Date of Award
What are the effects of the English proficiency of immigrant parents on the educational attainment of their 1.5 or 2.0 generation children? In this paper, I propose three hypotheses: (1) the higher the English proficiency of the immigrant parents, the higher the level of education they expect their children to achieve, (2) the higher the English proficiency of the immigrant parents, the higher the level of education the children actually attains, and (3) the higher the parental expectations, the higher the actual educational attainment of the children. Data from all three waves (1992-2006) of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) was analyzed with 1,668 respondents attending the eighth and ninth grades (at the time of the first survey) in public and private schools in the metropolitan areas of Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and San Diego, California. Respondents’ parents also participated in the second wave of the survey through in-person interviews. Parental English proficiency is associated with higher expectations for their children’s education, but not the actual attainment achieved of their children. Instead, educational attainment is the strongest predictor of their aspirations and their children’s actual attainment. Parental aspirations are positively associated with children’s academic achievements. Female children of immigrants are also more likely to experience higher expectations and achieve higher levels of academic success. Segmented assimilation theory and status attainment theory are explored throughout this study.
Wu, Meng, "The Language of the American Dream: The Effects of Immigrant Parents’ English Proficiency on the Educational Attainment of their Children" (2019). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 44.