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Posted on May 31st, 2012, by

Bilingualism is a controversial issue in the modern society. Linguists, sociologists and politicians pay more and more attention to the language people use in their everyday communication and that is why the question of bilingualism causes many loud arguments in the modern society. There are opponents and proponents of bilingualism. To my mind, bilingualism gives people a lot of advantages, such as additional job opportunities, communication opportunities and open-mindness. In our world, where different nations actively interact with each other, every additional language gives people an opportunity to expand their horizons and bring them new perspectives.

It goes without saying that bilingual people are more open-minded. They are able to accept different countries and they treat foreign people with tolerance. Bilingual people know much more about other countries, traditions and culture. It helps them to see their life from a new perspective and accept changes in a proper way. Bilingualism presumes not only tolerant attitude to foreign countries but also thorough knowledge about their histories and social development. The person broadens his horizon in such a way.

It can be beneficial for separate individuals and for the society in general. Bilingualism can help to save diversity and make an American society more interesting and better prepared to meet the needs of different nationalities. Separate individuals can save their peculiar characteristics and ethnical distinctions. People, who do not remember about their origin, can not build a successful life. In order to move forward we need a fundament to start the building.

Language and historical and cultural heritage can make this basement for many people who belong to different races and ethnicities. Bilingualism can help to save this diversity and individuality of each member of the American society.

Those, who are against bilingualism insist that one language can bring discipline and order to the society. They also see it as   means to open horizons for all people. They state that in the modern society English has become the way for different people to express their thoughts freely. These people see English language as a means to unite people.

Historically, the need to speak and understand English has served as an important incentive for immigrants to learn the language and assimilate into the mainstream of the American society (Mujica 581). So, the proponent of the official English turn the experience of the past in order to prove their opinion. Despite they give rather convincing arguments, I believe that there are a lot of advantages, which can be achieved through bilingualism. I believe that only bilingualism can help to achieve openness and free communication among different people. Multi-nationalism makes the core of the American identity. Language use cannot be legislated anyway, and attempts to unify a nation by language are often counterproductively divisive (King, 60).  In this way bilingualism can make the national identity stronger and give it new shades of meaning.

With the rapid development of globalization, people who know more than one language find themselves in beneficial position. They have better communicative opportunities and can overcome barrier in communication easier that people, who know only one language. Knowing more than one language increases cross-cultural awareness an understanding of other people. It also has a good impact on the learning skill of those who learn it. Knowing two and more languages becomes a good training for memory and communicative skills.

Bilingual people can definitely enjoy all the advantages of communication. Knowing the language of you foreign friend makes him immediately respect you. It is much easier to find the consensus communicating without the interpreter. The status of the bilingual person is always higher than monolingual one in the contemporary society.

Those, who stand against bilingualism insist that English, as the dominant language can help to achieve better communication among people. English has very strong and even dominant positions in the United States. For more than 200 years, Americans have gotten by without declaring English our official language. This raises an obvious question: Why should we do so now? Why does English suddenly need legal protection in a federal Language of Government Act? (Haugen). There is no other language, which could compete with it. They state that in everyday life English must become the only language of communication.

I believe that bilingualism give better opportunities for communication. The question is not about forgetting the English language and getting it out of everyday communication. Those, who stand for bilingualism, only want to add other languages to the dominant one. This can diverse cultural and linguistic portrayal of the country and will help to save individual characteristics of different people who constitute the American population. English is in no danger of disappearing any time soon; it is firmly established both in America and in countries throughout the world. In fact, no language has ever held as strong a position in the world as English does today (Birner).

Bilingualism gives people additional job opportunities. Coordinated bilingual policy has also a great political and social meaning. It is a common known fact that the United States of America is a country of immigrants. Different people from all over the world come and stay in this country. All these people know their native language but it is not enough to get a well paid and successful job. The policy of bilingualism can help these people to feel better in the new surrounding and give them better opportunities to adapt to the new surrounding. The English language can become the force that would unite the employee and the employer. It is evident that immigrants need to learn English in order to operate effectively in the new surrounding. It will guarantee them good job opportunities and the knowledge of their native language is additional advantage.  At the same time remembering their own language is also very important for them. Yet, to learn English students need not forget the language they bring with them to school, be it Spanish, Vietnamese of Urdu. Bilingual education is not like an antibiotic that we give to children who are sick, their sickness being lack of English. As soon as the children are well- as soon as the know English, the antibiotic- the bilingual education, is removed (Rovira).

Those, who stand against bilingualism insist that only English provides business and carrier opportunities. They believe English to be the language of business, higher education, diplomacy, aviation, the Internet, science, popular music, entertainment, and international travel. All signs point to its continued acceptance across the planet (Mujica 580).

I respect English and believe that it is an important Language of business sphere but still think that knowing other languages can also give some benefits. Bilingualism opens door in the world of career opportunities. In the era of globalization the knowledge of one language can not guarantee you great professional perspectives, especially in the international sphere. Bilingualism offers a great number of additional options that are necessary for the professional growth. Bilingualism has a great impact on our mentality and, so on our approach to job: Hayakawa believes that: While it is certainly true that our love for freedom and devotion to democratic principles help to unite and give us a mutual purpose, it is English, our common language, that enables us to discuss views and allows us to maintain a well-informed electorate, the cornerstone of democratic government. (Hayakawa 575). Being a bilingual person you are able to cope with the greater information scope without additional help.

To sum up, bilingualism brings us a lot of advantages and among the most meaningful are open-mindness, communication and job opportunities. People should be aware of these advantages and make the right decision in their life. Originally, America was created as a country of freedom and equal opportunities. People from different countries have found their homes here and each of them has brought peculiar feature, which helped to create the country we have at the present moment. Rejecting the rights of different races to speak their languages freely the government limits this right. I believe that it is partially true that the language form national consciousness but it is necessary to keep in mind that the United States of America has a diverse national consciousness. This consciousness is formed by different people, who belong to different races and ethnicities, and only in this way it can by truly realized. So, bilingual language policy is a great chance to save of this uniqueness.

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