Using achievement tests to measure language assimilation and language bias among the children of immigrants

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Abstract

We measure the extent of language assimilation among children of Hispanic immigrants. Our identification strategy exploits test language randomization (English or Spanish) of Woodcock Johnson achievement tests in the New Immigrant Survey and lets us attribute test score differences solely to test language. Students scoring poorly may be tracked into nonhonors classes and less competitive postsecondary schools, with subsequent longterm implications. Foreign-born children score higher on tests in Spanish; U. S.-born children score higher in English. However, foreign-born children arriving at an early age or with several years in the United States do not benefit from testing in Spanish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-667
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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