Discussion 1

By 2050, the current minority groups would outnumber the Caucasians. Immigration is definitely a way how this happens by then. Will it affect the current status quo in the power spectrum of the USA? What do you guys think? Class: Please provide your thoughts. 150 words

Discussion 2

Watch the clip, and comment in relation to demographic diversity: 150 words

Discussion 3

Read this article and explain what it is talking about in 150 words

Research Focus: English-Language Acquisition Few issues swirling around the everyday life of Latinos in the United States are more heated than fluency in English. As we saw in Chapter 3, political efforts to declare English the official language continue, and the funding of bilingual programs is constantly in jeopardy, Native English speakers often resent hearing even accented English in the workplace or in public. Ironically, people who proudly see themselves as Latino but do not speak Spanish experience resentment from some Hispanics who feel they are too assimilated. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher David Hernandez, a third-generation Mexican American raised in Sacramento, told reporters that when he first broke in to professional baseball, his many Latin American teammates kept trying to speak Spanish and could not understand why he would not engage them in conversations. Yet these tensions occur against a backdrop where English language acquisition is not an issue among immigrants themselves. A 2007 survey showed that 59 percent of Latinos support the notion that immigrants should be required to be proficient in English to remain in the country. They see this as vital to advancement because other surveys have documented that those who lack fluency have greater problems in the job market and even have more limited exposure to newer technologies such as the Internet. Significantly, they also know that speaking with a Spanish accent, much less not speaking English very well, is devalued and stigmatized throughout the United States outside of Latino communities. The reality is that most immigrants and their offspring quickly become fluent in English and abandon their mother tongue. By the second generation after the immigrants, that is, the grandchildren of the immigrants, use of the “mother tongue” has virtually disappeared. In surveying 5,703 adults using both English and Spanish-speaking interviewers in southern metropolitan Los Angeles and San Diego, scholars looked at language retention across a variety of immigrant nationalities. This area is the nation’s largest receiver of immigrants, accounting for one out of five of immigrants to the United States, and has the largest concentration of Spanish-speaking individuals. In such metropolitan areas one might anticipate significant language retention and slow acceptance of use of English. Given all the outlets to hear and read Spanish, for instance, one might expect there to be little motivation to learn English. Instead, the researchers found in Southern California a move away from speaking the mother tongue and a move to use English. With each succeeding generation, the proportion speaking the mother tongue drops. Retention of Spanish is higher than is the survival of mother tongue by Asian and European immigrants. But even among the grandchildren of immigrants from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, at most one in three speak fluent Spanish. Among their children, that is, the great-grandchildren of the immigrants, only 5 percent can speak Spanish. “Fluency” in speaking is not a very high standard, since many people who may be fluent could not write or read even a simple document in Spanish. The apparent move toward the use of English in preference to the mother tongue persists even though they continue to live in the presence of the nation’s large Latino population. These findings confirm other studies that show immigrants’ acquisition of the English language in a couple of generations. Researchers given these data stress the limits of language retention and speak of the United States being aptly described as a “graveyard” for languages. The ability to sustain bilingualism across several generations is very limited. In summary, language continues to be a hot issue, but largely by the second generation, and certainly by the third generation, proficiency in the language of the host society becomes dominant. Sources: The Arizona Republic 2013; Carroll 2007; Feagin and Cobas 2014; Fox and Livingston 2007; Hakimzadeh and Cohn 2007; Rumbaut, Massey, and Bean 2006

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