CENTER FOR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL RESEARCH



LANGUAGE POLICY AND LANGUAGE RIGHTS


Sites and articles listed here are not necessarily endorsed by the CMMR; they are listed for informational purposes only. These resources are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a sampling of what is currently available. Full text articles and resources are also provided along with a searchable database of the Supreme Court opinions since 1893. If you would like to suggest a site to be added to this listing please visit our "Submit a Site" page.



Fundamental Policy Documents -- A Basis for Liberty

"WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." -- The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

U.S. Constitution (English)
Constitucion De Los Estados Unidos De America (Español)
Constitution Des États-Unis D'Amérique (Français)

Bill of Rights (English)
Declaracion De Derechos (Español)
La Déclaration Des Droits (Français)

Declaration Of Independence (English)
La Declaracion De Independencia (Español)
La Déclaration D'Indépendance (Français)

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Language Policy And Language Rights



ACLU of Northern California web effort on languge rights and language discrimination. Covers such topics as: What is language discrimination ? Is language discrimination illegal? Why is language discrimination illegal? When can an employer require an employee to speak only English at work? When can an employer treat an employee differently because of his or her accent? When can an employer treat an employee differently because he or she cannot communicate well in English? What other types of language discrimination are prohibited by law? What should you do if you think you may have been subjected to language discrimination? Also includes section on Guidelines and Questions for Employers Considering the Use of Workplace "Speak-English-Only" Rules.

This web effort is designed to help people access information on education policy at the federal level.

The Arizona Supreme Court dealt a surprisingly strong blow to the English-only movement by throwing out Art. XXVIII of that state's constitution, passed by the voters back in 1988. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the measure unreasonably restricts access to government for language-minority groups, in violation of the First and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. constitution. The text of the decision can be read (with Adobe Acrobat) on the court's web site.

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This organization focuses on opposition to racial preferences, immigration, and anti bilingual and multicultural education. Site of conservative advocate Linda Chavez.

Web effort at the University of Pennsylvania is an association of research universities, advocacy bodies, and other scholars interested in issues of language policy and planning. The objectives of the Consortium are to enhance the quality of research, teaching, and information dissemination on the subject of language policy formation and study; to strengthen similarly-oriented programs of its member institutions, and to foster dialogue on the process of language policy formation in situations of ethnic and linguistic conflict in the modern world.

Peer-reviewed electronic journal published at the College of Education, Arizona State University. Articles about education policy at all levels and in all nations.

English First is a national, non-profit grassroots lobbying organization founded in 1986. Their stated goals are simple, to make English America's official language, and to eliminate costly and ineffective multilingual policies.

This site is sponsored by supporters of California's Proposition 227 (the "Unz Initiative") which banned most bilingual programs as of June 1998.

Utahns for Responsible Legislation (URL) created this web site to provide information about the issues behind a bill that would have made English Utah's official language and (with several exceptions) prohibited government workers or the state or its political subdivisions from conducting government business or printing information in any language but English. They believe the bill was an anti-minority and anti-immigrant initiative that offered no benefit to the state or any Utah citizen or group of citizens.

Membership, advocacy and grant-funding organization based in the UK. The aims of the Foundation are to raise awareness of endangered languages, both inside and outside the communities where they are spoken, through all channels and media; to support the use of endangered languages in all contexts: at home, in education, in the media, and in social, cultural and economic life; to monitor linguistic policies and practices, and to seek to influence the appropriate authorities where necessary;

This site collects links on the language futures of Europe - on language policy, multilingualism, global language structures, and the dominance of English. It starts with a comment on the structures of language: then texts/essays, and sections on EU policy, national policies, and research sites. Finally there are links on the emerging "monolingual movement" in the United States.

The Language Policy Research Center at Bar-Ilan University in Israel carries out basic and applied research in the study of how societies deal with the demands and benefits of multilingualism.

James Crawford, an independent writer and lecturer who specializes in the politics of language has constructed a site designed to encourage discussion of language policy issues, publish updates on current developments, report on pending legislation, and highlight links to other sources of information. Topics covered include the English Only movement, English Plus, bilingual education, efforts to save endangered languages, and language rights in the U.S.A. The premiere site of its type on the web.

The Latino/a Research & Policy Center (LRPC) was founded on July 1, 1997 and is an academic unit which serves as a resource to the University of Colorado at Denver's Latino/a faculty, and other faculty, students, community and civic leaders interested in scholarly research and public policy addressing the needs, interests and aspirations of Latino populations and communities.

This UNESCO-sponsored site has information and links to UN and European declarations relevant to linguistic rights, as well as clips from various national constitutions relating to national language rights policies.

The Purpose of the Center is to collect and report statistics and information showing the condition and progress of education in the United States and other nations in order to promote and accelerate the improvement of American education. NCES studies cover the entire educational spectrum, providing the facts and figures needed to help policymakers understand the condition of education in the nation today, to give researchers a foundation of data to build upon, and to help teachers and administrators decide on best practices for their schools.

State-by state policies and resources as well as compiled information on meeting the educational needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students in the U.S.

The National Policy Voice for Language. The member organizations of NCLIS-JNCL are united in their belief that all Americans must have the opportunity to learn and use English and at least one other language. Raising the awareness of policymakers about the importance of international education, NCLIS now represents 60 national and regional organizations encompassing virtually all areas of the language field; the major and less- commonly taught languages, including English and English as a Second Language, bilingual education, the classics, linguistics, exchanges, research, technology, international business education, and translation.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Recommendations For Countering The Official English Movement In The U.S. This document includes: TESOL's statement on language rights.

Terralingua is an international, non-profit organization concerned about the future of the world's biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity. Within this broad focus they have two main aims: (1) supporting the perpetuation and continued development of the world's linguistic diversity; and (2) exploring the connections between linguistic, cultural and biological diversity, through a programme of research, information, applied work, and advocacy.

Acting under the directive of the leadership of the 104th Congress to make Federal legislative information freely available to the Internet public, a Library of Congress team brought the THOMAS World Wide Web system online in January 1995. Databases made available include Bill Text, Congressional Record Text, Bill Summary & Status, Congress This Week, Major Legislation, the Congressional Record Index, and the Constitution (now found, along with other historical Congressional documents, under the "Historical Documents" category on the THOMAS home page). Enhancements in the types of legislative data available, as well as in search and display capabilities, have been continuously added.

Promoting the well-being of the Latino population of the United States through the improvement of the nation's policies and programs, The Tomas Rivera Center (TRC) conducts rigorous, policy-relevant research, evaluates the effects of governmental and corporate practices on Latinos, and serves as a nonpartisan source of information, analysis and ideas for the policymaking communities.

Student financial aid materials, tips for parents, statistics & the latest findings on what works in education are among the myriad of documents stored on the site, helping make it one of the most widely used education resources on the Internet.

The major lobby for language restrictions, founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S. I. Hayakawa and Dr. John Tanton; leaders of the modern English Only movement. The organization is dedicated to preserving the "unifying role" of the English language in the United States. Its efforts support making English the official language of government at all levels.



CMMR Featured Analysis


CMMR review of the results and ramifications of the passage of the California referendum to eliminate bilingual education. Includes sampling of news articles, commentaries, and current information resources that discuss Proposition 227's pending enactment.
(This section is no longer updated, it is provided for historical reference)



"End bilingual education in California." That was the slogan of a ballot intiative entitled English for the Children. It become a reality in June, 1998. This comprehensive link provides information on the initiative provided by the Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research. Sampling of news articles collected from newspapers, periodicals and other media sources through election day that discuss the pros and cons of the California anti-Bilingual Education Initiative. An assortment of links from various organizations, and a mutlitmedia review of the controversial initiative.
(This section is no longer updated, it is provided for historical reference)



LANGUAGE POLICY AND LANGUAGE RIGHTS

FULL TEXT RESOURCES AND ARTICLES




The ACLU opposes "English Only" laws because they can abridge the rights of individuals who are not proficient in English, and because they perpetuate false stereotypes of immigrants and non-English speakers. This briefing paper elobrates on these critical issues.

by Jon Reyhner. This article looks from a historical perspective at what impact the implementation of the American Indian Languages Act might have on Indian education.

by Jim Cummins and Michael Genzuk. The U.S. Department of Education released the findings of an eight-year study designed to provide definitive answers to one of the most volatile questions in American Education: What types of programs work best in helping Hispanic students succeed in school? The issue has revolved around the effectiveness of bilingual education which involves using the child's primary language in addition to English as a language of instruction. This article also available in Spanish.

by James Crawford. Paper presented at a Conference on Language Legislation and Linguistic Rights, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 21, 1996.

by Thomas Ricento. A review of the history of language restrictionism in the United States and commentaries on current efforts to declare English the official language.

By Jamie B. Draper and Martha Jiménez. Not since the beginning of this century has language received as much attention in the United States. Like the language battles of the early 1900s, those of the 1980s were rife with appeals to patriotism and unity casting language minorities in the role of outsiders who deliberately "chose" not to learn the English language. This article provides a chronological overview of these efforts.

by G. Vernez, R.A. Krop, C.P. Rydell. This Rand report asks: How much would it cost and what would the benefits be if blacks and Hispanics graduated from high school, went to college, and graduated from college at the same rate as non-Hispanic whites? The answer to this important question for the future of the nation is explored in this report. The costs of education would be high, increasing by about 20 percent in California and 10 percent in the rest of the nation. But the benefits, in the form of savings in public health and welfare expenditures and increased tax revenues from higher incomes, would be even higher. Indeed, the added costs of providing more education to minorities would be recouped well within the lifetime of taxpayers called upon to make the additional investments. The nation is experiencing a rapid immigration driven increase in the share of Hispanics in the school age population. Failure to increase the educational attainment of this group would result in growing shares of new labor-force entrants having levels of education lower than those prevailing today; in increased income disparities between blacks and Hispanics, on one hand, and Asians and non-Hispanic whites, on the other; and in increased public expenditures for social and health programs for generations to come.

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by Benjamin Levin and J. Anthony Riffel. Increasing diversity in the population is a major issue for educators in North America, presenting political as well as educational challenges. This paper examines Canadian educational policy responses to four kinds of diversity - bilingualism (French/English), multiculturalism, the situation of aboriginal peoples, and the problem of poverty. A description of each issue leads to some speculations or propositions on the nature of diversity and appropriate educational responses to it.

The National Education Association (NEA) article on Bilingual Education. Includes overview of what Bilingual Eduction is, an historical perspective and NEA's position on the use of Bilingual Education

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The National Education Association (NEA) article on: Reasons Against English Only; NEA Resolutions; Language Inclusion History & English Only Legislation; Community Recommendations; and English Only Resources.

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by Stephen Krashen. Critics of bilingual education have cited the high Hispanic dropout rate as evidence against bilingual education. Since most bilingual programs are Spanish-English, it is concluded that bilingual education must be responsible. This note reviews what is known about dropout rates among Hispanic students.

M. Zavodny of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta research paper suggests that workers with limited English skills may suffer adverse effects in the labor market when states declare English the official language. If employers view official English laws as allowing or requiring them to adopt workplace English-only rules that lower the demand for limited English-proficient workers, such laws may harm individuals who do not speak English very well. Using data from the 1980 and 1990 Census, she estimates whether the earnings and other labor market outcomes of workers who have limited English proficiency and live in states that adopted official English laws declined relative to other workers'. The results suggest a substantial decline in the annual earnings of men with limited English proficiency. The text of the decision can be read (with Adobe Acrobat) on the bank's web site.

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by S. L. Mckay and G. Weinstein-Shr. This article examines the relationship between U.S. national policies on literacy, available literacy programs, and individual lives. Beginning with a discussion of the expanding role of English literacy in U.S. immigration policies, this article examines the pressures to become literate in English with consideration given to the resources that are available to do so. Language use in immigrant families is discussed with a focus on native language loss and the consequences of this loss for intergenerational relationships. The article concludes with suggestions for an approach to literacy in which the links between national policies and personal lives are made explicit.

by Kris Anstrom and Anneka Kindler. Issues related to the education of language minority students need to be understood within the context of educational reform as exemplified in the recent passage of three ground breaking pieces of legislation, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA), and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act. All three pieces of legislation require that new linkages be formed across old programatic boundaries, between local educational agencies (LEAs), state education agencies (SEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and the federal government, and between community-based organizations and the schools. Knowledge of the issues and legislation on the part of those concerned with the education of language minority students and their involvement in all levels of the reform effort will help determine whether language minority students benefit from the reform movement. The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the issues and legislation pertinent to the attainment of educational equity and excellence for language minority students.

by Clayton Collins of The Christian Science Monitor. This article suggests that language has long been equated with cultural clout - the "perfect instrument of empire," as Spain's Queen Isabella was said to have been told by an adviser. Today, the world's empires may be in retreat but active movements to leverage language for power have surged worldwide. This article provides a world wide perspective to language policy for political power.

by Dennis Sayers. How can other languages be used in conjunction with English to further intercultural and multilingual learning when teachers and students participate in computer-based global learning networks? Two portraits are presented of multilingual activities in the Orillas and I*EARN learning networks, and are discussed as examples of the principal modalities of communication employed in networking projects between distant classes.

What would be the legal impact of an English Language Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? This excerpt from Language Loyalties: A Source Book On The Official English Controversy, by James Crawford gives a detailed overview of the historical and legal precedents to explore this question.

by Geoffrey Nunberg. This essay suggests that the story told by the English-only movement is nonsense from beginning to end. No language was ever less in need of official protection.

In this Statement, the Society addresses some of the misconceptions and urges the protection of basic linguistic rights.

by Bernard Spolsky and Elana Shohamy. Article focusing on Israel's language policy reporting Israel as highly multilingual, with a 20% Arabic-speaking minority and large number of languages used by its enormous immigrant population, Hebrew is the dominant language for official, public and private use of the 5,500,000 citizens. In spite of the widespread official and ideological policy support for Hebrew, English has continued to flourish and spread in all sectors of the Israeli population. Article reviews language education policy and language education system.

by V. W. Lewelling. The issue of an official language has surfaced periodically throughout U.S. history. On the surface, the idea appears to be a symbolic gesture-to give English, the de facto language of the country, official status. However, proposals have also called for prohibition of state laws, ordinances, orders, programs, and policies that require the use of other languages. Concern over the implications such an amendment could have for U.S. citizens and residents whose native language is other than English led to formation of an English Plus language advocacy coalition of more than 50 civil rights and educational organizations. This digest reviews these topics.

Article by Jorge Amselle which suggests that advocates of official English need to recapture the focus of the debate over a common language. If they do not, the language issue will become the hegemony of restrictionists and xenophobes, and will indeed become the divisive issue that ethnic activists already claim it to be.

by Lynn Schnaiberg. Comprehensive overview of the bilingual education debate. Provides full text coverage and additional informational links. (Education Week)

Language is tearing apart countries around the world, and the proponents of "Official English" may be ready to add America to the list. An article in the Atlantic Monthly by Robert D. King

Two policies are highlighted, the Language In Education Policy, and the Norms And Standards Regarding Language Policy Published In Terms Of The South African Schools Act, 1996. While these two policies have different objectives, they complement each other and should at all times be read together rather than separately. This Language-in-Education Policy Document is seen as part of a continuous process by which policy for language in education is being developed as part of a national language plan encompassing all sectors of society, including the deaf community.

Keynote address to the Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, November 16, 1996.by James Crawford.


U.S. Supreme Court Opinions



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