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U.S. English Foundation Research

U.S. ENGLISH Foundation Publications

The U.S. ENGLISH Foundation studies language issues within the United States and produces reports of our findings to educate citizens on our common language. These briefings are distributed in paper format, but are also available here. A brief synopsis follows the title of the report. The full report may be viewed by clicking on the title.

Many Languages, One America: 2014
In 2005, the U.S. English Foundation published Many Languages, One America to highlight the true degree of linguistic diversity within the United States. With an influx of immigration, rampant government multilingualism and new Census Bureau data, it is important to update this briefing with the most current language usage statistics.

English Acquisition: The State of the Union Briefing, 2013
In 2008, the U.S. English Foundation released an issue briefing titled, English Acquisition: The State of the Union. Using data from the 2000 Census, the briefing analyzed English language usage on a state-by-state basis. This briefing was so well-received by legislators and members alike that U.S. English recently updated the 120-page booklet with the most current data from the 2010 Census. This new issue briefing includes tables and summaries of limited English proficiency, Hispanic population growth, prevalence of foreign languages and non-English proficiency by age and language spoken within each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One... Why English as a common language is critical to America's Unity
This publication is an easy-to-read case study explaining why English should be the common language of the United States. It contains research, charts and common sense arguments that make the logical case supporting English as our nation’s binding language. It is meant to readable by any American who picks it up so that they may understand that without a common language tying us together, E Pluribus Unum cannot exist.

The purpose of this comparative study is to provide policymakers and the public with a useful perspective on Puerto Rico’s history and the important questions that need to be answered in regard to its future. This research takes a comprehensive look at the different options available to Puerto Ricans – independence, maintenance of the status quo, free association with the United States, and statehood – and discusses the consequences of each. With its position as a commonwealth in question, it is important to take into consideration the possibility of Puerto Rico becoming our 51st state.
 
Becoming an American:
A Series of Examinations of Assimilation and Language Learning Patterns Among Immigrants:
          The Vietnamese
          The Koreans
          The Russians
          The Chinese

English Acquisition: State of the Union
This publication examines the current state of limited English proficiency, non-English proficiency by age and language spoken, Hispanic population growth versus projections and foreign language prevalence in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Waiting List Myth
When discussing the state of immigrant assimilation in the United States today, many point to the staggering numbers of individuals on waiting lists for English classes as evidence that current generations are on the road to becoming Americans. This paper examines that statement and determines that waiting lists are not a definitive indication of the number of people looking to learn English.

Driver's License Nonsense
A Look at Multilingual Driver's License Exam Policies and Public Opinion nationwide.

English in America: A Study of Linguistic Integration
This publication assesses the shape of linguistic and civic integration in the United States. Findings include an English acquisition gap between Hispanic immigrants and immigrants of other ancestries, the English acquisition gap cannot be explained by the relative recency of immigration and that the English Acquisition gap may be explained in part by the phonomenon of Demographic Dominance.

Americans & Language
The First in a Three Part Examination of the Relationship
This research emphasizes the importance of English fluency for success in America and is the first in a three-part series examining the relationship between English proficiency and personal opportunity

Part II: A Comparative Analysis of the Anglosphere
The second part of the Americans & Language study analyzes language learning in four major English speaking nations. The purpose of this study is to determine whether other English speaking countries fare better in the perception of English monolingualism.

Part III: Americans and Language Knowledge
In this final edition, we examine whether Americans are really as monolingual as the critics suggest and what Americans think about foreign language learning.

 

Other Research
What about the Founding Fathers? 
What would the founding fathers think about the official English movement? Some claim that since the founders purposely chose not to have an official language, we should not have one. By that logic, state legislatures should choose senators, slavery should be legal, and women should not vote. But even if the logic were sound, the claim is based on a false premise.

USA: Population and Language Proficiency Data
The 2000 Census represented the most comprehensive look at the residents of the United States. Using this data, the U.S. English Foundation has assembled a in-depth series of tables on the population of each state, including language use, English proficiency, linguistic diversity and population growth. We hope that this information will be helpful to researchers, teachers, students and anyone interested in the composition of our diverse nation.

Many Languages, One America
The United States has never been a land of just two languages. We have revolved around one central language — English — with many more languages making up the distinctly American accent. Find information on what is spoken where and by whom in this section. 

American Immigration - An Overview 
Trace the details of American immigration through the centuries, from its roots to its prognoses.
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