The United States is a nation to whose shores have come immigrants, from every continent, whose history records their priceless contributions. From the beginning the quality of life has been ennobled and enriched by them, and city and village streets have resounded with the music of many languages. It is a rich heritage, one to be nurtured, encouraged, and cherished.
The World Languages Department at the Wolfson Campus of Miami-Dade College holds that all persons in our culturally rich and linguistically diverse nation should be provided the opportunity and be encouraged to become proficient in more than one language to a degree of mastery consonant with their needs and aspirations. The learning of other languages adds new linguistic competence and cultural sensitivity to already valuable linguistic backgrounds. One language is never intended to supplant another. We hold, therefore, that all persons, whatever their linguistic and cultural background, should be encouraged to preserve that proud birthright and be given the opportunity to continue to grow in the understanding and use of it.
Those who are not proficient in English should be provided the opportunity and encouragement to become so, since English is the key to gaining an accurate, broad perspective on American life, to obtaining equality of educational, economic, social, and political opportunity, and thereby to participating fully and freely in society. In the same way, those who are proficient only in English should have the opportunity and should be encouraged to achieve proficiency in other languages and to know and appreciate the history and culture of other people. It is through the knowledge of languages and cultures that we best begin to know and comprehend the scope and significance of human experience in history, from ancient times to modern; it is through the knowledge of languages and cultures that we best learn to tolerate and appreciate cultural and linguistic diversity at home, to understand our contemporaries abroad, and so achieve our full potential as citizens of the world.