Spanish survives bilingual challenge.Bilingual education bilingual education, the sanctioned use of more than one language in U.S. education. The Bilingual Education Act (1968), combined with a Supreme Court decision (1974) mandating help for students with limited English proficiency, requires instruction in the native programs for Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. have elicited intense debate. One dispute pits the merits of teaching only English versus balancing English with Spanish to help preserve immigrants' native language and culture.
A study of Cuban and Mexican immigrants now finds that most learn English well after living in the United States for about 12 years, although much larger and faster language gains occur in those who receive formal English schooling. As many as 50 years after immigrating, these people show no loss of facility with Spanish and still speak their native tongue about half the time.
"Our data suggest that if you immigrate im·mi·grate
v. im·mi·grat·ed, im·mi·grat·ing, im·mi·grates
To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native. See Usage Note at migrate.
v.tr. as an adolescent or young adult with a good grasp of Spanish, an English-immersion program will accelerate new-language learning and won't damage Spanish knowledge," asserts Harry P. Bahrick, a psychologist at Ohio Wesleyan University “OWU” redirects here. For other uses, see OWU (disambiguation).
This article concerns Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio; a number of other colleges and universities have names that include Wesleyan. in Delaware, Ohio Delaware is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Delaware CountyGR6. The municipality is located near the center of the state of Ohio, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Columbus, Ohio. Delaware was founded in 1808, incorporated in 1816. .
Bahrick and his colleagues tested 348 men and 453 women, most of whom had immigrated to the United States between age 10 and 26. Nearly equal numbers lived in one of three locales: Miami; El Paso El Paso (ĕl pă`sō), city (1990 pop. 515,342), seat of El Paso co., extreme W Tex., on the Rio Grande opposite Juárez, Mex.; inc. 1873. , Texas; or Midwestern towns in which Hispanics are a small minority. Testing of Spanish and English language skills took place between 4 months and 50 years after immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. .
Overall, scores on Spanish text comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and oral comprehension held largely stable across 50 years of U.S. residence. Agerelated declines on these measures appeared in the oldest participants.
Volunteers readily identified "anglicized" Spanish words and phrases Words and Phrases®
A multivolume set of law books published by West Group containing thousands of judicial definitions of words and phrases, arranged alphabetically, from 1658 to the present. , such as "factorias" and "correctar." The use of these hybrid terms by many immigrants apparently does not interfere with their understanding of either Spanish or English, Bahrick's team contends in the September JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: GENERAL.
Scores on English tests improved rapidly during the first year after immigration. English vocabulary recognition and category generation -- measured by the ability to name examples of clothing and body parts -- showed substantial gains over the next 30 years for each of the geographical groups; performance on tests of oral comprehension and the ability to distinguish real from made-up words increased slightly in that same time period.
After statistically controlling for the amount of postimmigration English language usage and formal English education, those who immigrated at age 18 or older displayed more English knowledge than those who arrived before age 18. This finding contradicts the widespread assumption that the ability to learn a second language declines with age after passing through a critical period for language acquisition in early childhood, Bahrick argues.
Conceptual similarities between English and Spanish aided English learning in older immigrants, who had larger Spanish vocabularies to draw on, Bahrick theorizes. Participants citing the most prior Spanish schooling and displaying the largest Spanish vocabularies learned the most English, he points out.
Native Spanish speakers may find it easier to learn English than native speakers of tongues with few conceptual links to English, such as Japanese, the Ohio psychologist holds.
Other data suggest a critical stage for learning to pronounce speech sounds in a language occurs early in childhood, according to Bahrick, although it is not clear whether there exists a key period for learning how to arrange clauses and other linguistic elements.
"This new study has far-reaching implications for bilingual education," says Morton Ann Gernsbacher Morton Ann Gernsbacher is Vilas Research Professor & Sir Frederic Bartlett Professor of Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also the president of the Association for Psychological Science.
She has a B.A. from University of North Texas, a M. , a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison “University of Wisconsin” redirects here. For other uses, see University of Wisconsin (disambiguation).
A public, land-grant institution, UW-Madison offers a wide spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs, and student activities. . "It should generate a lot of comment."