Immigrant Kids Talk the Talk: 90% Master English

Fluency makes dramatic leaps across generations
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 5:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Although many Spanish-speaking immigrants who moved to America know little English, that's not true of their children and grandchildren, according to a new Pew survey. Only 23% of first-generation immigrants said they were competent in English, but 88% of second-generation and 94% of third-generation residents said they can carry on a conversation in English very well.

"There is no way English is being threatened by immigrants," said a professor. "The switch to English is taking place more rapidly than it ever has in American history." The study also found that English is the primary language in both the workplace and at home for most children and grandchildren of immigrants. Some 44% of Latino adults are bilingual. (Read more Spanish stories.)

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