrants and anyone, wishing to become an American citizen, a good chance of learning English. This will, ultimately, be a demeaning concept to the immigrants into the United States. Though it is not stated anywhere as the national language, English should be spoken as the ancestors who once lived in America learnt how to speak it for their survival. A complete assimilation into the American lifestyle and culture may be impractical or may be optional but can be useful to some extend. All the same, English becomes largely important in the American society for personal benefits and survival. Success, in the American context, is apparently contributed through learning how to speak English (Englekirk and Marín, 2011, par. 5-11).
From pre-historic times, immigrants into the United States learnt how to speak English and, therefore, it appears to be a requirement in modern times. For immigrants without the intention of becoming citizens the case could be different but very little difference could be realized from the people who want to make a permanent residence in America. Having a common language saves on time and money resources. In the United States, people, mainly, speak English and there is no way through which an individual can survive without learning English. Despite the challenges faced while learning English, it appears to be a very basic requirement for guaranteed success within the American society. The adamant Spanish speakers have in the recent past shifted their position. The second and third generations of the Spanish speakers have now been forced to learn English. English has realized diverse application in education, entertainment and at the workplace (USA - Language, 2011, par. 2-7).
From the information provided in this research paper, it is obvious that learning English would be a prudent step for people, wishing to become American citizens. English has formed a major part of the American society as it is the commonly used language in the United States. The American constitution is, by itself, written in the English language. Majority of the American population speaks English and, therefore, for any person to survive in America, they need to learn how to speak language. As though that was not enough, adopting partly or completely the American lifestyle would be a major step towards living successfully in America. Therefore, all those, wishing to obtain citizenship in America, should learn to speak English well and adopt American lifestyles so as to fit in within the American culture. Becoming an American citizen will require a good mastery of the English language and an understanding of the American way of life otherwise it could be humiliating to live in America as a citizen.