Debra Suarez, The College of Notre Dame of Maryland
A growing population of English Language Learners (ELLs)1 is U.S.-born, a phenomenon that raises new questions for Teaching English
to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). This paper proposes the need for an
improved understanding of how the research literature on heritage language speakers
can inform ESL education.
Most US English Language Learners are Born in the USA
English Language Learners are defined as students with limited English proficiency
who speak a language other than English at home (NCELA, 2006). During the 1989-1990
school year, a total of two million ELLs were reported in U.S. public schools
(pre-K through grade 12). That number had more than doubled by the 2004–2005
academic year, when over five million ELLs, or approximately 10.5% of the total
public school enrollment, were identified. In those fifteen years, ELL enrollment
increased at nearly seven times the rate of total student enrollment (NCELA,
Moreover, the number of U.S. ELLs born in the United States has increased from
approximately one third of the Limited Engish Proficient (LEP) population in 1991-1992 (Fleischman &
Hopstock, 1993) to 64 percent of all LEPs in 2006 (Batalova, 2006). Today, more
than 75% of elementary school ELLs were U.S.-born (Capps, Fix, Murray, Ost,
Passel, & Herwantoro, 2005), compared with 41% in 1992 (Fleischman &
Further disaggregation of the data reveals an unanticipated pattern of generational
language use: twenty seven percent of ELLs in secondary school are second generation,
and twenty nine percent are third generation or beyond.2 Among
elementary-level ELLs, fifty nine percent are second generation and eighteen
percent are third generation or beyond (see Figure 1) (Capps et al., 2005).
Figure 1. Nativity and Generation for Limited English Proficient
Children by Grade Level, 2000 (by percent)
From "The new demography of America's schools: Immigration and the No Child Left Behind Act," by R. Capps, M. Fix, J. Murray, J. Ost, J. Passel, J., & S. Herwantoro, 2005, p. 17. Copyright 2005 by the Urban Institute, Washington, DC. Reprinted with permission.
Capps et al. (2005) further point out that the numbers of third generation
LEPs (18% from pre-K to 5th grade, 29% from 6th grade through high school) suggest
that many U.S.-born pupils finish secondary school as LEPs.
US-born ELLs Do Not Conform to the Three-Generation Expectation
The traditional understanding of language use and shift in the United States
is that the family's native language is lost by the third generation (Fishman,
1966; Veltman, 1983). However, most studies of long-term heritage language maintenance conclude
that the shift to English, and the accompanying loss of the heritage language,
remains the norm (Castillo, 2004; Portes Schauffler, 1994; Rivera-Mills,
2001; Rumbaut, 1994; Veltman, 1983, 1988, 2000; Wong-Fillmore, 1991). At the same
time, current demographics on U.S.-born ELLs do not conform to the expectation
that a family's native language is lost by the third generation and replaced
with English as the dominant language. The large numbers of second-generation or higher ELLs born in the United States represent a population different from English monolinguals and fluent bilinguals and are worthy of acknowledgement and study.
While there is a good deal of research suggesting possible factors related to language maintenance, there has been much less research that has sought to understand factors behind second and third generation limited English proficiency. Some suggested factors include that limited English proficient children come from
“linguistically isolated” households, where everyone over the age
of 14 is limited English proficient(Capps et al, 2005).3 Other possibilities
include ongoing ethnic and racial segregation. It has been noted that limited
English proficient students are highly segregated by income in America's public
schools (Urban Institute, 2004). De Cohen (2005) has documented that nearly
70 percent of the nation's LEP students are enrolled in 10 percent of
its schools, and that LEPs are known to be economically disadvantaged, “embedding
the discussion of LEP students' education within the context of what is
already known about poor, minority, immigrant-serving urban schools” (p.
Other suggestions are that second and third generation limited English proficiency
results from use of the native language at home, which interferes with English
development, and that newer immigrants and their children do not wish to learn
English or become full participants in the American way of life (Krashen, 1998;
Second and third generation English language learners are a subpopulation of
heritage language speakers. Although some studies have examined U.S.-born
bilinguals (Linton, 2004; Suarez, 2002), the characteristics, differences and
similarities of US born ELLs have not yet been widely studied. In their work
outlining research agendas for LEP students, August and Hakuta (1997)
emphasize that “priority should be given to addressing important gaps
in population coverage, such as certain age or language groups, for whom the
applicability of current findings from a more limited population can be tested”
(p.6). Valdés (2005) has also encouraged researchers to identify differences
and similarities among the spectrum of L1/L2 users.Research into heritage language speakers may contribute to the understanding of language use in the second and third generation.
This review of the research literature seeks to address the following questions:
1. What does the research say about second and third generation Heritage Language speakers?
2. Can what we have learned about U.S.-born heritage language speakers inform our understanding of U.S.-born English Language Learners?
Literature Review – Methodology
In this paper I use Valdés' (2000) definition of a heritage language speaker
as a student who “is raised in a home where a non-English language is
spoken” and who “speaks or at least understands the language and
who is to some degree bilingual in that language and in English” (p. 38). This definition emphasizes that heritage language use starts in
the home, acknowledges a range of proficiencies in the home language and English,
and is consistent with the definition of ELL and LEP given above.
This review focuses on the second generation or beyond, either alone or compared
to other groups. Works selected for review shared the following characteristics:
- empirically-based studies, inclusive of diverse methodologies, qualitative
- studies based in the United States,
- studies dealing with U.S.-born heritage language learners,
- studies for which the unit of analysis included second generation or
- literature on heritage language in public and private schools,
- sources from peer-reviewed journals.
The search and selection process yielded thirty-nine studies, which are
summarized in Appendix A.
The selection of articles is limited by a dearth of studies that compare
U.S.-born limited English proficient heritage language speakers with U.S.-born
fluently bilingual heritage language speakers. The paper therefore reports on
studies of second and third generation heritage language speakers who may or
may not be limited English proficient.
The studies reviewed offer perspectives on three themes:
a. Designation of second and third generation heritage speakers
b. Language perceptions and linguistic adaptations of second and third generation
c. Relationships between heritage language maintenance and English language
a. Designation of Second and Third Generation Heritage Language Speakers
Several studies discuss the identification of heritage speakers and the designation
of the terms heritage language and second generation. Research shows the need
for a more considered use of both these terms, consistent with Wiley's
call (2005) for the reexamination of terminology.
For example, J.S. Lee (2005) suggests that the distinction made between heritage
and non-heritage learners is one-dimensional. Her study participants,
which included second generation, generation 1.5, and immigrant students, when
asked to self-identify either as heritage or non-heritage language learners,
make choices outside the parameters that HL research applies to the term. Lee's
findings suggest that speakers' perceptions of proficiency and their socio-psychological
identification with the language are critical to their perceptions and use of
their heritage language. Kondo-Brown's (2005) inquiry into sub-groups of students of Japanese encourages further examination into the differences between heritage and foreign language learners, as well as into finer distinctions among heritage speakers. Both Kondo-Brown and Lee's findings indicate the importance of self-identity to speakers. Taking this variable into account in the research design for studies of heritage speakers who are also LEPs may enrich understanding of this population.
The term second generation also would benefit from reexamination, as
its inconsistent use influences research design. While most studies
defined second generation consistently with the U.S. Census (see footnote 2),
some researchers included members of generation 1.5 in this group,4 because linguistically these students have more in common with the second
generation in development of the first language (e.g. Cho, 2005). However, Oropesa
and Landale (1997), who examined criteria used to designate second
generation speakers based on 1990 U.S. Census data, argue that researchers should
distinguish foreign-born and native-born children, to allow for an examination
of the differences in English proficiency among speakers based on place of birth.
Second generation LEPs also need to be distinguished from non-heritage speakers,
fluent U.S.-born bilinguals, and recent immigrants.
Portes (1994) argues that the failure to separate second generation speakers
from other groups “obliterates their history” and results in “obscuring
a major phenomenon in the recent evolution of American society” (p. 632).
b. Language Perceptions and Linguistic Adaptations of the Second Generation
It is important to study the “clash of languages confronted by second generation youth” (Portes & Shauffler, 1994, p. 644) in order to better understand the different possible outcomes of language contact, monolingualism in either language or bilingualism. This section focuses
on studies of second generation language perceptions and linguistic adaptation.
Language perceptions are represented by language attitude, preference, and choice,
and linguistic adaptation is indicated by patterns of language use that correspond
to those perceptions.
Across studies, although second generation heritage language speakers would like to maintain their heritage language and culture, they display an overwhelming preference for English.
For example, an analysis of over 5,000 second generation students across language
backgrounds found that over two-thirds expressed a preference for English over
the heritage language (Portes & Hao, 1998). In their study of second generation
8th and 9th graders, Portes and Shauffler (1994) identified a “near-universal”
preference for English in their subjects' daily lives. They also found
a strong shift toward English and a positive correlation between English proficiency
and length of residence or birth in the U.S. Again, the notion that native born
ELLs are not interested in learning English is not supported in the research
Even among second generation speakers who value bilingualism, English can
be preferred to the parental language. In a seven-year study of Mexican-descent
immigrant and U.S.-born parents and their U.S.-born children, participants continuously
held “extremely positive” opinions about English because of its
perceived higher value. The same participants were also highly positive about
bilingualism and Spanish maintenance (Pease-Alvarez, 2002).
Since it is clear that English is preferred across the second and third generation, Portes and Schauffler (1994) suggest that the language attitude of youths toward their parental language is the deciding factor as to whether or not the child will retain some fluency in the parental language. Rivera-Mills' (2001) study found that second and third generation
speakers have a keen desire to maintain their heritage language. A study of
U.S.-born Chinese Americans and Korean Americans also found a strong desire
to keep their language and culture (S.K. Lee, 2002). A comparison of attitudes
among Armenian immigrant and Armenian U.S.-born students led the researchers
to conclude that “American-born bilingual children may have [had] a closer
affinity with the Armenian American community than either monolingual or foreign-born
bilingual children” (Imbens-Bailey, 1996). Other studies across language
groups also suggested that U.S.-born speakers may have a stronger desire to
keep the heritage language and culture than immigrants (S.J. Lee, 2005; Pease-Alvarez,
2002; Portes & Shauffler, 1994).
Heritage speakers' views of their parental language can change over time.
For example, Luo and Wiseman's (2000) study of second generation
Chinese American adolescents found that peers are the most important influence
on language preference and HL maintenance. Both Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese
speaking peers were influential in U.S.-born children's use and retention
of Chinese. Respondents also indicated that the relative importance of English
and the HL varied at different times of life. Schecter and Bayley's
study (2004) found a similar pattern. Likewise, Pease-Alvarez (2002) found
that a household can change its dominant language in either direction. One of her study subjects was
a U.S.-born parent who initiated a greater use of Spanish in the home to
repair communication between her children and their Spanish-dominant father.
Other subjects included U.S.-born parents whose initially Spanish-dominant
households became English-dominant. Nevertheless, these studies support the findings of previous research that the
shift towards English is more common than maintenance of the heritage language.
To investigate departures from the typical pattern of language shift5 over three generations, Tse (2001) interviewed 18-24 year olds with high levels of heritage language literacy. She found that the most important factors for slowing the rate of shift included having HL print in the home, particularly “light
reading”, which fosters interest in reading. Guardado (2002) compared two
groups, one bilingual and one English dominant, of U.S.-born children from Latino
families. Parents of both groups said they believed that learning Spanish would
give their children opportunities, and they all had a strong sense of cultural
and ethnic identity. Guardado found that parents' concern for their
children's Latino identity, moral development, and cognitive growth was
the most significant factor in whether children remained bilingual or became
English dominant. Facilitating factors for children's ethnic identity
and HL use were the concrete presence of Latino culture and Spanish language
in the home, including reading children's books is Spanish, playing or
singing Spanish songs, and encouraging children with positive and enjoyable
ways of using Spanish. Families who experienced language loss tended to use
more “authoritarian discourses” (p. 354) and required, or demanded,
that their children speak Spanish. Other factors associated with slowing down
the rate of shift to English included the presence of grandparents in the household
(Ishizawa, 2004; Kondo-Brown, 2005), gender (females are more likely to maintain
the heritage language (e.g. Portes & Hao, 1998)), parental commitment to
maintenance (Zhang, 2004), and higher parental education and socio-economic
status (Portes & Shauffler, 1994). In general, positive relationships with
parents and affirmative associations of heritage language use with home life
positively influenced children's maintenance of the heritage language
over generations (Arriagada,
2005; Romero, Robinson, Haydel, Mendoza, & Killen, 2004).
As Hinton (1999) points out that while family dynamics play a role in establishing
language use in the second generation, the community also plays an influential role. Tse (2001) found that language shift was slowed down for the second
generation in communities where there was assistance of more literate heritage
language users, community institutions that used and provided HL print, and
opportunities to act as literacy mediators for parents and family.
Cho (2000) found that second generation speakers' feelings of discomfort
with native speakers, particularly during travel the home country, often
motivated them to improve their knowledge of the heritage language. However,
a shift to English can be hastened by a lack of appropriate education:
J.S. Lee (2002) found that his participants wanted to develop their heritage language knowledge but had
received inadequate instruction in school.
Hurtado and Vega's study (2004) suggests that the “hybridity of
bilingualism” allows for heritage languages to be retained. Hurtado and
Vega (2004) examined the simultaneous phenomena of language shift from Spanish
to English and Spanish maintenance, and found what they call “linguistic
bands”, when two or more people speak a language together (p.147), which
allows for speakers to continue to use Spanish after becoming dominant in English.
They also suggest that Spanish can have periods of dormancy in the lives of
speakers who are in communities where Spanish is spoken and still be available for use in response to
In sum, most second generation heritage language speakers prefer English but also
wish to maintain their heritage language and culture. Language preference
for this group is influenced by their peer groups, and subject to alternation
over time. The rate of shift or maintenance over generations can be influenced
by the presence of the heritage language in the home, a supportive community,
and continued contact with heritage language speakers.
c. Relationships between heritage language maintenance and English development
Scholars have noted a relationship between second generation heritage language
maintenance and English language development, academic achievement, and self-perception
For example, Shibata (2004) examined the relationship of Japanese proficiency,
English proficiency, and academic achievement in a group of second generation
Japanese American college students, most of whom had attended Japanese school
and spoke Japanese at home. Shibata found that the subjects' knowledge
of Japanese did not compromise their knowledge of English. Moreover,
a study of a nationally representative sample from NELS data found that
heritage language maintenance and proficiency is associated with English proficiency
and academic achievement (Yeung, Marsh and Suliman, 2000).
In studies by Buriel and Cardoza (1988), Glick and White (2003), Rumbaut
(1995) and Suarez-Orozco and Marcelo (1995) the GPAs of non-U.S. born Mexican
students were higher than those of U.S.-born students of Mexican descent. In a comparison
of Mexican-born students with Mexican-descent students, Padilla and Gonzalez
(2001) made the same findings, as well as a correlation of ESL/bilingual instruction
with higher GPAs.They concluded that ESL and bilingual education provides students
with increased academic achievement due to instruction in the “foundational skills” (p. 739)
such as reading and mathematics, giving them an advantage over students without this foundation.
Although Padilla and Gonzales did not distinguish between
ESL and bilingual instruction, their research supports the positive effect of
language education, including instruction in the heritage language.
Overall, a large body of research literature documents the positive effects
of heritage language maintenance on academic achievement, cognitive development,
social and psychological growth, and family relationships (e.g. Boals, 2001;
Cummins, 1981; Dolson, 1985; Fernandez & Nielsen, 1986; Tseng & Fuligni,
2000; Peal & Lambert, 1962; Rumbaut, 1994). Portes and Hao (2002), in their
study of second generation children, stress that “the positive effects
of fluent bilingualism are not associated with mere attachment to these cultures
but with simultaneous mastery of two languages and associated cultural repertoires”
(p.907) (italics in original). The studies reviewed here, focusing on the second
generation or higher, support Portes and Hao, and provide additional evidence
of the benefits of heritage language maintenance and fluent bilingualism.
ESL educators often claim that heritage language development is not related
to them or their work (Lee & Oxelson, 2006; Pease-Alvarez & Winsler, 1994;
Wong-Filmore, 2000). However, if education in the heritage language results
in overall academic benefits, then maintaining heritage language knowledge is
of interest to all instructors. ESL teachers can play a role in supporting heritage
language maintenance by becoming strong advocates for biliteracy (Grant & Wong, 2003),
and valuing and incorporating students' heritage languages
into classroom practices (Ernst, 1994). Even if ESL teachers and students
are positively disposed towards bilingualism, rapid language shift can occur.
For example, Pease-Alvarez & Winsler (1994) found that notwithstanding ESL
instructors' positive associations with Spanish, elementary school students
used an increasing amount of English while decreasing their use of Spanish in
the course of one academic year .Wong-Fillmore (2000) notes that the message
conveyed to school children is “The home language is nothing; it has no
value at all” (p. 208), and children respond by believing that “they
must disavow the low status language spoken at home” (p. 208). ESL instructors
can help students if they work collaboratively with
parents, community members and heritage language speakers (Wong,
2000) to promote heritage language development simultaneously
with the acquisition of English in and out of the classroom.
The studies reviewed here indicate that LEP heritage language speakers merit
study as a group distinct from those who have become English dominant, rather
than as failed heritage language or failed English language speakers (Cook, 2002) or
as people who “know neither language” (McSwan, Rolstad, & Glass,
2002). Researchers' findings make clear that the benefits of ESL instruction
and TESOL education are not limited to imparting English proficiency and can
contribute to supporting heritage language development.
Moreover, the critical need for high-level heritage language speakers
in the U.S. is well-documented (e.g. Malone, Rifkin, Christian, and Johnson
(2004). The efforts of ESL and TESOL educators to support heritage language
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1. “English Language Learners” (ELLs) and “Limited English Proficient” (LEP) refer to those who speak a language other than English at home and who speak English less than “very well.” This definition of limited English proficiency is shared by the US Census and NCELA (2006). In this paper the term ELL is used unless discussing literature that uses the term LEP. (back)
2. 1st generation: foreign-born children of foreign born immigrants.
2nd generation: U.S.-born children with at least one parent born outside of the U.S.
3rd generation and above: U.S.-born children of U.S.-born parents.
Note: Consistent with the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of “native born,” children residing in the mainland with Puerto-Rican born parents are considered “native” i.e. U.S.-born. Children living in Puerto Rico are not considered part of the native-born population (Capps et al., 2005). (back)
3. Capps et al. (2005) note that in 2000, 6 in 7 LEP students were “linguistically isolated” (p. 38). (back)
4. Generation 1.5 refers to students who were born in a country other than the U.S. but emigrated as school-aged children or adolescents, and received most of their education in the U.S. (Harklau, Losey & Siegal, 1999). (back)
5. This paper uses the term language shift as defined by Valdés (2005) as the “abandonment of the regular use of the non-English language” (p. 415). (back)
Appendix. Summary of Studies (back)
||Sample, Methods, Main Findings
||Arriagada, P. A. (2005). Family context and Spanish-language use: A study of Latino children in the United States. Social Science Quarterly, 86(3), 599-619.
First, second and third generation Latino adolescents, N= 2,736
NELS: 1988, student and parent surveys.
Key aspects of the family context and home environment that encourage Spanish use and facilitate Spanish proficiency include: intact families, close parental relationships, Spanish as the L1 at home.
||Carliner, G. (2000). The language ability of U.S. immigrants: Assimilation and cohort effects. International Migration Review, 34(1), 158-182.
U.S.-born and immigrant Americans
1980 and 1990 Census Public Use Samples
Lack of fluency in spoken English is uncommon among U.S.-born Americans.
||Cho, G. (2000). The role of heritage language in social interactions and relationships: Reflections from a language minority group. Bilingual Research Journal, 24(4), 369-84.
Second generation Korean-American young adults, N = 55
Interviews and questionnaires
Many participants claimed that their HL is an integral part of their Korean identity. Noted benefits of HL competence: professional advantages, and social advantages, including better relationships with heritage language speakers. Noted disadvantages of not having developed heritage language knowledge: difficulties interacting with the heritage community, feelings of isolation and exclusion from heritage community, difficulty interacting with HL speakers outside of the United States, and conflicts at home.
||Cho, G., & Krashen, S. (2000). The role of voluntary factors in HL development: How speakers can develop the HL on their own. ITL: Review of Applied Linguistics, 127-128, 127-140.
Korean-American young adults, N = 114
Parental use of the HL is important for heritage language maintenance. Notes that reading for pleasure and watching HL television are positive language practices under the voluntary control of the heritage language learner.
||Guardado, M. (2002). Loss and maintenance of first language skills: Case studies of Hispanic families in Vancouver. Canadian Modern Language Review, 58(3), 341-363.
Range of generations, four Hispanic families
The L1 cultural identity is critical for heritage language maintenance. Study identifies six themes: 1) the role of the L1 culture, 2) encouragement to speak the L1, 3) consequences of L1 loss and maintenance, 4) optimism about L1 development, 5) importance of L1 literacy, and 6) L1 community.
||Hinton, L. (1999). Trading tongues: Loss of heritage languages in the United States. English Today, 15(4), 21.
Asian-American college students, who grew up on the US, N=250
Parental use of the HL is an important factor in children's use, but is not enough. Even in homes where the parents use the HL, children lose fluency.
||Hurtado, A. & Vega, L.A. (2004). Shift happens: Spanish and English transmission between parents and their children. Journal of Social Issues, 60(1), 137–155.
First, Second and Third generation Mexican Americans
1979 National Chicano Survey, California Identity Project (CIP), face to face interviews
Finds shift from Spanish to English occurs, but the existence of "linguistic bands" results.
||Ibanez, G. E., Kupermine, G., Jurkovic, G. & Perilla, J. (2003). Cultural attributes and adaptations linked to achievement motivation among Latino adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 33(6), 559–568.
US Born and Immigrant Latino Adolescents, N=129
Language acculturation is a significant factor in school experiences, achievement, motivation, and the perception of
||Imbens-Bailey, A. (1996). Ancestral language acquisition: Implications for aspects of ethnic identity among Armenian-American Children. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 15(4), 422-443.
U.S.-born Armenian-American youth, ages 8-15 years, N=44
American-born bilingual Armenian-Americans may have closer ethnic, cultural and community connection with the heritage language than either foreign-born bilinguals or monolingual children.
||Ishizawa, H. (2004). Minority language use among grandchildren in multigenerational homes. Sociological Perspectives, 47(4), 465-483.
First, Second and third generation children, ages 5 to 17, living in multi-generational homes, N=5,962
U.S. Census, supplementary survey
The three-generational shift does not happen when the HL is used in the home where both parents and grandparents live. The grandmother is more effective than the grandfather at HL transmittal. The presence of any non-English speaking parents, grandparents or other adults in the household increases the likelihood of children's HL use.
||Jo, H. (2001). Heritage language identity and ethnic identity: Korean American's struggle with language authorities. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 14(1), 26-41.
Second generation and 1.5 generation Korean Americans
Students' language use patterns include mixing of Korean and English, struggling with Korean honorifics, and juxtaposing Korean and English language structures. Study suggests that learning English does not necessarily mean a loss of ethnic identity, rather use of English and Korean constitute the “third” space (hybridity) in identity formation.
||Kondo, K.(1997). Social-psychological factors affecting language maintenance: Interviews with Shin Nisei University students in Hawaii. Linguistics and Education, 9(4), 369-408.
Second generation Japanese-Americans
Surveys, semi-structured interviews
Finds that mothers play a critical role in HL maintenance. Mother's HL use interacts with children's developing and continuously evolving social identity.
||Kondo-Brown, K. (2005). Differences in language skills: Heritage language learner subgroups and foreign language learners. The Modern Language Journal, 89(iv), 563–581.
First and Second generation Japanese-Americans, ages 17-22, N=185
Multiple-choice Japanese proficiency test and self-assessment questionnaires
Japanese language students comprise subgroups depending on variables including the presence or absence of home language background Japanese heritage, and prior Japanese language schooling. Similarities and differences between learning Japanese FL learners and as HL learners.
||Lee, J.S. (2002). The Korean language in America: The role of cultural identity in Heritage language learning. Language, 15(2), 117-133.
Second generation Korean-American university students, N=40
HL learners perceive the HL as important. A positive correlation is noted between GPA and acculturation rather than assimilation.
||Lee, J.S. (2005). Through the learners' eyes: Reconceptualizing the heritage and non-heritage language learners of the less commonly taught languages. Foreign Language Annals, 38(4), 554–567.
First and second generation, also self-identified Generation 1.5, university students of less commonly taught languages, N=530
The categories "heritage" and "non-heritage" learners may not be mutually exclusive; self-identity is multi-faceted.
||Lee, S.K. (2002). The significance of language and cultural education on secondary achievement: A survey of Chinese-American and Korean-American students. Bilingual Research Journal, 26(2), 327–337.
US born Chinese-American and Korean American high school students (ages 15-17 yrs), N=105
Questionnaires, observations and interviews
Academic achievement is higher among bilingual and bicultural HL speakers than less fluently bilingual or monolingual students.
||Linton, A. (2004). A critical mass model of bilingualism among U.S.-born Hispanics. Social Forces, 83(1), 279-314.
U.S.-born and 1.5 generation Hispanic adults, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), N = 38,395
Spanish HL maintenance is greater in areas where Hispanics have higher status and greater political power. Also noted is a "critical mass effect," where the behavior of the larger group influences the language choices individuals.
||Luo, S.-H., & Wiseman, R.L. (2000). Ethnic Language Maintenance among Chinese Immigrant Children in the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24(3), 307.
First generation Chinese American teens, N=131, and Second generation Chinese-American teens, N=114, (avg age 15 yrs)
Peer influence is the most predictive of children's heritage language maintenance. Mothers seem more influential than fathers in shaping immigrant children's ethnolinguistic identity, may play a more important role than fathers in shaping children's language behavior. Mother-child cohesion is a significant factor in children's heritage language use, preservation and proficiency and positive attitudes toward the HL.
||Oropesa, R.S., & Landale, N.S. (1997). In search of the new second generation: Alternative strategies for identifying second generation children and understanding their acquisition of English. Sociological Perspectives, 40(3), 429–455.
Mixed generation, mixed heritage children, ages up to 17 years old
Child files from Public Use Microdata Sample of 1990 Census
The classification of "foreign born" children is important for HL and intergenerational studies. Suggests that foreign born children should not be combined in samples with native born children.
||Padilla, A. M., & Gonzalez, R. (2001). Academic performance of immigrant and US born Mexican heritage students: Effects of schooling in Mexico and Bilingual/ESL instruction. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 727-742.
Mexican born and US Born Mexican-descent 9th through 12th graders, N=2,167
Immigrant Mexican students perform better than U.S.-born Mexican students. ESL and bilingual education make a significant, positive difference in performance.
||Pease-Alvarez, L. (2002). Moving beyond linear trajectories of language shift and bilingual language socialization. Conversations within Mexican-descent families: Diverse contexts for language socialization and learning. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 24(2), 114-137.
Multi generations, third graders and parents of Mexican-descent, N = 632
Interviews and conversations, seven year time span
Examines "evolution of bilingualism" of Mexican-descent families. States that language socialization is an interactive process with other social and personal factors, particularly within family contexts.
||Portes, A., & Hao, L. (1998). E pluribus unum: Bilingualism and loss of language in the second generation. Sociology of Education, 7, 269-294.
Second generation youths, N = 5,000
Among the second generation, the knowledge of and preference for English is "nearly universal." Only a minority remain proficient in the heritage language.
||Portes, A., & Schauffler, R. (1994). Language and the second generation: Bilingualism yesterday and today. The International Migration Review, 28(4), 640–661.
Second generation 8th and 9th graders, N=2,843
Surveys and questionnaires
Preference for English is high.
||Portes, A., & Hao, L. (2002). The price of uniformity: Language, family and personality adjustment in the immigrant second generation. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 25(6), 889-912.
First, second generation and above, N = 5,262
Children of Immigrants Longitudinal study (CILS) (survey data)
1) There is a "plurality of second generation linguistic adaptation types" (English Monolingual, Fluent Bilingual, Foreign Monolingual, Limited Bilingual). 2) When examining the effect of these linguistic adaptations on family variables, finds fluent bilinguals and foreign monolinguals are less likely to experience frequent conflict with parents. 3) After controlling for all other predictors of personality adjustment, fluent bilinguals display significantly higher levels of self-esteem and ambition than other groups, particularly limited bilinguals and foreign monolinguals. Concludes that early acquisition of fluent bilingual skills is linked to the subsequent maintenance, and that selective rather than full acculturation is preferable for immigrant children and their families.
||Romero, A., Robinson, T., Haydel, K, Mendoza, F., & Killen, J. (2004). Associations among familism, language preference, and education in Mexican-American mothers and their children. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 25(1), 34-40.
Mothers and children (4th graders) of Mexican-descent, N=219
Higher familism is significantly associated with higher education (contrary to expectations) and that children who prefer to use both Spanish and English or English alone had higher familism than those who prefer Spanish.
||Schecter, S., & Bayley, R. (2004). Language Socialization in Theory and Practice. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 17(5), 605-625.
Two Mexican-background women, selected for this study from a larger sample
Focuses on the choice of language practices in "fluid social contexts." Both subjects changed their home language practices several times, in response to the changing circumstances, and the changing roles they envisioned for their children. Concludes that language socialization is not a unidirectional process by which adults socialize children.
||Shibata, S. (2004). The effects of Japanese heritage language maintenance on scholastic verbal and academic achievement in English. Foreign Language Annals, 37(2), 224–231.
Second generation Japanese-American college students, N=31
Survey data, SATs and GPAs
Heritage language maintenance does not have a negative effect on English
||Tse, L. (2001). Heritage language literacy: A study of U.S. biliterates. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 14(3), 256-268.
US born 18 - 24 years, high HL literacy
Factors related to high HL literacy and "defying" the three-generation model, include HL print in the home, HL community, and acting as mediator for others.
||Zhang, D. (2004). Home language maintenance among second generation Chinese American children. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 19(2).
Chinese families, with U.S.-born children, N=18 families
Parental commitment to HL and HL maintenance is critical for children's HL use and maintenance, even though shift to English is inevitable.