Fri 22 Sep 2006
“Lets make English America’s Official Language” is the clarion call for many activists resisting America’s apparent polyglot tendencies. My recent post on what makes America special as a country showed how it is important that each generation of immigrants succeed and also speak English. Over the years politicians and guardians of American heritage have bemoaned that immigrants are not fluent in English. President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”
Well, a recent study by Douglas Massey at Princeton University and Ruben Rumbaut along with Frank Bean at the University of California, Irvine have found that this goal may take care of itself! In Southern California, their study shows that the children of Mexican Immigrants have lower Spanish fluency and better English, and their grandchildren mostly speak English as their first language.
“Even in the nation’s largest Spanish-speaking enclave, within a border region that historically belonged to Mexico, Spanish appears to be well on the way to a natural death by the third generation of U.S. residence,” reported the paper, published in the September issue of the journal Population and Development Review.
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