Learning in Two Languages: Spanish-English Immersion in U.S. Public Schools (Working Paper #106)

April Linton, University of California – San Diego

Abstract: Under what circumstances will parents and educators value bilingualism enough to see to it that children attain or maintain it? This paper explores the extent to which contextual conditions can help answer this question. I define and test several models of the influence of demographic, economic, and social context on the likelihood that a school district will adopt the dual-language option. The focus is exclusively on Spanish- English programs (over 90 percent of the total). Spanish-speakers are the largest non-English-language group in the United States. More than half the people who generally speak a language other than English at home speak Spanish (Schmidt 2000:70).

Working Paper #106»