Language Diversity and Bilingualism among Adolescents in the Pacific Northwest: Using GIS Method to Test the Neighborhood Effects

Ratna M. Magarati, University of Washington

I use data from the UW Beyond High School Surveys of about 5,000 high school seniors conducted in the years 2000, 2002 and 2003 in Washington State. A quarter of the students speak a minority language at home. The first part of my paper attempts to describe language diversity among high school seniors. Socio-economic characteristics of speakers of minority language, the languages spoken and usage with peers and community members, preference for English, proficiency in English and minority language are described. The second part constitutes of multinomial logistic regression to explain factors that may contribute to adolescent's fluency in bilingualism. I use the GIS method to locate the neighborhoods that the adolescents were living in during the time of the survey. I test the hypothesis that adolescents who live in the "ethnic enclaves" are more likely to be limited bilinguals or minority language dominant than those who live in other neighborhoods.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children