Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: July 01, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963985 | Print ISBN: 9781412937207 | Online ISBN: 9781412963985| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sarah Catherine Moore
In the context of U.S. bilingual education, language restrictionism is defined as systematic efforts to stop a linguistic or ethnic group of people from speaking, learning, or maintaining their native or home language. In the United States, language restrictionism has been justified under the banner of promoting national unity, ensuring the homogeneity of the citizenry, or as a means of “Americanizing” immigrants or native peoples. Learning and using the English language is usually considered the defining characteristic of “Americanism.” Many scholars agree that a restrictive period of language policy lasted from the 1880s through the 1960s. James Crawford, in his book Educating English Learners, provides what may be the most comprehensive overview of the history of language restrictionism in the United States, as expressed in attitudes and policies restricting bilingual education. This entry draws from his work and that of others who have looked into this peculiarly American idea. Although ...