Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Saving Spanish in Miami

“Fifty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Cubans immigrated to the southern tip of Florida. Now, the city has to teach a new generation how to thrive in a bilingual economy.

Miami is a bilingual city with an economy that is dependent on both languages, says Phillip Carter, a professor of linguistics at Florida International University. But things are changing. While Spanish may have been spoken in homes growing up, recent research has shown younger generations of Miami Hispanics are less inclined to speak Spanish as they grow older and are far less likely to be able to read it.

This decline in biliteracy may lead to an employment gap in the coming decades.”

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Languages do matter!


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