Assessing the Advantages of Bilingualism for the Children of Immigrants1


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    This research was funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation: “Adolescent Achievement and Problem Behaviors.” The author would like to thank Judith Blau and Ted Mouw for their insightful comments on this paper.


This article responds to the current academic debate on the advantages of bilingualism to the children of immigrants in the United States. The author utilizes data from the 1992–1993 and 1995–1996 Children of Immi rants Longitudinal Study to estimate the effects of bilingualism on efucational outcomes. In contrast to a recent study, the author rovides conclusive evidence that there are advantages to bilingualism beyond the functional ability to communicate with one's parents. The author also provides evidence that demonstrates that bilingualism is only advantageous in those communities with low levels of English proficiency and high levels of resources and networks.