Second-most-spoken language in every school district

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In almost every district in the state, Spanish is the second-most-spoken language among students who were enrolled in the 2014-15 school year. A distant second was Portuguese, followed by Mandarin and Polish.

State law requires each school district to report the dominant language of K-12 students, using a home survey, and the resulting data is reported by the State Department of Education.

We previously looked at the second-most spoken language in every Connecticut neighborhood, which provides a little more geographic definition. Some of the trends are reflected in both maps, like the Polish population surrounding New Britain. But others, like the Albanian student population around Watertown, are not reflected in the neighborhood map.

There are also 50 schools in which English was not the primary language spoken at home. Fifteen of them are in Hartford, five in New Haven, four in Danbury and two each in Bridgeport, Norwalk, Shelton, Southington and Trumbull.

What do you think?

  • ctyankee22

    What I think is it is disgusting! Foreigners cone here for what we have, for what we represent, to unlock their potential, to leave oppression behind. And what do they do by failing to assimilate? They change us into what they fled. Of course the Progressive-Socialists cheer in support ‘viva la revolution’ because angry people with newly filled bellies are easy to manipulate.

    • alvinschang

      I find this incredibly offensive. Clearly, I’m not an unbiased party here because my parents immigrated to this country and, as a child, I would’ve listed my home language as Korean. But the underlying assumption in your comment is that “what we have” somehow doesn’t belong to people who primarily speak foreign languages, because this is an indication that they have failed to assimilate.

      I have analyzed data showing when foreign-born populations have come to the U.S., and it shows that the majority of the foreign-born people in Connecticut arrived after 1990. That’s just 25 years ago. Primary language in a family doesn’t go away after 25 years, nor should it. Yes, there are populations that have not assimilated as much as others, and that’s a whole other conversation. But to pin that on language, especially among children attending American public schools, is unfair.

      • social democrat

        I think there’s also an underlying assumption in that comment, that a “good American” only speaks one language fluently.

        • ctyankee22

          Actually, being a polyglot has numerous advantages… But coming to America and refusing to assimilate into the English speaking culture makes them invaders not immigrants! Bad enough if they entered the country legally, wholely unacceptable if they’re illegal aliens.

      • ctyankee22

        Why are you offended? Is the Korean community occupying 95% of the cities & towns and deliberately trying not to assimilate? Somehow I don’t believe that to be the case. If that was the situation then you’d be justified, but it’s not, so you shouldn’t.

        • alvinschang

          So you want immigrants to come to the U.S. and spread out evenly, as not to form dense ethnic populations, and adopt the English language, give up their cultures and be as “American” as possible?

          If the answer is yes, then please make a logical argument as to why. If not, please clarify what you mean and why it is a bad thing. Otherwise, I don’t think we will have a productive conversation.

          • ctyankee22

            I don’t care if they clump or spread. What I expect from Hispanics is to assimilate, just like my Italian, French, Scottish, German, Polish, Portuguese, Canadian, and native American ancestors did! If you don’t understand, or prefer bloodless Politically Correct prose then the dialogue is in fact doomed.

            Say something meaningful! Don’t hide behind being offended. I’m offended by the statistics, so I’ve spoken out.

          • alvinschang

            Spanish-speaking immigrants arrived in this country much more recently than the groups you mentioned.

          • ctyankee22

            Nonsense! They’ve had plenty of time. Each generation should achieve certain milestones of assimilation. Compared that way the current flood are not becoming Americans, like the previous waves did.

    • The Valley Indy
    • Paul Stern

      Alvin’s reaction to this comment shows remarkable restraint and more respect for ctyankee22 than I have. Immigration is not the cause of ignorance and bigotry.

      • ctyankee22

        Don’t call me a bigot… Try refuting my statement!

        PS feel free to eschew the restraints, while avoiding an ad hominem attack.

  • The Valley Indy

    Do you know which school in Shelton? Fascinating stuff! Bravo.

  • Laurel Killough

    This is based only on parents’ report of their child’s dominant language though, correct? Many, perhaps most, bilingual children raised in the U.S. speak English as their dominant language so this doesn’t capture the other languages spoken by those children. Still interesting data though — thanks for sharing.

    • alvinschang

      Here’s the exact description of the data: “Under Connecticut General Statute 10-17f and NCLB, Local Education Agencies must ascertain the dominant language of all new K-12 students, which is typically done through a home language survey. This dataset contains the dominant languages reported by LEAs for students and English Learners during the 2014-15 school year by school.”

      So it doesn’t mean that the children don’t speak English, but rather that it’s the student’s dominant language. That said, as you point out, there’s a lot more nuance to this because it’s a home survey.