The city of Los Angeles, California, has one of the largest multi-ethnic group of millennials - those between 18 and 34 - in the United States, and more than half of them speak more than one language....
Maria Elena Burgos, cooking a Mexican breakfast, says that this is just one of the many traditions in her home. Another one is making sure her children speak Spanish. “We want them to be bilingual. We want them to keep the Spanish somewhere in their learning too, not only at home,” said Burgos.
When Burgos immigrated to the United States from Mexico, she learned English. She knew English would come easily for her five American-born children, so she wanted them to speak Spanish at home and learn it at school. She says it will give them more opportunities in the future and allows them to communicate with their relatives in Mexico and El Salvador.....
The U.S. Census Bureau says more than half the adults in the Los Angeles area between 18 and 34 years old speak a language other than English at home - compared to 25 percent nationwide.
Actually, that 25% figure (for the entire nation) is rather high. That means that nationwide, one out of four young adults speaks a language other than English at home.
While the number of bilingual speakers has increased when compared to the 1990s, the number of foreign-born millennials in L.A. has decreased. Many immigrant parents are passing their native language on to their American-born children, says University of California Los Angeles professor Raul Hinojosa.
Los Angeles may be seeing this change now, but Hinojosa says as the number of minorities continue to grow in the U.S., bilingualism will spread to the rest of the country.
So when did we ever vote on this "fundamental ethno-racial transformation"? On the other hand, how do we know it's permanent? After all, a few decades ago most people would have assumed an overwhelmingly English-speaking population was permanent.
“There’s a real fundamental ethno-racial transformation which is now permanent and will continue in the United States and it is inevitable that by the end of the century the entire country will now be definitely majority not-white in origin,” he said.
By Elizabeth Lee, Voice of America, March 11, 2015