AirTalk for September 12, 2013

The future of Spanish in America

 How do you teach your kids Spanish – by starting them out on it at home or making sure they study it in school?

Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

How do you teach your kids Spanish – by starting them out on it at home or making sure they study it in school?

To Californians, it’s no surprise that Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. today. There are already more than 37 million Spanish speakers nationally and their numbers are growing quickly, up 233% since 1980. Immigration and population growth account for much of it, but there are demographic shifts taking place that are projected to change the future of the Spanish language in America. As more Hispanics are born here, the share that speaks only English at home is expected to rise to 34 percent by 2020.

As Latinos grow up speaking English, will it still be important to them to speak Spanish at home? Has your family transitioned from Spanish dominant to English dominant?  As a Latino parent, how important is it for your kids to learn Spanish alongside English? How do you teach your kids Spanish – by starting them out on it at home or making sure they study it in school? Are you bilingual, but still watch and listen to Spanish-language media. Why?

Guest:

Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research, Pew Research Center


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