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The Social and Cultural Contexts of Bilingualism
ByFlavia C. Peréa, Viviana Padilla-Martínez, Cynthia García Coll
Pages 41

This chapter discusses the social and cultural contexts of bilingualism in the US at the dawn of the 21st century. It also discusses the historical record and national language policy; US expansion, Americanization and diversification; and immigration and language diversity at the turn of the twentieth century. The chapter examines changing demographics and growth among the language minority population. It presents a case study on Latin American immigration, and discusses questions surrounding the integration of Latinos. The chapter also examines federal protections offered to language minorities, the English only movement, English only laws and policies, and take a close examination of the education of language minority students. The order signed by President Clinton demonstrated support for the needs of language minorities at the federal level and established some level of responsibility the government has in ensuring limited English speakers have access to fundamental social and public services.