Seventy-two percent of Americans say it is essential that immigrants living in the United States learn to speak English. Meanwhile, 20% believe it is essential that Americans learn a second language other than English. These views have changed little since Gallup first asked the question 12 years ago.
These data are from Gallup’s annual Minority Rights and Relations poll. Although it is not uncommon to hear people speak languages other than English in the U.S., or to see signs and storefronts in languages other than English, Americans still believe it is critical that immigrants learn English. In fact, one of the requirements for U.S. citizenship is the ability to speak and write English. And one of the proposed requirements in legislation to create “a path to citizenship” for immigrants here illegally is to learn English.
Americans in the major U.S. racial and ethnic groups believe immigrants should learn English, though Hispanics are a bit less likely to say this than blacks and especially whites.