Comparison and Analysis of Mujica and Fallow’s Essay
It is a common phenomenon in America that people in the street speaks different language because there are so many immigrants in the United States. In James Fallows’s and Mauro E. Mujica’s essay, they both talk about the bilingualism but hold different point of view. Mujica believes that English should be the official language of America because bilingualism would cause the retreat of English and the cost of bilingualism is too high for the government from education, ballots health and human cost part. What’s more, bilingualism may cause the disunity of the whole nation (Mujica, 580-584). However, Fallows has opposite view on the question. He claims that Bilingualism need to be support in American. Learning both English and another language is more like raising two children rather than polygamy. Besides, now English is at dominating statues in the world, it should not be regarded as kind of fragile (Fallows, 259-263). Comparing two authors’ essays, Mujica’s essay has more effective evidence and more formal tone than Fallow’s essay, but Fallow does better in the organization.
Mujica’s essay has more persuasive evidence to support his argument in his essay compared to Fallows’s. Mujica uses factual reference, quotes and statistics in his essay, which are very effective. For example, to support his first claim that bilingualism can cause the retreat of English，he cities census statistics in his essay. The statistics show that in the city Hartford, more than 20 percentage of the population do not speak English because of the bilingualism. Furthermore, Mujica provides an example to show that at Miami Senior High school, most students fails the test which given in English because they use English as their second language (Mujica, 582). These examples are all come from accurate research and all the facts, so they are convincing for the readers. Moreover, Mujica uses evidence in the U.S. In Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the governments need to spend a large percentage of election budgets on translation because there are many different language users in the country (Mujica, 583). This evidence can prove that bilingualism can cause government to bear the heavy financial burden. As Mujica’s essay is talking about the bilingualism in the U.S. area; this can be relevant to topic. His evidences can strongly support his claims,.
Comparing to Mujica’s essay, in Fallows’s essay, most of the evidence is not that persuasive. To illustrate that English is not fragile blossom, he talks about what he has seen in Japan. He says that Japanese can see English signs everywhere; they have their own English newspaper, magazines and TV programs, and students have to pass tests in English in order to study in university. The whole society has created an atmosphere that everybody is eager to learn English in order to win a place (Fallows, 260). Fallows also use the example of Spanish immigrants. He says these immigrants are dying to learn English well because for them, that’s the necessary part to fit in the U.S. society (Fallows, 261). However, almost every country has different foreign language TV or magazine, we can also see French magazine in Japan. And we also cannot say that the immigrants in the U.S. can improve the status just by learning English. What’s more, these examples do not have any statistics supporting, they are only author’s personal observation, and his audience might able question about the evidence. Moreover, he says during the journey with his family, people in South China, Malaysia are active in practicing English (Fallows, 262). But this evidence cannot be considered as an effective one because the author gets in touch with some people in the countries he has been to; his experience is not representative. Furthermore, although Fallows’s essay is to object to American’s contempt for bilingual education, his evidence does talk about people’s attitude or the conditions in American; and thus, some of the evidence might not be relevant to the topic. . Fallows ignores the facts that there are many students from English-speaking countries like America choose to go to other countries like China and Japan for their further study and work, only focus the statistic that Malaysia sends thousands of people to the English speaking countries for studies every year. As bilingualism is a common phenomenon around the world, if he wants to show the readers that bilingualism should be support in the U.S, he should use examples in the U.S. area and try to see things from U.S. citizens’ point of view; otherwise, he can never persuade his readers.
Mujica shows his audience that English should be American’s official language in a formal tone. He uses formal words in the essay and he organizes his essay logically, using statistics and facts to supports his claims, then explains it objectively. His tone is likely to be an expert who dedicated to preserving the unify role of the English language. For example, when he talks about his second claim that the cost of multilingualism can be high, he does not express it using his personal feeling or with his personal emotion. Instead, he just shows the audiences the fact that different countries have spent huge amount of money for translation health-care industry and have a human cost. Because of the different language people using, the hospital and the doctor need to spend a lot of money to hire translators to understand what their patient mean. Sometimes because of the translator’s mistake, patients and paramedics might not be able to communicate and it can influence the treat and care (Mujica, 583).. These examples are shows the shortage of bilingualism and demonstrate the importance of an official language in the U.S. Mujica logically lists the evidence which seriously shows his attitudes to the audience and can be persuasive and convincing for them. On the contrast, Fallows’s tone is informal in the essay. He uses the words like “yes, yes” to response to the point that English is America’s “official” language (Fallows, 260) and “come on!” to reject the point that English is a kind of fragile blossom(Fallows, 261). When answering the question “Does all of this reduce the incentive to learn Japanese, or the feeling of being left out if you don’t”, he uses “Hah” (Fallows, 262). These words are informal for an essay and have his personal emotion and may cause the readers to think that the author does not consider the bilingualism question seriously or he does not have sufficient evidence for his claims.
In Mujica’s essay, he first raises the counterargument about why the U.S. needs an official language; he talks about a survey on global trends by a research center. Almost all the nations have a large percentage of people acknowledge the importance of English, almost all the people across the planet including the immigrants in the U.S all agree on the importance to learn English for them to achieve success and he talks about the opponents’ points that force immigrants to learn can be regarded as “racist”. Then Mujica states his point from three parts: the retreat of English, the cost of multilingualism, the dis-united states, using examples to support each claim.(Mujica, 580-584) Using this structure, he skip the step of interpret claims and explaining the connection between thesis and claims, which makes his essay seems to be discussed less detailed.
Comparing to Mujica’s essay, Fallows organized his article effectively and his essay has clear structure. When he takes about bilingualism, first, he raises his counterargument, the first one is the view that biligalism is a kind of polygamy, the second one is English is a kind of fragile blossom (Fallows, 260-261), and then interprets the counterargument. For example, for the first counterargument, he explains the definition of polygamy and shows that actually bilingualism is not similar with polygamy, which shows the counterargument is not right, finally, providing evidences. In his second claim, at the beginning, he comes up with an opposite view that English is kind of fragile blossom. Then he explains that actually English is still the dominant language in the world and is not as fragile as people think and he uses his personal experience when he travels around, the English learning fact in Malaysia, his personal observation in Japan that the English sign can be seen everywhere and the fact that immigrant children in American who urge to learn English well to prove English is still the most popular and important language in American (Fallows, 259-263) .
In conclusion, Mujica use more relevant and effective evidences, and his tone is formal and serious in his essay, these are all important issues to persuade his audiences. But Fallows’s essay has a clearer structure than Mujica’s, he organize the article follow the step of raising the counterargument, interpreting it, explaining why it is not right then providing evidence, so the audience can understand his essay easily. As their points of bilingualism are opposite, they both explain their points clearly to their audiences. For me, I agree with Fallow’s point more and I think with the development technology and economic, bilingualism can a tendency all over the world.
Fallows, James. “Viva Bilingualism.” Exploring Language. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. 8th ed. New
York: Longman, 1998. 259-65. Print.
Mujica, Mauro E. “Why the U.S. Needs an Official Language.” Ed. Gary Goshgarian. 8th ed. New
York: Longman, 1998. 581-84. Print