ERIC Number: ED304274
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Bilingual Hispanic Children on the U.S. Mainland: A Review of Research on Their Cognitive, Linguistic, and Scholastic Development. Emphasizing Studies Involving the English- and Spanish-Language Versions of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test--Revised.
Dunn, Lloyd M.
A review of research on the cognitive, linguistic, and scholastic development of mainland Hispanic-American children paints a dismal overall picture. Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, 11% of the population in 1986; about 75% have Mexican ancestry. Less than half of Latin adults speak English well enough for the workplace, and 18% are illiterate. Studies involving English and Spanish versions of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and other psychometric scales indicate that: (1) on tests given in English, Hispanic pupils consistently obtain an IQ of 88, compared to 85 for Blacks and over 100 for whites; (2) individual intelligence tests given in English predict school success as accurately for Hispanics as for other ethnic groups; (3) in contrast to monolingual agemates in Spain and Latin America, the rate of growth in oral Spanish skills of bilingual Hispanic-Americans falls off sharply with age; and (4) Hispanic-American children also have inferior skills in English. The poor test performance of mainland Hispanic students may be due to (1) test bias against minority group children (this stand is largely an emotional defense reaction); (2) bilingualism as a source of confusion for children with inferior language skills; (3) low socioeconomic status, poor environmental conditions, and rural origins; (4) genetic factors, including race; and (5) ethnic motivational and personality factors. Since bilingual education has failed, Spanish-speaking children should be taught oral Spanish in preschool, and then be immersed in English by age 6. In addition, Hispanic parents must emulate Asian-Americans and accept responsibility for their children's educational outcomes. This report contains 93 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Tests, Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingualism, Children, Demography, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Ethnic Groups, Hispanic Americans, Intelligence Differences, Intelligence Quotient, Intelligence Tests, Language Proficiency, Literature Reviews, Mexican Americans, Minority Group Children, Psychometrics, Puerto Ricans, Scores, Spanish Speaking
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children