[Libs-Or] New research on English use among Hispanics
anderson_katie at oslmac.osl.state.or.us
Fri Nov 30 12:43:57 PST 2007
English Usage Among Hispanics in the United States
Shirin Hakimzadeh and D'Vera Cohn, Pew Hispanic Center
(The following was taken directly from the report)
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. This finding of a dramatic increase in English-language ability from one generation of Hispanics to the next emerges from a new analysis of six Pew Hispanic Center surveys conducted this decade among a total of more than 14,000 Latino adults. The surveys show that fewer than one-in-four (23%) Latino immigrants reports being able to speak English very well. However, fully 88% of their U.S.-born adult children report that they speak English very well. Among later generations of Hispanic adults, the figure rises to 94%. Reading ability in English shows a similar trend.
Among this report's findings:
Of adult first-generation Latinos, just 23% say they can carry on a conversation in English very well. That share rises sharply, to 88%, among the second generation of adults, and to 94% among the third and higher generations.
A majority of foreign-born Hispanics (52%) report that they speak only Spanish at home. That is true of just 11% of their adult children and of 6% of the children of U.S.-born Hispanics.
Half of the adult children of Latino immigrants speak some Spanish at home. By the third and higher generation, that has fallen to one-in-four.
Nearly three-quarters of Mexican immigrants (71%) say they speak English just a little or not at all. Respondents born in South America (44%) and Puerto Rico (35%) are the least likely to say they speak English just a little or not at all.
College education is closely tied to the ability to speak and read English. Among Hispanic immigrants with college degrees, 62% report that they speak English very well. That share drops to 34% among those with high school diplomas and 11% among those who did not complete high school.
Immigrants are more likely to speak English very well, and to use it often, if they arrived in the United States as children or have spent many years here.
Most Latino immigrants (67%) report that they use at least some English at work. Just 28% say they speak only Spanish on the job.
Most Hispanics who are naturalized citizens (52%) speak English very well or pretty well. Most non-citizens (74%) speak just a little English or none at all.
More than four-in-ten (44%) Latino adults-both foreign born and native born-are bilingual. This is especially true of the adult children of immigrants: More than two-thirds (68%) report that they can carry on a conversation in English or Spanish pretty well or very well.
Latinos cite language skills more frequently than immigration status, income/education or skin color as an explanation for discrimination against them. In 2007, 46% said it was the biggest cause of discrimination against Latinos.
Youth Services Consultant
Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator
Oregon State Library
katie.anderson at state.or.us
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