ERIC Number: ED208687
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Retention of Minority Languages in the United States: A Seminar on the Analytic Work of Calvin J. Veltman.
Pedone, Ronald J., Ed.
The seminar reported on was convened to discuss the findings of a study by Calvin J. Veltman on minority language usage past the first immigrant generation. Veltman discovered that minority languages in the United States are following the patterns of previous immigrant languages: while first generation newcomers speak their native language and learn some English, their offspring are likely to learn English first. The parents' language is seldom used by the majority in subsequent generations. A panel reacted to the findings as follows: (1) methodological difficulties regarding interpretation of results were presented, (2) Spanish language maintenance was cited as a fact, and (3) the belief was expressed that language assimilation should not be equated with cultural or ethnic assimilation. Implications of the findings and of the discussion for policy were set forth: (1) bilingual education alone will not curb trends in language attrition, although this is not a legitimate argument against bilingual education; (2) the need for a national language policy is clearer than before; (3) Hispanics are special; (4) the situation in the U.S. does not parallel that in Canada; and (5) the role of mass communication in assimilation is instrumental. (JB)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Immigrants, Language Maintenance, Minority Groups, Public Policy, Seminars, Social Science Research, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Spanish Speaking
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Note: Seminar held at Hubert H. Humphrey Building (Washington, DC, May 13, 1980).