American Bilingualism: The Need for a National Language Policy

  • Charles R. Foster
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


Bilingualism—in its truest sense—should be appreciated as the ability to function fluently and interchangeably in two languages; the choice of one language or the other depends on the situation. In the United States, where English is the ‘official’ language of government and business, most daily transactions are carried out in English. The use of other languages tends to be restricted to private family or social situations involving other speakers of these languages.1 In fact, English monolingualism is the most obvious sign of assimilation into American culture. Hence, bilingualism is seen by many as evidence of insufficient assimilation.


Foreign Language Limited English Proficient Bilingual Education Home Language Transitional Model 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles R. Foster

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