There is a quote from Nina Simone that says, “The worst thing about that kind of prejudice… is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds you self-doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough.” She is talking about racial prejudice in that quote but it can also apply to other kinds of prejudice such as language prejudice. Language prejudice can have a big impact on people that go through it on a daily basis. These people face discrimination from employers, and sometimes stereotyped as “stupid” just because they have an accent or speak broken English.
Personally, I have never faced any language prejudice (except if speaking English in Quebec counts) but I can imagine that these people face a big blow to their self-esteem like Simone described. In one report, discrimination is shown to affect peoples general well-being, self-worth, self-esteem, and social relations. That report also revealed that the more someone was prejudiced against, the higher their levels of depression and anxiety were. More frequent minor prejudices were shown to affect minorities than less frequent major prejudices. This shows that linguistic discrimination has the power to affect people’s mental health.
To help those affected with language prejudice we can train employees/employers to be more compassionate towards others who don’t speak “proper” English or have a different accent. Another way to help is to create awareness of language prejudice and linguistic discrimination.