However, overall, I agree with what you say, and statistics sure bear that out as well. Since our inception, 97% of Americans have learned the English language. So, yes, we sure seem to understand that we need to speak English.
Now, here's the interesting rub in all of this: we are one of the only countries in the world that does not have a national, official language. Yet, no other country in the world has a higher language acquisition rate of its citizens than does the U.S., all without laws telling us that we need to learn the language, or laws that declare an official language.
This tells me, and others who spend way too much time studying this stuff, that immigrants sure seem to understand that to succeed in the U.S., they need to learn the language.
Most realize they have to learn the language but refuse to speak it. There are parts of Phoenix that unless you speak spanish or look hispanic you will not get anything. I was told by my buddy that lives in one of those areas is that the people living there learn english so they can understand what the "gringo" is doing but by speaking their own language they feel like they are in the process of "taking back" this land.
On the other hand one of my buddies who's parents came here from Mexico legally refuse to let Spanish be the only language spoken in their home. They want their kids to learn the language (spanish) but want it to be their second language.
On a side note i very impressed that people can speak more than one language and i am jealous of those who can. I wish i would have paid more attention when i was younger and learned another language .
I don't have a problem with other people wanting to learn and speak other languages, in fact i applaud those who know more than one language.
I am not sure if that satisfies your curiousity or develps more questions. Like i said i am having a hard time articulating my stance/feeling on this.b
Apparently there are schools in chinatowns and german villages throughout our country that are graduating high school seniors who can't speak english. Before this thread I wouldn't have believed it, but Ban and Sully have set me straight. This, too, is leading someone to believe that they don't need to know our language.
Those are a couple of the concessions. Since we all agree that it is dumb to not learn the language, I'm sure we can agree on these things, too. And I now tap out. This thread has ran its course for me and I think we are all saying the same thing at this point.