Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The goal of the English-only movement is to make English the official language of the United States and to restrict the use of non-English languages in schools and for government services, such as interpreters and voting materials. The movement is based on the belief that encroachment on English by minority languages has reached such a level that English is in danger of losing its primacy as the nation's dominant language. A widespread campaign to make English the official language and to restrict the use of minority languages began in 1983, with the founding of US English by John Tanton and the late U.S. Senator S. I. Hayakawa (R-CA). Two years prior, Senator Hayakawa had proposed an English Language Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Hayakawa gave three primary reasons for why English needed to be an official rather than a de facto national language: (1) English is a ...