English Plus

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English Plus is an American movement formed in reaction to the English-only movement. The intent was to promote greater acceptance of language diversity in the United States in order to encourage a broader American cultural development and more international perspectives. This would be achieved by encouraging education in English as well as secondary languages across the entire population, for immigrants and natives alike. This movement has been supported by language education professionals[1] and minority language advocacy groups.[2]

"English Plus" resolutions have been passed in the U.S. states of New Mexico,[3] Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.[4]


The term "English Plus" originated in a 1985 letter to then-Secretary of Education William Bennett from the Spanish American League Against Discrimination.[5]

We fear that Secretary Bennett has lost sight of the fact that English is a key to equal educational opportunity, necessary but not sufficient. English by itself is not enough. Not English Only, English Plus! ...

Bennett is wrong. We won't accept English Only for our children. We want English plus. English plus math. Plus science. Plus social studies. Plus equal educational opportunities. English plus competence in the home language. Tell Bennett to enforce bilingual education and civil rights laws you enacted, or tell the President he cannot do his job. English Plus for everyone!


  1. ^ "The National Language Policy". Conference on College Composition and Communication. March 1988. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Action Alert: House Passes English Only and Repeal of Bilingual Ballots; Urge Your Senators to Reject this Divisive Legislation Now". League of United Latin American Citizens. August 2, 1996. Archived from the original on November 29, 2008. 
  3. ^ Supporting Language Rights in the United States
  4. ^ Lewelling, Vickie W. (December 1992). "English Plus". CAL. ED350884. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  5. ^ Crawford 1992, p. 217


  • Crawford, James (1992). Language Loyalties: A Source Book on the Official English Controversy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-12016-3. .

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