Proposition 227 required that all children in California public schools shall be taught in English to ensure their proficiency in the language. All children were required to be in English classrooms and the students who were learning English were only allowed very brief English immersion courses. This Proposition exemplifies a monoglot language ideology. In this ideology, there is a belief that everyone must speak the same language because a particular language is the fundamental aspect of a group’s nationality (cite lecture) . In this context, being able to speak in English fluently is a sign that you are a part of the American group. Language and national identities are mutually interdependent.
In this proposition, no outside language should enter the language used by the students. It adheres to the dominant language ideology of the ceremonial Kiva speech as characterized by Kroskrity. The idea of indigenous purism in the Kiva ceremonies is illuminated in the assimilation of California schools.
Proposition 58 largely repealed Proposition 227. School districts were required toprovide language acquisition programs which ensured that all students, Englishlearners and native speakers, should have access to core academic content standards. Englishlearners will be provided with a structured English immersion program while native speakers of English were to be instructed in another language. This addresses multilingualism as a necessary skill and adheres to the language ideology of pluralism. Also, the implementation of language acquisition programs eases the English learning students into the language, as opposed to the rushed immersion courses from before. As Lippi-Green would say, Proposition 58 allows the “mastering the standardized written language” while Proposition 227 is “replacing one spoken language with another.”(hdihd).
However one thing does remain the same within both propositions, and that is the idea of English as a dominant language. Both center their ideals around the fact that the English language is a necessity in American schools. This idea touches upon Battistella’s point that in America, foreign language speakers are thought of as “bad citizens.” Both propositions basically call for assimilation, and Battistella highlights the idea that assimilation leads to national unity (Battistella cite).
The English language is elevated to a linguistic ideal that embodies American nationalism.California has the largest minority population in the United States. The major concern for the role of language in students’ lives is that it became the basis for determining academic achievement of English language learners. An example of this can be seen in Norma Mendoza-Denton’s Homegirls. Many of the students had learned English as a second language, and were subject to the lower level LEP classes. The problem is that many of these classes didn’t account for the entrance requirement to many four-year universities. (hvjhf).
Due to these students’ linguistic backgrounds, they are stripped of their opportunity to ever go to college. Instead of helping the English learners