Observatorio Cervantes – Harvard. Bilingual Language Acquisition. Carmen Silva-Corvalán

good evening everyone welcome to you all welcome to the observatorio of the instituto cervantes of Harvard University and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences probably you know that the mission of the observatory is to observe to analyze to debate on the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures in the United States so in order to accomplish this mission the observatory organizes and hosts activities academic activities like this regarding the current situation of the Spanish language in the United States there are minorities the teaching of foreign languages especially Spanish and the culture and thought in Spanish the observatorio of Serbs and Venice Plains what is observed so to this goal we published the journal in foreigners del observatory observatory ports which is a free online bilingual and monthly publication journal you may find it in the website of the observatory oh and we have some copies in over the decks so you might pick up freely and nevertheless the observatory has published a special printed edition of the last report because not by chance it is a report by comments in Walkerville on and its title is Spanish acquisition in third by third generation children so when you get out you may pick up your copy this event today is a conversation it’s a conversation in the servitor EO about the Spanish acquisition by third generation children with the presentation by Professor Karen Silva Kerguelen Carmen Silva karbolyn is an expert in socio linguistics of Spanish through time and space including us dialects and she is professor of Spanish in the Department of Hispanics and Portuguese in the University of Southern California she has shown an excellence purchase in Spanish in the USA of course social and Geographic varieties of Spanish linguistic aspects of bilingualism Spanish linguistics social mystics Latinamerica dialectology she suffer of sofia linguistically orion alice’s 1989 language contacting change and change spanish in los angeles 1996 sati linguistic i pragmatical el español 2004 or bilingual language acquisition 2014 she’s also editor of his spanish in four continents 1995 and quality of studies in romans linguistics 1986 and be linguist monkey city underlay Spaniard 1992 so I want to thank professor Kahneman Civic or Holland for being here today with us and I want to stress my gratitude my deeper gratitude to to Observatory oh very good friends they are professor Daniel Walker from Boston University and professor Melissa Parra from Harvard University The New Yorker is assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics in Boston University his research interests include language variation contact and change acoustic and articulatory phonetics Spanish in the United States the languages of Latin America and the evolution of human language professor Erika is currently developing a Spanish in Boston research project a community-based study which examines how a Spanish is spoken in the Greater Boston area I’m an ELISA paralyzed senior preceptor at the Department of Ramazan languages and literatures in Harvard University her main areas of expertise are Spanish as foreign languages as foreign language Spanish as heritage language families and immigration she is pioneering the first course of for Latino students at Harvard University and her work with immigrant families focuses on new strategies to assist parents and teachers in supporting child’s school adaptation bilingualism and academic success so thank you both for sharing with us your time in this very complicated week’s and thank you all for coming to the observer in up to this observatory or facilities and no John me please to to welcome Carmen CdeBaca Rowland I’m very short I don’t know whether I should stand or sit I think I’m going to see it you see me from the back you if you can

hear me then that’s good enough well before starting I’d like to thank professor Francisco Moreno Fernandez for having invited me to come here to the observatory oh I’m very honored by your invitation and very happy to be able to share the little I know about child bilingualism with two outstanding colleagues Maria Luisa thank you for being here and thank you all for being here despite the rain I know it’s not easy to walk in the rain it was easy for some actor and working in the rain or something like that not in real life okay so I was asked some time ago to talk about the acquisition of Spanish by third generation children because my own grandchildren are third generation we started about I’d say 30 years ago talking about Spanish across generations rather than just saying these are the characteristics of Spanish in the United States they borrow words or they change the syntax of Spanish they mix Spanish and English and then we realized that we couldn’t say the same thing about everyone in this country there is a whole continuum of proficiencies in Spanish and in English in Hispanic communities so the studies of Spanish that are being done nowadays are done by categorizing speakers either by country Spanish foreign speakers from Mexico or from Puerto Rico or Cuba Republic and so on and so forth or by categorizing them by generation because it’s easier than categorizing them by competence in Spanish and so we speak of first-generation immigrants that’ll be me for instance I came from Chile 45 years ago and I’m first-generation immigrant in this country my children then would be second generation immigrants even though they were not born here the youngest one at least came before the age of 8 so he did all of his elementary schooling in English so second generation and then his children and Maria Luisa has brought my book these are my grandchildren would be third generation now as Professor Moreno has said these are going to be conversations and I hope that the conversation will be also with all of you that you will ask us questions and will interact with us that’s my hope okay let me see if I can Oh what I wanted to point out then is that even though we speak of first generation second generation third generation there are no clear-cut linguistic differences between these groups you can find someone 1st generation who is fully bilingual in Spanish and English others who are not fully bilingual in both languages but only minimally bilingual with weak English strong Spanish second generation the same situation in los angeles which is where i’ve done most of my i mean all of my studies I have not come across any second-generation person who doesn’t know English as well so English is the language that second-generation children use among them and in school in the playground everywhere now do they also know Spanish it depends there are a number of factors and I think that I’ve pointed some out here this is the definition that we give of generations and as you can see it says the trend there is a trend across generations for a gradual preference for using English right with family and friends but as I say you can find even third-generation children sometimes using Spanish with their grandparents so

it’s only a trend however 68% of third generation Cubans and 71% of third generation Mexicans speak only English so they’ve become monolingual now one of my main messages today I hope will be that third generation children do not necessarily have to be monolingual in English it takes of course some effort and the children have to be motivated to learn Spanish but as in the case of my grandchildren there are many third generation children who acquire Spanish and are bilingual in English and Spanish those are the exceptions you find the majority of the exceptions to the rule of shift from Spanish to everyone yes from Spanish to English is found along the border border states California New Mexico Texas there are towns where you can find third fourth fifth generation children who are in English and Spanish also in cities away from the border Dallas for instance in Texas or Los Angeles in California there are some areas with 90% Hispanics Spanish is the language you hear in the streets and the stores you go to church in Spanish schools are fighting to keep some form of bilingual education and children then from 3rd 4th 5th generation may still be bilingual still no Spanish grandparents of course play an important role very important as a grandparent and if grandparents issed well you speak Spanish with me then those children are going to end up speaking Spanish of course if the grandparents of knives and play with them that’s right ok so as I said I mean it depends on a number of contextual factors like the age at which the child is exposed to the two languages that’s very important the younger the child is exposed to English the more then English will take over the functions of Spanish and and then Spanish starts becoming functionally reduced so the less exposure to Spanish the easier it is for the children not to develop full proficiency in this language I already spoke of number of speakers in communities that are heavily Hispanic it’s easier to keep the language the frequency attitudes are so very important attitudes are incredibly important if the attitude within the family is a positive attitude towards bilingualism if the children see that their elders speak both languages they will want also to be able to speak two languages like elders their parents or grandparents community and political attitudes are crucial why because if the school is not supporting my lingual ISM then it becomes more difficult for children to maintain a level of good proficiency in the minority language so even my grandchildren for instance would not be bilingual today I don’t think if they had not attended a dual language school some people called them a two-way bilingual school dual language school bilingual school so they went to an immersion school in Spanish if it were immersion it would be totally in Spanish but in fact it was dual language Spanish and English they wouldn’t have they wouldn’t be bilingual today and these little kids are now course in college and as I say they wouldn’t be bilingual why because they stopped speaking with the grandparents they no longer play with the grandmother so they would receive less and less input in the minority language if they were not receiving input in a school so the formal learning of the language is very important if we

want third or fourth generation children to learn or develop proficiency in the minority language five or ten more minutes yeah so we have spoken in in studies of bilingual acquisition of two major what we call patterns in bilingual language acquisition we call one simultaneous bilingual acquisition and that is when the child is exposed to two languages from birth or at least before age three usually that happens when the parents speak two languages so that they come to an agreement and they say okay speak to the child in English and you speak to a child in Spanish or we speak English Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Spanish Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday or we speak only Spanish in the home and English as soon as we step out of the home so separating the context very clearly then apparently helps the child figure out the two systems and keep them relatively apart that’ll be simultaneous bilingualism there’s there are also of course and that’s probably the majority in communities like the ones we find in Los Angeles what we call sequential bilingualism these are children who have been exposed to Spanish at home but by age four or five they start preschool kindergarten it’s all in English and they start learning English and become bilingual sequential bilingualism and there are consequences sometimes those children may refuse or not be too very motivated to learn the majority language and they may have problems in school or sometimes the opposite will happen they will focus only on English and stop using Spanish that almost happened to my second grandson at age four three and a half he stopped using Spanish he didn’t want to speak Spanish anymore my daughter-in-law told me that when they said we’re going to Grandma’s house he resisted going why now because she talks to me in Spanish and there was a degree of resistance to Spanish but with good attitudes around the home and encouragement fortunately and also because he was told that he would be going to a bilingual school where Spanish was going to be as important as English then he started speaking Spanish again but he spent about six months around age three and a half for not wanting to speak Spanish that didn’t happen to the older child he was always and understandably so that’s also a very typical pattern in families the oldest child develops the minority language very well and the second one not so well the third one sometimes doesn’t learn it at all because productively he may have receptive he or she have receptive knowledge of Spanish but won’t have productive knowledge of Spanish why I mean the the third one is already playing not with the grandparents or the mother or the father who is the one who speaks to them in in the minority language but with the older siblings the older siblings already go to school they know English they all play in English so the less input the less they develop proficiency in the minority language so that is crucial I mean study after study has demonstrated that the minimum input that a child must receive in a minority language is thirty but I’d say around thirty percent of the time so that we make calculations in fact these are my grandchildren they grew up in an Dual Language home see so there you have we we calculate the hours that the child

spends in contact with each language and of course the calculation is sort of global calculation how many hours during the week does a child spend with the mother with the parent who speaks one language or the other has the child been read in one of the languages seen movies in one of the languages and overall many studies done both in Europe Canada and here have shown that that child who has received about 30 percent input in the minority language will get to develop good proficiency let’s call it that way I mean in a loose way in this minority language less than that then you start seeing a little bit of difficulties to communicate from the age of four my two grandchildren for instance were not getting not even getting 30% twenty to twenty five percent of the time of their time was spent with Spanish this is why I say that as the children grow up and they have less contact with the parents grandparents and more contact with other children then English becomes stronger stronger and stronger and they might even lose their Spanish proficiency I mean at least lose productive proficiency we one of the things that was important in our family said whenever laughed at the children if they made any mistakes and I’ve seen this during my research in Los Angeles I’ve seen that parents or grandparents either laugh because the children are making mistakes in Spanish when they try to use Spanish or correct them too frequently or criticize them oh this is one example when Nico physicists I am Pavo and and his father says in falada he corrects without saying oh and father is wrong or don’t say that no in follow it just produces the correct form and expands it see volcano how and the child repeats our story in fallodon Paquita that is a strategy that this child who is a very good language learner better than his brother he was very frequently repetition he always repeated what the adults said so with respect to how they developed well maybe they want to hear this this one this is just a sample of how the bilingual child has to be so cognitively alert at all times because his this child is hearing two languages coming from different people and he or she has to respond in the appropriate language or has to be able to understand the language is coming up from different people so here we have a nice Nico at 2 years 7 months and 27 days M is his mother if the father’s see that’s me they call me Billy I wrote there because this is baby at some point and oh there it is they are on the floor sorry well that’s me now anyway so just a sample of the very typical bilingual type situation which these children need to face I have done studies of linguistic factors the last thing I’m going to say is that one of the reasons that I find bilingualism so useful for children is that they become aware at a very early age of the independence between word and object they they

develop metalinguistic skills at a very early age they really create metaphors because sometimes they don’t have a word so they have to go roundabout to explain what they want to say they have phonological awareness they’re aware of sounds and how different the two languages sound and these are all skills that are going to be very useful to them when they start school when they start learning how to read and write the awareness of the units of language words languages have words and they’re different and the same word may refer to different things and also different words may refer to the same thing very important meta linguistic skills well I mean there’s so much to say and I know that my colleagues want to ask questions and you want to ask questions yeah so we should I should I should be quiet now for a moment and see whether you have any questions any comments when I was when I knew that you were coming I was so excited because we we met we saw each other recently at UCLA where you were presenting your yearbook and being a mother of two by the world teenagers now I in working with parents that are raising children bilingual children I find your work fascinating I just wanted to go back to the you and commend you for it I was I wrote your work but then I thought no it’s not work it’s monumental work because you have to had worked with children like speaking and analyzing data a naturalistic leader data from children or adults to know what is in this book and we were talking about it and when we were having lunch the hours in this book and the care because you have your grandchildren here I identify with it because my mother also it’s very involved in my voice development linguistic development so I really want to thank you because for many of us who are interested in this new era of globalization anyway listen this book is very valuable I think to understand you know how our children are growing with these different linguistic systems around them you didn’t talk too much about the content of the book but I just want to give the audience a brief overview of the things that you analyzed just in chapter 3 and you’re going to get some of those in a report but in Chapter 3 she gives an overview of the development of their grandchildren and she talks about the development from one word towards expressing negation which is one of my favorite topics asking questions in English in Spanish the separate development of both languages they cross-linguistic interaction in areas like the verb gustar a specific feature of our language that is hard especially for English speakers clear eggs stranded prepositions possessive constructions compliments of Kadare lexical innovations metalinguistic awareness mixing and switching to this course so those are just some of the hearts that you have been chapter to me so the rest of it just to give you an example of the richness and the I don’t know if you would like to comment on what was the motivation came from my study of a doubts first because one of the questions that is usually asked in the field is whether bilingual

adults who show I don’t like to use the word reduce but show different features there’s the Spanish of bilingual adults second generation is characterized by features that are different from those of the first-generation immigrants the question is have they acquired Spanish to a certain level and then forgotten what they knew or is it that they never really learned all these features before English became their dominant language so is it incomplete acquisition as they say or attrition and of course I said what we need to know how much English and Spanish bilingual children know by the time they start schooling and I was lucky to have grandchildren so I I started recording them from the very first word they produced the methodology is you carry with you a little notebook and at first write down everything the child says phonetically and then you try to interpret what it was that the child meant because the child may say something like that that that and what does that that mean is he referring to the fact that the clock because we’ve talked about the tick tock tick tock clock or Tata their grandfather whom they may call data as well but so the context needs to be observed carefully so that you can interpret what the child may have meant in that situation that’s the very beginning once the children produce more language then you may start recording them now I did not have a video camera which some researchers do have I I just used a very good quality tape recorder and carried my little notebook with me broke down a day the time the place who was present or in the recording itself I would say we are at such and such a place and present are so and so we’re just playing anymore so you need to that this is really a lot of hard work and the rest of the family gets very upset because you are observing them and recording them but they finally come to understand and collaborate forget about the tape recorder so that’s how you do it I mean the the the questions as I say that are being asked is do children undergo a stage of mixed systems is it the case that when bilingual children are exposed to two languages from birth they learned a mixed language and you want to say something about that so a mixed language so during the 70’s and 80’s then linguists were saying that yes the children go through a stage of speaking a language that’s a mixed system of two different languages but later on other researchers have shown that in fact what the children do is just mix words so they may say open Puerta or give me pelota these are words they’re not important words are being created in languages every day every minute so it doesn’t matter what matters is are they producing sounds that belong to the two different languages are they differentiating the phonological systems are they differentiating the syntactic systems so in English for instance children must produce subjects they have to say I open the door they cannot say open the door no it’s I open the door in Spanish we don’t need to say yo right so subjects are not necessary now so what

we started finding out was that children mix words why do they mix words because most of the time they don’t know the word in the other language so they use the word they know so there is a period of time during which there is some mixing of words but not of systems nothing not the syntax or the phonology one of my students as a matter of fact did a fantastic study in collaboration with the phonology from the linguistics department and showed very clearly that the phonologies were completely independent that the features that the child produced when she studied one of my granddaughters who was trilingual she was learning three just a gallon Spanish and English and so the the phonological features were different when she spoke to the mother in Tagalog or to the father in Spanish or to her her sister in English and the syntax was also different Tagalog for instance prefers the order verb first and then other constituents like noun phrases and things after the verb and she was producing that word order much more frequently in Tagalog than in English or Spanish in in the case of my grandchildren subjects from the very beginning they produced more subjects in English than in Spanish now all children monolingual children speakers of English don’t produce pronouns at first I mean they don’t it’s there’s controversy but why it is that they do not produce promise so it’s not surprising that at first they do not produce problems this is not influenced from Spanish because monolinguals don’t produce them either so as soon as they realize that though or they you know they are a little older and they can now hear the pronouns and produce the pronouns then they start using them in English with 80% 90% of the time 98% of the time one in Spanish it’s the opposite fewer and fewer pronounced or for the 50% of problems so they do differentiate the systems very clearly and in my studies of Spanish in Los Angeles I have found that there is very little influence in tactic influence grammatical influence of English on Spanish there’s a lot of influence at the lexical level you see them here even children this BB combat the cantos opinion write combative from combative but that shows that I call that morphological mixing it shows that at that early age two years and seven months that child knows the verb system of Spanish right here’s morphologically Spanish with a lexical item from English so they separate the the languages very clearly he doesn’t say baby come come to subpoena not combative painted he uses really Spanish grammar the Spanish system so that that’s one of the of the questions say one acquisition versus attrition are the systems independent yes they are but there is of course a level of cross linguistic influence and in the case of Spanish it’s usually in the direction of English influencing Spanish rather than the opposite because English is the majority language yeah I hope that answers your question I should preface part of this conversation about bilingual acquisition among children my first thought was that sounds great except I don’t know anything about bilingual acquisition and children and then he said but Gutterman said ok then I said sign me up so it’s a pleasure to meet you in person so I spend most of my time looking at folks who have already gone through the acquisition process that is bilingual adults oftentimes I’m interested in

comparing recent arrivals from Latin America who speaks Spanish to individuals who are born in the United States and who are who are bilingual and comparing the linguistic behavior of these individuals and and looking at ways in which contact between the two linguistic systems may produce different varieties of linguistic behavior and whether that’s at the phonological level the sound level the morphological level the grammatical units level or the syntactic level the way constituents are are organized I usually look at this from a a variation espect ‘iv so I count lots of things and then see if people are statistically significantly different from each other one of my dissertation advisors told me that I’m so into counting things that I should see if I could get a sponsorship from go yeah because I count so many beans and I I’ve not yet landed that sponsorship but my my question is well let me just say a little bit more and then I can offer you this question one of the things that we know that is that across generations we find not only in the influence of English on linguistic systems but also we see patterns of so called dialectical leveling in certain cases so differences between varieties of Spanish that are brought by first generations from parts of Mexico parts of Chile parts of the Dominican Republic wherever that certain differences start to evaporate over time and one of the things that we observe is that country of origin of a Spanish speaker in the United States is still very socially salient but it’s less and less predictive of linguistic behavior that is the way somebody produces their syllable-final is highly constrained by their region of our if there are first-generation immigrant less so if their third or fourth or fifth and so my question is what what is your what is your assessment of your take on the role of country of origin as an identity category for third generation and beyond Spanish speakers here in the US can I be a politician and avoid answering that question with respect to country of origin I am very limited because I’ve focused only on Mexicans and mexican-americans and and now Chileans because this is Chilean so I haven’t looked at bilingual phenomena from the perspective of country of origin but but I do sort of agree with something you’ve said which is you you have here two languages right and and it is possible and it has been shown that let’s say in Spanish we have a certain pronunciation of bird in initial position right and in English that’s different because there is this with aspiration I can this pan-pan whereas we would say been almost sounds like been beso beso sounds almost the same to Anglo ears and what they have found out is that that bilinguals then have intermediate measurements of these two different sounds so there is some change and in the sense I have said before that children do not learn a mix system and now I’m to a certain extent contradicting myself because I’m saying but you know after decades then systems may become somewhat convergent and not systems but Spanish may converge a little bit in the direction of English this issue of contact induced structural convergence is I think are fairly clear and it suggests that indeed structural convergence is evident among bilinguals but to your point we tend not to find is the wholesale introduction of a new structural feature say from English into Spanish but with respect to contact between those two languages what we tend to find is modulation towards English in

parts of the grammar of Spanish that are already variable so Spanish has variable use of overt subject pronouns saying Jolie go are simply legal English by comparison mostly requires these subjects so in context situations we tend to find more pronouns does that mean that we have radical convergence between Spanish and English not really what we have is a variable feature namely the presence or absence of a pronoun that in a contact situation one option is exercised with greater frequency so you tend to find these kinds of structural convergences between these two linguistic systems and in fact cross-linguistically in conflict situations in the variable aspects of the grammar that’s right I completely agree in 1994 when I did the study of doubts in I’ll talk about this in Los Angeles I showed that I did not find really new syntactic structures and the children themselves for instance may use Maria Lisa pointed out you know what we call stranded prepositions when the preposition comes at the end and they say who did you go there with right who did you go there with that’s normal in in English that’s everybody uses that type of construction with the preposition at the end that doesn’t exist in Spanish if we incorporated that type of construction in Spanish that would be a case of structural influence which we do not have in stable varieties of Spanish yet we find that that type of construction in Spanish in small children so they will say things like que esto para mmm kisses – para que esto con yes so they do tend to put the preposition at the end now that is a type of influence from English that violates what I call typological features of Spanish or the core grammar of Spanish and language contact does not accept that so what happens is that beyond the age of four and a half the children have stopped using these prepositions at the end of sentences they have stopped using the English genitive because at first they can say and you told me that your children also used to say things like vamos a la grandma’s Casa Allah Willis Casa is famosa Nico’s escuela so they say those things in transition it’s the same as when monolingual children say he go to the park mr. he went to the park they’re sort of testing the grounds in a way but when when the the constructions really violate the structure of Spanish they’re discarded later on later on now as Danny has just said variable features is different why is it that we have expression or not expression of subjects in Spanish we still don’t know sure we can count we can count and count and count and there are many cases that we can justify and say ah it’s expressed for this particular reason and either because we’re being contrasted you feel see me it’s a fella playa we couldn’t say your field Cena is a fella playa no estamos hablando de Pepe yo Pepe the case is that we pepper case Iran’s tears a year ah you all seem a surfer la playa no tengo que se yells fell applied outside circus co2 context us impact occurs on the tenemos cakes President Suharto a podemos explicar porque si pero muchos monopolist explicar nah this I see the set of a tourist tipo de cosas gob romantic oh why am i speaking you don’t

need me to repeat that right now but I call that a case of quantitative influence from English its quantitative because in English you have 99% of subjects express say 99% of subjects in before the verb then that pushes Spanish a little bit in that direction sure yeah it’s difficult yeah yeah it seems to me that my method was always to play with them just read stories to them we played a lot about telling dreams so I made up dreams not that I had dreamt really anything so oh you know last night I dreamt that this and this and it came and they said have you had any dreams and then so it’s just playful it has to be playful with children you cannot just you can sit them down and teach them anything but you need to expose them to the language is saying me and I’d say with less than 25 percent of their time exposed to our language it’s going to be very difficult very difficult yes right right III did say that also I understand you but I prefer for you to speak to me in Spanish because they’re surrounded by English they’re English they’re going to learn easily so it’s the minority language is the ones that need the support I was really intrigued because and I was thinking in terms of the recognition what kind of cognitive

development or some kind of preschool but it seems like it’s a very turning point in return it’s the age of three three and a half is viewed as one of the milestones in language development cognitive development and so children start speaking more at that age and parents want to even the parent who speaks the minority language will feel a move frustrated because the child will come home from daycare or preschool or kindergarten not kindergarten yet at that age no it’s it’s a day care preschool yes preschool and we want to tell talk about his experiences in the language in which he lived those experiences that’s also you know we call it the complementary principle in bilingualism you you you live an experience in language a you want to talk about that experience in that language and so the parent then doesn’t want to stop the child from talking to them in that language a-and it’s a vicious circle so every day every day there’s less input in the minority language at the home because of what you just pointed out the child is developing cognitively and linguistically and finds it easier than to communicate in the majority language in the language in which he is having daily experiences disconnectors relationships right yeah I mean the I think that the influence of the older siblings is enormous children will stop talking with the parents and will prefer to play and talk with their older sibling I attended it was easier for me then because I was determined that the second one would also speak Spanish so I played with him a lot and I had my husband go with the older one and take him away so that I could spend really good quality time because it said that’s the key but you despite all the efforts it takes a lot of effort for the second and the third child that was completely lost I mean if I’d say if if one of you could take the older one away for known for a little one a little while every day I mean you cannot you cannot stop them from playing with each other they’re going to do that and they’re going to play in English my recommendation is sent them to a bilingual school yes yeah yeah that’s a very good point that’s a very good I avoided I always

avoided to teacher or correcting them too much I’d let them mix the languages if they wanted to us long as its lexical mixture and even the you have their examples what combinations like they use like oh no para las vacaciones we don’t say that in Spanish if we say in no poor spirits the literal meaning no postpaid Arabic oh yes demasiado tarde I can’t wait for Paco it has a literal meaning in Spanish not in English in English it’s an idiomatic expression I can’t wait for classes to be over I can’t wait for this lecture to be over and and they so what happens is that they they just translate constructions all these lexical complexes get to be taken literally from the world’s our Spanish the syntax a Spanish nopales paralysis Spanish can be a momentum Spanish except you don’t change your mind can BR me miss up my sweater can be on my jacket can be on me Santiago’s perfect Spanish but you don’t assert content to in Spanish so it’s the combination of words that becomes very influenced by English causing then all these very unusual constructions and in Spanish the darlings here um I’m wondering whether anybody has as what I assume they have to look at the social and political situation of Spanish in different parts of the United States in other words the rest to realize that in many parts of the country Spanish is stigmatized too obviously if you look at this city like LA City or much of New York it’s one thing and if you’re you know an isolated rural communities worth more and more Hispanics or maybe now I’m wondering I mean the vibe that the kids pick up about their use of Spanish has to ask to process I think it goes beyond the scope of I haven’t done studies of that influence but but we know from reading the literature that it’s very important very important when children go to school and they speak Spanish at home and they get to school and they need to speak English and preschool or kindergarten or first grade then what is proposed to know more about this than I do is that they feel that maybe there’s something wrong with the language they speak at home they should stop speaking in so that has an impact this is why it’s one of the reasons why I think that Universal bilingual education should exist in in the United States were everywhere they’re all schools offer more than one language it would be ideal so that children don’t feel that there’s something wrong as I say with the language of their parents being I’ve just add one thing to that Jim it’s not exactly what you’re what you were asking about but in situations in cities for example that have large spanish-speaking populations a lot of the in the inherited attitudes of prestige about national varieties of Spanish for example found in Latin America are many ways transported here to the United States so for instance a lot of research has been done on populations in Houston for example see Houston has a long-established Mexican population and a less established temporarily speaking Central American population Salvadorans Guatemalans Hondurans and a an important linguistic distinction

between those national groups is the Central American countries are characterized by a Spanish that is both a an T in the second person singular say wolfs instead of just do and what some of these studies have shown is that speakers are very sensitive to the cultural capital seated with Mexican Spanish in that context and over the course of a generation or two will sail disappears and there’s a great phrase from one of the interviewees talking about both say oh come on mask this is some time he has to put away we’ll say oh if he wants to act Mexican so he can be in a better position to get a job for the day or something this is the particular interview done thinking of but so absolutely social issues speakers are very sensitive to social circumstances but not just with respect to speaking Spanish in the US but speaking a kind of Spanish in a local environment in a program and I work directly with parents come visiting and then observing children in the bilingual classroom and what I found is that it depends on the teachers attitude towards that child and sometimes he has to do not only with the dialect that the violent that they are bringing but the class and so my children went to that program and the teachers will encourage me to keep Spanish to them speaking Spanish to my children but not to the Salvadorian mother because the child was struggling and she would the same teacher would say you you have to stop speaking Spanish because you’re going to confuse the child he needs to be assimilated and learn English first so the distinction was not about language it was social class and it’s really fascinating to see how the interplay between the communication the communication between parents and teacher makes a huge difference in terms of that United States is almost like an insular country very isolated because you go to Europe and no one would question my lingual is multilingualism everyone speaks the national language though so why couldn’t it be the same in the United States everyone speaks English no one refuses to learn English by the way I mean that’s a myth that Hispanics refuse to learn English it’s a myth I think I said that in my studies in Los Angeles I have not come across second-generation Hispanics who do not know English maybe among first generation there are many who don’t learn English why because they’ve arrived in this country when they are 20 years old they have to work all day or they never went to school in Mexico or they went to school for just a couple of years they they don’t know how to learn English they would like to they all learn a little bit even they will say even people who do manual work in houses or in construction will learn what is necessary so that’s why that’s why I’m

one of the people who is always speaking in favor of universal bilingual with strong English there is no reason why English would disappear as the national language or the language which America is identified if we also speak another language any other language that you can pass on to your children they’re real that is a very real fear from children this is why in California 45% of Hispanics voted against bilingual education the ban on bilingual education was passed in 1986 or just 20 years ago 96 was it 98 I forget now 1998 but so you know anything if they abuse bilingual education in the sense that they teach only in the other language which was mainly Spanish even though there were many other languages that were also being taught in bilingual schools if it’s abused and they don’t introduce English from the beginning then I agree with the parents then English should be given priority but if they do both languages from the beginning there is no reason why those developing with two languages would fall behind manure countries you have to pay a lot of money in order to be able to send your children to bilingual schools by any other subjects yeah the content but that’s what I mean I mean you can you can teach biology and Spanish or biology in English they don’t teach in depending on how diplomatic you’d like to be to the parent yeah I think what you can yeah you can say that there’s there’s every reason to believe that the human species and the linguistic Faculty of the human species is predisposed to multilingual not just bilinguals reason to believe the way language evolved such small groups hunter-gatherer groups fission-fusion groups that were highly multilingual so the human brain is certainly equipped its modern conceptions about language and society and it’s going to depend on the quality of the teacher let me tell you the school might be a monolingual school and you wouldn’t be sure whether language now is taking a more predominant place and sometimes you know cognition helps and children could have done the math work without the language probably but now everything is language based and if they don’t have the English

it’s very hard to do so you mentioned in the books something about the testing immigrant children through English maybe they are perfectly capable they can prove you know knowledge in the subject matter in Spanish but they’re tested in right piece so that line between content and language and assessment then there’s no formal and the need for the need well ideally of course they both languages would develop equally that’s unrealistic also because just as well you said I mean the human faculty for language predisposes us to or we should be able to acquire not just one but two three or four more languages it is also the case that balanced bilingualism doesn’t exist well no one most people know one language better than the other even if they are bilingual so balanced bilingualism or equal bilingualism in two languages or more than two is a rarity or very exceptional now as far as the role of the school in teaching grammar they don’t teach English grammar either so yeah they they go to they go to school and grammar doesn’t have that it is not taught in school any longer they they learn the grammar by practicing it by by using the language by reading by being exposed to the language now I’m a firm belief firm believer that the formal teaching of grammar would help in but not in elementary school perhaps in only I don’t know at what level I mean you’re more of an expert on this i I don’t know but in junior high school or high school children could be introduced to grammatical notions and the structure of their language and how the languages are structured but if someone has been exposed to a language let’s say English they will learn that you say well if I were I mean mara I would live in Martha’s Vineyard right and or if he were a millionaire the subjunctive who uses the subjective in English it’s no longer used so if I was a millionaire yet in school there there’s they they’re taught they’re taught not to use dangling prepositions part not to use or they’re taught to use the subjunctive in in in Spanish we want to do the same but not at the level of eliminatory school I don’t think so I think that the elementary school it should be more just exposure to the language just readings and writing and by correcting their writing but then the notion of a sentence and connectors what age should they start understanding that you you were telling me that in Mexico at about fifth grade they they started

understanding because doesn’t matter if the names of the grammatical structures doesn’t say anything to a six year Oh they need to know the rules of the language to speak as you were saying and sometimes in middle school high school certainly college right one of the requirement classes here is expose what they have to write essay he said but then there’s a function there’s a structure specific that they learned many times I’ve heard that English speakers learn grammar through foreign languages versus foreign language classes and now grammar in foreign language classes is not a hot topic the communicative and they both came about post communicative approach but I mean grammar it’s good to know that for me the issue is when you value the grammar more over other things or you stigmatize someone that doesn’t know grammar but no sir don’t support learning to read and write in Spanish and that makes it I think harder to maintain the home language so that puts the responsibility then again to maybe the school to support that this is a very well taken point and also your comment as well the idea I think can be brought into some kind of stark relief with the notion of a linguistic repertoire and then is that all of us when we know even if we’re monolingual we have like a good musician knows when to play the right kind of tune for a given occasion we know what variety of our language to deploy as it relates to the social context we’re in and what you’re talking about is individuals who are bilingual but who may lack a formal register so they wouldn’t be very good at getting a job for example and that has real social implications at a previous meeting in this very room someone who knows a whole lot about this on Brogan said that well for these kinds of individuals watch what are great sources of real empowerment and knowledge our courses for heritage speakers who may have home proficiency but may not have fully developed a linguistic repertoire that also includes the kind of variety of a language that would help them compete for a job so I fully agree with what cutter was saying was that this is not necessarily something you want to be teaching little people right but perhaps a different kind of population heritage language courses are now becoming more common around the country back this process results the child having one culture it’s very interesting it’s it’s a very interesting question against the the question of the compound or coordinate bilinguals because they are in the same cultural environment I don’t think that there are important cultural differences but they may develop different levels of Allegiance or associations would be interesting to study that phenomenon I mean what happens I know that there are certain things that I I consider myself I’m bilingual even though I’m not balanced bilingual I’m not unbalanced someone said to me don’t say unbalanced because unbalanced has connotations of a little crazy or something just unequal perhaps yes so don’t have the same level of two languages but we don’t have that definition of bilingual anyway anymore sometimes I wonder myself what what is it that I associate with Spanish and what is it that I associate with English and because I have lived in this country for so long I cannot answer that

question anymore yeah but when I first came here I remember that all my emotions or words of loving were in Spanish and now that I’ve been married to our gringos would call him then then loving is also in English so you start becoming developing convergence I guess it’s just us languages converge then your cultures converge as well and I was just telling my colleagues here that I’ve even started taking supplements which is not typical in my country no one takes vitamin supplements no we eat here right and now I know I don’t eat I just take vitamins so so culturally I also convert towards the my husband’s culture speaking Spanish English but at some point they were speaking more English than Spanish and it was when Harry Potter was you know over the place and they were watching the movies and all that so I got the DVD of Harry Potter and I put it in Spanish right and I remember so well both of my children were young and they were sitting and then the movie started and then everybody was speaking Spanish and the little one was like he look at the older right because the older became his father and mother at the same time and they couldn’t figure out in the other one went to the kitchen and look for me say mama what do you do to the TV what do you mean look at the TV they’re speaking in Spanish and I say well you see Harry Potter is bilingual they was so upset was hi reporter in English that’s domain and I never did that again because I just you know turn off the TV I went to the room to play in English so that was interesting how they buy that oh yeah another anecdote I mean I’d love anecdotes like that short a story that I always told the kids was an adaptation of Beowulf Bill Gould for iconic in Spanish of course and the mother then one day asked him well tell me the story I mean be me told you a story or something yeah yeah about this and they talked about Bill wolf Arthur won’t tell me the story and he starts our universe and the mother says no you you need to tell me the English I don’t understand Spanish I can’t tell you a story in English it’s in Spanish so this principle is very true complementarity principle icon I mean this is Spanish experience this contextual situation and this is English shouldn’t they they they’re very respectful of the language is that’s one of the reasons why I showed that little clip at the beginning because if the mother talks to him they will respond in English if the father talks to him he responds in Spanish but make mistakes I mean there are some times just like me I was supposed to speak in English I started speaking Spanish you don’t realize that you’re speaking the language but so they are very respectful now what they they do make mistakes sometimes in that they address someone out in the street or the restaurant in English or in Spanish usually not children are smarter than we think by the way the person looks at least in Los Angeles they know whether they can address that person in Spanish or in English and sometimes they make a mistake because that person may be from the Philippines I mean it happens to me I see your Spanish name even and the

person who looks very latin-american to me Mexican to me and I address them in Spanish I’m from the Philippines ok children do the same sometimes but at home they very quickly figure out who speak Spanish and who speaks English yeah now the problem is when you start mixing a lot within the house then they might find it more difficult but it doesn’t matter if children don’t get confused too much