Resolution Opposing the labeling of English as national language in the US

June, 2006

Whereas, language, nationality, and citizenship are each distinct categories, neither mutually exclusive nor identical;

And whereas, use of English or any other language within the boundaries of the United States neither promotes nor inhibits patriotism, loyalty, or concern for country, community, and neighbors;

And whereas, the Congress of the United States is increasingly attempting to inappropriately link language use and rights within the United States with immigration-control legislation, as evidenced by current proposals and votes in the U.S. Senate;

And whereas, the American Association for Applied Linguistics is deeply concerned about the passing of the amendment to the Immigration Senate bill proposed by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) on May 18, 2006, which threatens to restrict or remove access to appropriate language support in federal communications and services for people who are on the way to developing English competence;

Therefore be it resolved by the general business meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics that AAAL members be encouraged to write to their Congressional representatives, urging them to exercise restraint and good judgment in the creation of legislation that would inhibit the free use of languages and the provision of essential information in the languages of U.S. residents;

And be it further resolved, that members be encouraged to provide educational materials to their Congressional representatives on the social, communicative, and educational significance of languages other than English in the United States.