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ERIC Number: ED261112
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-27
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Population Perspective on Bilingualism in Puerto Rican Children.
Ferdman, Bernardo M.; Hakuta, Kenji
This paper considers the relationship between bilingualism and intelligence in Puerto Rican children from a population perspective. A population perspective refers to the idea that many of the variables considered by psychologists to be independent are, in fact, distributed non-randomly in the population, and that this distribution needs to be considered as an essential aspect of the phenomenon in question. Almost 400 elementary school students in a bilingual program in New Haven, Connecticut, who were homogeneous in terms of socioeconomic status (low) and ethnicity (Puerto Rican) were tested using measures of English and Spanish ability, metalinguistic skills, and nonverbal intelligence. Results, in general, supported the position of a positive relationship between bilingualism and cognitive ability. Along with the student testing, a large-scale survey of all parents of Puerto Rican elementary school students was carried out in an attempt to gain understanding of what characteristics described the subpopulation from which the cognitive study sample was drawn, in relation to the broader Puerto Rican community. It is argued that the relationships found between demographic characteristics and language use, within both the subgroup and the larger group, highlight the importance of understanding the social environment in which bilingualism develops if questions are to be asked about its effects, and that what happens to an individual child will be a function of an interplay of influences that cut across various levels of analysis. (CMG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut (New Haven)