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Full Access The English-Only Movement in the US and the World in the Twenty-First Century

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The English-Only Movement in the US and the World in the Twenty-First Century

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AbstractIn this article, I examine the English-only movement in the United States and other countries in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Elaborating on research on the hegemony of English, this examination demonstrates English-only ideology, both linguistic and visual, as a primary means of restricting language and ethnic minorities’ access not only in the US, but also globally. First, I will present English as a social construction of the Anglo-Saxon elites in the process of the subordination of other language groups throughout American history up to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Second, I will briefly introduce the legislation of the Civil Rights Movement to show that language access increased the political presence of language minorities. Third, I will discuss the reemergence of the English-only movement appealing to nationalist sentiments in order to diminish language and ethnic minorities’ rising political presence in the US in the twenty-first century. Fourth, I will examine the spread of English-only ideology within the context of global capitalism, led by the US, in order to show forced compliance to the superiority of English by various diverse social groups on the global level.

Affiliations: 1: University of Arizona, Email:


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