Friday, November 30, 2007

Children of Hispanic Immigrants Learning English

How many times have we heard the criticism that immigrants should learn to speak English like the rest of us? The New York Times reports that a study of the languages spoken by Hispanic immigrants confirms that the children of Spanish speaking immigrants are doing just that:
Most children of Hispanic immigrants in the United States learn to speak English well by the time they are adults, even though three-quarters of their parents speak mainly Spanish and do not have a command of English, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington.
Nearly all Hispanic adults born in the United States of immigrant parents report they are fluent in English. By contrast, only a small minority of their parents describe themselves as skilled English speakers.
So Spanish speaking immigrants are behaving no differently than previous generations of immigrants who spoke Dutch, Swedish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, French, Greek, Yiddish, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Persian, Ukrainian etc. As for legislating English as the official language of the U.S., there is little reason to enact laws to require people to do what they already doing.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all the free language learning information available, like Livemocha.com, anyone can pick up a new language. I don't think it has to be a legislated!

1:15 PM, November 30, 2007  
Blogger Steve Newton said...

To advance your argument in this post: I am currently doing a workshop in the Miami-Dade public school district. There, alon with the usual English as a Second Language (EFL) classes for students who speak primarily Spanish, they now have large numbers of students who are fluent in English taking special classes to help retain their Spanish.

8:57 PM, November 30, 2007  
Anonymous kavips said...

Curious about this: is mandating a language done solely for the betterment of immigrants, or is it done primarily to give the country itself, an identity?

At a young age, being familiar with Canadian's split tongue, and now seeing the assimilation of Hispanic immigrants into our English speaking society, even though corporate America has decided more money is to be made by printing in Spanish, I find myself leaning toward the latter, a single language helps with a nation's identity.

6:06 AM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The structure of your comment program has been changed. It is only accepting direct links with Google Accounts. It no longer allows Wordpress to sign in. Only a nickname or Anon. are given as options.....

Still playing around with it. Let me know if there is a way........

6:14 AM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Kilroy Was Here said...

The data supports Hispanic students are closing the achievement gap between themselves and whites at a greater pace then that between black students and whites.

Though not as obsessive about education as Asian parents, Hispanic parents know education is a ticket out of poverty for their children.

During my participation with the Title 1 Program in Red Clay ( Title 1 is a federally funded reading and math program) I observed many Hispanic parents in attendance at various Title 1 events. What is amazing beautiful about Hispanic parents is they swallow their pride for the sake of their children’s education? They attend school events not be able to speak English and allow their children to be their interpreters.

It unfortunate for the African-American students that in time the Hispanics who are pretty much on the bottom of the social scale will rise about the African-American population. Currently the high school dropout rate is higher among Hispanic students than African-American. That will all change within 10 years. In the short term due to the implementation of new high school graduation standards in Delaware ( additional credit requirements) the dropout rate will increase for both group however , it will increase at a higher rate for African-Americans.

Do keep in mind with the Hispanics improving their verbal English skill, their reading and written English skills are what is helping them become more successful in schools. Also, college participation among Hispanic will outpace that of African-American students. Bottom-line, the success of group of people starts in the home with parents.

8:29 AM, December 02, 2007  

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