Do immigrants want to learn English?

Do immigrants want to learn English?

One immigration-related topic of controversy has to do with immigrants’ willingness to learn English.

A study published in Social Science Quarterly in 2012 examined immigrants’ attitudes about the English language. Respondents from a previous study were asked this question:

How important is it that citizens be able to speak and understand English?

Half of the respondents were white and English-speaking; one third of the respondents were of Mexican descent or origin. Here are some of the findings:

  • Respondents whose primary language was Spanish considered learning English to be very important – more than the English-speaking respondents
  • Only two percent of participants responded that learning English was “not too important” or “not important at all”
  • Respondents ages 50 to 64 were much more likely – four times more likely than younger respondents – to say that being fluent in English was “very important”
  • Mexican-Americans who were born in Texas found it less important to learn English. The same is true for immigrants who have become American citizens.

Read more about the study here.

The United States does not have an official language. However, English is the most widely spoken. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the U.S., followed by Chinese. Around the world, approximately half of all countries have an official language.

For immigration-related services in the Philadelphia area, contact the attorneys at Henry & Grogan, by calling 215-568-1500.