Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Maya Ravindranath


English-Only initiatives are commonplace in the United States. Proponents of Official English would like to make the official language of the United States English despite the prestige English already has in the United States. The motivations behind this movement are varied and have substantial effects on the opinion of the American population. This paper examines a group of American residents in the Northeast, aged 18 and older. States considered Northeastern in this study are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The survey distributed contains questions on the topic of English- only issues, languages in general, and the role of language in participant’s personal lives. This survey tested assumptions about English-only attitudes and language use against the data contributed by participants. The findings confirm that English- only attitudes are pervasive in American society, that education is necessary to further compete against prevailing negative ideologies and beliefs, and that continued survey can accomplish more work and research in this area of study.