English-Speaking Latinos Desire to Learn Spanish, Report Finds


According to a new study, many young Latinos who grew up speaking English are trying to learn español!

A new report released by Oregon State University, shows that young people in the state are learning and retaining Spanish at a much higher rate than earlier waves of Latinos. 

“We are seeing a demographic explosion,” said OSU professor Susan Rivera-Mills in an interview with NWPR, “As communities grow and as more Hispanics begin to become active participants in that community, these younger generations are realized that there is an identity piece that they never fully understood, that they’re missing and that they long to connect to again.” 

Many speculate that west coast Latinos, particularly Mexicans, who experienced discrimination decades ago deliberately chose to speak English to their children in the hopes they would face less prejudice. Now, however, those children want to learn Spanish as a way to reclaim their heritage and market themselves as bilingual. 

“These folks are realizing it can get them betters jobs,” said Rivera-Mills.

The study marks a huge cultural shift in attitudes towards Hispanic heritage in the United States.

What do you think? Did you grow up in an English speaking home? Do you wish you could speak Spanish? 



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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

Cristina Mari Arreola is the Associate Editor. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to New York City. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or frantically reading a novel from her (extremely lengthy) reading list. See what she's reading now on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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