UIUC Professor Silvina Montrul’s office is filled with Spanish textbooks, picturebooks, games and other learning materials. She keeps the items to look back at the progress her students have made in learning Spanish. Stephanie Mosqueda / Illinois Student Newsroom More than half of non-Spanish-speaking Latinos in the U.S. say they’ve been shamed by other Latinos for not speaking the language, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.
The survey aimed to gain insights into U.S. Hispanics’ perspectives on the Spanish language. It included over 3,000 adults from around the nation and was conducted in August 2022.
Researchers asked participants about their views on the Spanish language and how comfortable they were holding a conversation in the language. The study revealed that while the majority of U.S. Latinos speak Spanish, about a quarter of the participants reported that they can manage only simple conversations in Spanish or cannot speak the language at all.
Silvina Montrul is a Spanish professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She studies linguistics, focusing on bilingualism in heritage speakers and language acquisition.
Montrul said one of the reasons why people might lose their understanding of a language is because of a change in environment.
Michelle Rojas-Soto is Social Justice Director at the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and Managing Director at Encompass, a racial equity nonprofit. Her children attend LAUSD and Glendale USD schools.