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The Immigrants' Language Heritage

  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2010 07:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.3 
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A Gift or Barrier?
    ——Immigrants’ language heritage
      It is well known that America is a nation of immigrants and descendant's of immigrants. Millions of immigrants from different ethnic groups, cultures, religions move to this country to pursue their American dreams. As an important component of identity, English is regarded as the only language of America. Therefore, Immigrants who speak a language other than English are under the pressure to assimilate linguistically. Nowadays, more and more native languages spoken in American territory, bilingualism is more common today than in the past. According to this tendency, many American commentators convey their anxieties about the fading of America identity, they said that English is “no longer the linguistic glue holding America together”. On the other     hand, multiculturalists hope new immigrants' native languages will persist.   They believe bilingualism will enrich the American culture background. Based on this controversy, that mother tongue is a gift or barrier to the immigrants, becomes a really meaningful question. As for me, I think, as a heritage gift to the second-generation immigrants, mother tongue could bring them better future on account of today’s global economy system, and these bilingual citizens are also beneficial to the state, as they can help promote international understanding.
    To begin with, what the bilingualism opponents assert that native language will pillage the territory of English is not a truth. Statistics shows most children who grow up in immigrant households speak an immigrant language at home, but almost all are proficient in English. For example, “among second-generation Hispanics, 92 percent speak English well or very well, even though 85 percent speak at least some Spanish at home; among Asian groups, 96 percent are proficient in English and 61 percent speak an Asian mother tongue.”(Chung and Zhang: “Exploratory Model on Advising Bilingual Parenting among Chinese...

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