Citizenship Discussion

Citizenship is a circumstance where a person who is identified under the law or customized as a legal member of a sovereign state or a sure nation. One may even have multiple citizenships whilst others are found not to have any citizenship. People besides any citizenship are said to be stateless. In some countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America, nationality is one-of-a-kind from citizenship. Citizenship of any country is acquired in distinct ways that are; by birth, and that is if the mother and father are citizens of that particular country. Although some nations have different ethnics groups that communicate different languages, one still receives the citizenship. One may also get citizenship by marriage that is if a citizen marries a non-citizen then one may change his or her citizenship. Another way is through naturalization where a state offers citizenship to a person who has entered their country legally and has the permission to stay there not as lived there for a specific period. However, language has also been an issue in giving one citizenship of any country but not all. Some countries do not take language as a major requirement for one to get citizenship of any country while some insist on knowledge of the countries language to get their citizenship. However, in this paper, I will debate on whether the language should be a requirement to get citizenship and I will discuss much in the United States. If language is used as a requirement for one to gain citizenship, then some people would suffer since they may have stayed in a certain country for long on business but are not able to speak the country’s language.

It is a privilege to be a naturalized citizen of any country or to immigrate and start living in a new country. In the United States, the main language is English that is spoken, and for that reason, all immigrants are expected to embrace that as their language while in their stay in America as they still hold their culture and customs. That, therefore, makes America be a multicultural landscape and a multilingual state and fit for everyone to settle in. I, therefore, think that English should be a requirement for one to get the United States’ citizenship. That is not to bar immigrants from coming to the United States especially those who have not had a chance to learn English or cannot afford those lessons. One should learn English as the first step in the United States to enable him or her to cope with life there like; have the ability to get driving studies, second, to get the citizenship and lastly get a job security. That is I support that everyone to learn a country’s language to gain their citizenship so that they can survive in that nation and have an easy life to work with the citizens of a certain country. It is also difficult to get along with the world without learning how to speak or read the local language of a place like English for the US (Shohamy and McNamara, 2009).

Another reason that language should be made a requirement for citizenship like in America is that assimilation becomes a possibility. When one is moving into America, one gets the dream of becoming a true citizen and be able to talk to your neighbors. It is necessary since one will interact with people in different occasions and have the ability to take children to school and help them in their various homework (Joppke, 2010). It will help one get assimilated into the community around which also increases one’s chances to apply for a dream job.

Also as an immigrant one should know their rights and by knowing the language of a certain nation for them to gain citizenship. Like in America one needs to know English so that they may feel safe in the neighborhoods and as they walk in the streets. There is so much uneasiness that an immigrant feels as they walk around without hearing what the people are talking about but if one learns English, he or she can defend their rights. That becomes very important, especially when dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since they are very tough in dealing with legal immigrants and illegal ones (Shohamy, 2009, p.50).

Language for citizenship in the United States should be a condition for citizenship because it is the national language and the citizens voted that it should be a requirement so that they may be understanding each other. Other countries have also made their national language a requirement to acquire citizenship like Germany, France, and Israel. To acquire their citizenship, you have to know how to speak and read Germany, French, and Hebrew respectively. Like learning English in the US for immigrants is at a reduced price thus they must learn English (Hogan-Brun, Mar-Molinero, and Stevenson, 2009).

Another thing is that by knowing a language of a country that one has immigrated to, is very important since it is not everything that can be translated and still maintain the meaning. To avoid all that, it is necessary to learn English that is in America. It also reduces the task of forcing people to translate things for you and also enables one to do thing or him or herself.

Lastly, learning foreign languages for immigrants is very important since speaking the same language makes people united. No matter the nation that one originated from, speaking the same language makes people feel one, and they love each other knowing all they say can be heard and they can easily discuss their issues together. For example in the US there exist people of all kinds from all over the world, but as they speak English, they feel united as if they are all Americans. People should also learn the foreign language since it does not make them lose their original culture or ethnicity. They still belong to their countries but makes them still feel at home since they speak with people around in one language (Byram, 2011 p.13)

On the other hand some still feel that language is not so necessary to be a condition for citizenship. That is because a country should not force people to learn their language as it is against human rights. Also learning the new language may make the aliens lose their identity. Thus should not be a condition to get citizenship to void people from being deprived of their heritage. Again one should not be led into something that they are not comfortable with. Some people come from countries whose language is so difficult to switch to English thus becomes hard for them to learn (Blackledge, 2009, p. 12).


Apparently, from my argument, I think that language should be a requirement for one to acquire citizenship of any country. One can even have multi citizenships if they belong to a certain country but moves out to another and gains its citizenship. Again I feel that language should be made a condition since while one knows the foreign language of a country that you are an alien then, it becomes easy to move on with lie as one can easily understand things going on around, and also it becomes easy to acquire a job in the foreign country like in the united states.

Reference list

Blackledge, A., 2009. “As a country we do expect”: The further extension of language testing regimes in the United Kingdom. Language Assessment Quarterly, 6(1), pp.6-16.

Byram, M., 2011. Intercultural citizenship from an internationalist perspective. Journal of the NUS Teaching Academy, 1(1), pp.10-20.

Hogan-Brun, G., Mar-Molinero, C. and Stevenson, P. eds., 2009. Discourses on language and integration: Critical perspectives on language testing regimes in Europe (Vol. 33). John Benjamins Publishing.

Joppke, C., 2010. Citizenship and immigration (Vol. 2). Polity.

Shohamy, E. and McNamara, T., 2009. Language tests for citizenship, immigration, and asylum.

Shohamy, E., 2009. Language tests for immigrants: Why language? Why tests? Why citizenship. Discourses on language and integration, pp.45-59.

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