Justice, Spirituality & Education Journal


Children of immigrants; Bilingualism in children


Children born to immigrants in the United States typically speak their parents’ home language, but full bilingualism is not always the case, especially as children move into their teen years and become English dominant. Full bilingualism, however, seems to offer many benefits—cognitive, academic, economic, and advantages related to resiliency. Additionally, from a spiritual standpoint, full bilingualism seems advantageous due to the requisite that children be fully able to communicate as well as think deeply in the language of their parents if parents are to fulfill their biblical obligations of instructing their children spiritually. In this paper, the possible spiritual outcomes of full bilingualism were theorized based on the results of questionnaires completed by children and their parents in two-way Spanish dual language programs versus mainstream programs. From a justice perspective, the multiple advantages of full bilingualism pointed clearly to the need to support immigrant families by providing programs that promote thorough bilingual language development for their children.



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