Lecture 4 Multilinguilism in the USA

Lecture 4 Multilinguilism in the USA - To clarify something...

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To clarify something from last class It is indeed useful to have a common language for practical reasons. Movements that promote English as the official language in the US (the English-Only movement), however, aim to eliminate bilingual programs and services . Immigrant languages in the US and those of Native Americans have always experienced a though time being transmitted to the younger generations. From Chapter 7 of your textbook, p. 115. But: “ promoting [a] common language need not, and should not, come at the cost of violating the rights of linguistic minorities ” (Linguistic Society of America).
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Multilingualism in the United States
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According to the Ethnologue , language varieties that are unique to the USA: • 162 languages with at least 1 fluent speaker • Nearly 50 (American Indian languages) indigenous to California alone • There are many more world languages spoken in the United States…
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Most spoken languages in the US in 2005 From the Modern Language Association (MLA): http://www.mla.org/resources/map_main English is spoken by 80.60% of people over 5 years old in the entire US. Languages other than English are spoken by 19.39%. Speakers of languages other than English are divided up as follows.
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History of the U.S. Census and its language questions • The United States conducts a census (population count & survey) every 10 years. • Since 1890, the census has included some sort of question(s) about language.
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2000 U.S. census questions on language: •Does this person speak a language other than English at home? (If “no”, the next two parts were skipped) •What is this language? ________________ •How well does this person speak English? very well well not well not at all
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“Does this person speak a language other than English at home?” (2000) USA California Population 5 years and older 254.7 M 30.6 M NO (only English at home) 209.9 M 82.4% 18.5 M 60.5% YES (language other than English at home) 44.8 M 17.6% 12.1 M 39.5%
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Language Use by State Map data based on US Census 2000. Available at http://factfinder.census.gov
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• “Even when another language is reported to be spoken at home, studies in language practices [in Latino families] reveals variation in quantity and quality of [Spanish/heritage language] used” From your reading: textbook Chapter 14 Bayley 2004, p. 274
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“What is this language?” Top five languages besides English In 1990: 1. Spanish 2. French 3. German 4. Italian 5. Chinese In 2000: 1. Spanish 2. Chinese 3. French 4. German 5. Tagalog Trends: major European languages are moving down; Asian languages are moving up.
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“How well does this person speak English?” Language Spoken Total
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course LIGN 8 taught by Professor Bakovic,e during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Lecture 4 Multilinguilism in the USA - To clarify something...

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