Speaking English is not a Measurement of Intelligence

English is a language that is spoken and learned internationally by more than 50 countries. However, often times the English is not a language, but rather measurement of intelligence, background, and confident around the world. In many countries where English is not an official language, communicating in fluent English means that a person has good education and background. Also, in countries where English is announced as official language, being able to speak English put the one in the category of intelligent. Many times people who lack English speaking skill are treated differently from those who can by their surrounding. We are at the point where we have forgotten that English is not equivalent to intelligence. Many Immigrants that comes to America suffer from the consequences of not speaking English because they are judged based on how fluent they could speak English.

As an immigrant, there are many incidents where many people categorized  me as someone who is uneducated, stupid, and boring. When I went stores, usually the employees tended to treat me as someone who does not know anything. In school, no matter how good I was able to do in my math class, I was always placed  in the lowest level. People have forgotten that English is something that could be learned just like other languages. The idea that English is a measurement of intelligence does not only apply in English speaking countries. For  example, in India if a native person is able to communicate in English he will be able to earn people’s respect and attention easily. That person will be categorized as someone who is wealth and someone who has exposure to a good education. Since English is being spoken widely, nowadays speaking your native language is seeing as something that is uncool. For this reason, in many foreign countries, parents would  encourage their children to speak English more than their own language.

It is very significant for people not to relate intelligence to speaking fluent English, because English is a language not a measurement of intelligence or confident.


3 thoughts on “Speaking English is not a Measurement of Intelligence”

  1. I think you raise a very good point here. It is important to understand the elitism and structures of power inherent in both the use and policing of consistently “correct” English, and it is a major oversight that such things are not given more scrutiny. The subtle association of being “well-spoken” with not just intelligence, but professionalism, competence, and simple approachability that culture at large makes stems from nothing short of willful ignorance. It is a covertly enforced willful ignorance, but an ignorance nonetheless- of the roots of both “proper” English as we know it, and of the linguistic contexts of the various groups that are that more or less faced with no choice but to adopt English as their language. What’s more, this upholding of a very specific linguistic norm, beyond simple denial of the constantly evolving nature of language, serves to cast as illegitimate the various cultures and communities to which a different kind of English is a centerpiece. This is a dimension of the contemporary debates around identity politics that needs more exposure, and I applaud your bringing it some.


  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog, because it does bring out an important social issue. English is important in America, as it is the language that the majority of careers, jobs, schools, and everyday life is based on. It is essential to learn English in America, and programs in schools, like ALL, could definitely be assets to students who are new to the language or the country. However, to most immigrants and children of immigrants, learning English has become an isolating, secluding process where their culture and background take a backseat to the English language. Where anything unique about their culture which they could incorporate into the lives of many Americans is pushed off to the side in favor of assimilation. Personally, as a child of an immigrant, the process of learning English was at times difficult, however, now I truly know that my native language is as important to me than English.


  3. I find this post rather interesting as the argument can go both ways depending on the type of intelligence discussed. On one hand, knowing English can be a measurement of intelligence because it shows how well one understands the grammar and proper usage of vocabulary in a language. Not only does this ability somewhat rely on intelligence, but it also shows how much education one has had. However, the counter argument is one thing can never measure the intelligence of an individual. Such as how someone may be intelligent in other aspects. One example of this can be book smarts v.s (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence) body smarts. While someone may fail an Math exam, they may end up in the NBA because of how well they can move their body. There are many types of intelligence out there and one category should not judge a individual for all his worth.


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