In a four to five paragraph essay, using some or all of the supporting material below, argue a stance on the question: Should America adopt a national language?
There is no official “national language” in America.
“The definition of an official language is one that has been specifically designated in the Constitution of a country or territory. Officially recognized languages are often mistaken for official languages” (PBS.org).
Half of the world’s countries have a designated “national language” (PBS.org).
A majority of second-generation immigrants know English as well as or better than those who trace their genealogy back to the Pilgrims.
Around 50% of immigrants come to American with the ability to speak English moderately well (Public Policy Institute of California).
Spanish is the second most common language in America, spoken by over 12% of the population, followed by Chinese (Business Insider).
People of German ancestry make up the biggest ethnic group in America (U.S. Census Bureau).
“German is the most commonly spoken non-English, non-Spanish language in nine states, with French most common in six states and D.C. Vietnamese was the most common language in six states” (Business Insider).
More than 50% of US States have English as their official language. Only two states have an official second language: Hawaii (Hawaiian) and New Mexico (Spanish) (CNN, Washington Post).
There are over 350 languages spoken and signed in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau).
“While most of the U.S. population speaks only English at home or a handful of other languages like Spanish or Vietnamese, the American Community Survey reveals the wide-ranging language diversity of the United States,” said Erik Vickstrom, a Census Bureau statistician. “For example, in the New York metro area alone, more than a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and close to 200 different languages are spoken. Knowing the number of languages and how many speak these languages in a particular area provides valuable information to policymakers, planners and researchers.” (U.S. Census Bureau).
In the 15 largest metro areas in the country, about 20-25% of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English at home (U.S. Census Bureau).
Children who learn a second language (or even a third) in school are more likely to get advanced degrees and higher paying jobs. It also helps develop their knowledge and critical thinking skills (Pew Research).