ERIC Number: ED417594
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Puerto Rican Language Use: A Synthesis Paper.
Couvertier, Aixa B.
Puerto Ricans in the United States are often assumed to be bilingual, and most are to some degree. Among Puerto Ricans, frequent returns home are common, allowing for immersion in both cultures and communication in both Spanish and English. Despite availability of bilingual education, programs are too short for participants to attain even a moderate level of English proficiency. Puerto Rican language patterns in the United States include a vernacular mix of English and black English, a mix of Spanish and English that is neither language, and English/Spanish code-switching. Low value attached to their own dialect of Spanish, often associated with deviance and ignorance, causes many to avoid its use. In all these cases, Puerto Rican language use is not highly valued in the United States. Children may internalize this view, assign little value to their native tongue, and even abandon it altogether, that may cause further family and community problems. More time should be given to English instruction, but Puerto Rican children should also be allowed to use their own language in appropriate contexts in school.The goal of bilingual education should be to develop proficiency in both languages. Contains 13 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education Programs, Code Switching (Language), Demography, Dialects, English (Second Language), Enrollment Trends, Hispanic Americans, Immigrants, Language Minorities, Language Patterns, Language Role, Language Usage, Language Variation, Migration Patterns, Puerto Ricans, Spanish, Standard Spoken Usage
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico