Sunday, August 18, 2019

Latinos Celebrate Bilingualism At Home


Statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center have consistently found that the percentage of Spanish-speaking and bilingual Latinos in the U.S. is very high. The survey finds that 38% of all respondents are Spanish dominant, and 38% are bilingual.

Findings show that about 1 in 5 children speak a language other than English at home, and children who are bilingual tend to be better at multitasking than monolingual children.

“Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter,” says Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Staff Writer at Science. “It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.”

A 2010 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau previously showed that 75% of the 45.6 million Latinos surveyed speak Spanish, and 13% of those over the age of 5 speak Spanish in their household.

With Spanish being the second-most spoken language in the country and the dominant language in many communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, South Florida and Puerto Rico, having bilingual children is not only practical for real-world living, but also enhances their brain and improves children’s cognitive skills.

“As immigrant parents of American children, my husband and I decided long ago on a ‘Spanish at home’ policy,” says Claudia Deschamps, former journalist, NBC Latino Contributor, current CEO and President of Deschamps Communications, and mother of two. “We made this decision not only because we value and celebrate bi-bulturalism, but as my husband says, ‘Te imaginas que no pudieran comunicarse con sus primos o abuelos?”

NBC Latino
Pew Hispanic Center