The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy and the US Labor Market

Edited by: Rebecca M. Callahan, Patricia C. Gándara

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Multilingual Matters
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The Bilingual Advantage draws together researchers from education, economics, sociology, anthropology and linguistics to examine the economic and employment benefits of bilingualism in the US labor market, countering past research that shows no such benefits exist. Collectively, the authors draw on novel methodological approaches and new data to examine the economics of bilingualism for the new generation of bilinguals entering a digital-age globalized workforce. The authors also pay considerable attention to how to best capture measures of bilingualism and biliteracy, given the constraints of most existing datasets.

This volume will appeal to a broad readership. Researchers can build upon the findings shared within to further explore the role of bilingualism in the US economy. Educators will find in it a tool to help make the case for bilingual education programs...For policy makers, the book also offers insight into how bilingual Americans live in the United States and provides cause for considering the cost of not educating balanced bilinguals...This volume does not provide all the answers, but it does aim to initiate a discourse on the perceived bilingual advantage.

Lang Policy, DOI 10.1007/s10993-015-9362-2

This is the book we all have been waiting for. It does for bilingualism what Thomas Piketty has famously done for capitalism: it dismantles age-old myths and tired clichés with muscular data, conceptual clarity, and careful argumentation. In the Age of Globalization, we must undo the monolingual regime at the heart of the American experience and give children, youth, and indeed all citizens alike, the opportunity to fully partake of the 'bilingual advantage.' We will then be a richer, smarter, safer society.

Finally! Educators have been asking for this work for so long. There is no more timely issue for teachers, parents and policy-makers today than what research says about creating a system that fosters bilingualism among all students. After decades of politicized and polarized debates on English Only, it's time to have a thoughtful discussion of the enriching advantages of dual language acquisition as a basic part of public education.

This is one of the most exciting books on bilingualism in the US that I have read in a long time! While many of us argue about the place of bilingualism in US schools, Callahan and Gándara have advanced the conversation by focusing on the economic return of bilingualism and its effect on the labor market. The analyses of large datasets, both quantitative and qualitative, and performed by US and European scholars, give evidence of the complexity of the economic effects of bilingualism, but also of new conditions in the global labor market in which young bilingual people operate today.

Rebecca M. Callahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas, Austin, where she is a faculty affiliate of the Population Research Center. Her primary research interests center on the academic preparation of bilingual immigrant adolescents as they transition from high school into young adulthood.Patricia C. Gándara is Research Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She is co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA, and a commissioner on President Obama's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Her research focuses on language policy and racial equity.

1. Rebecca M. Callahan and Patricia C. Gándara: Contextualizing Bilingualism in the Labor Market: New Destinations, Established Enclaves and the Information Age 
2. Reynaldo F. Macías: Benefits of Bilingualism: In the Eye of the Beholder? 
3. Sarah Catherine K. Moore, Molly Fee, Jongyeon Ee, M. Beatriz Arias and Terrence G. Wiley: Exploring Bilingualism, Literacy, Employability, and Income Levels among Latinos in the United States 
4. Joseph P. Robinson-Cimpian: Labor-market Differences between Bilingual and Monolingual Hispanics 
5. Amado Alarcón, Antonio Di Paolo, Josiah Heyman and María Cristina Morales: The Occupational Location of Spanish-English Bilinguals in the New Information Economy: The Health and Criminal Justice Sector in the U.S. Borderlands with Mexico 
6. Amado Alarcón, Antonio Di Paolo, Josiah Heyman and María Cristina Morales: Returns to Spanish-English Bilingualism in the New Information Economy: The Health and Criminal Justice Sectors in the Texas Border and Dallas-Tarrant Counties 
7. Orhan Agirdag: The Literal Cost of Language Assimilation for the Children of Immigration: The Effects of Bilingualism on Labor Market Outcomes 
8. Rubén C. Rumbaut: English Plus: Exploring the Socioeconomic Benefits of Bilingualism in Southern California 
9. Lucrecia Santibañez and María Estela Zárate: Bilinguals in the U.S. and College Enrollment 
10. Diana Porras, Jongyeon Ee and Patricia C. Gándara: Employer Preferences: Do Bilingual Applicants and Employees Experience an Advantage? 
11. Ursula Aldana and Anysia Mayer: The International Baccalaureate: A College-Preparatory Pathway for Heritage Language Speakers and Immigrant Youth 
12. Patricia C. Gándara and Rebecca M. Callahan: Looking toward the Future: Opportunities in a Shifting Linguistic Landscape 

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