Chinese immigrant families are more educated and affluent than Spanish-speaking families; their children are more likely to attend schools with high-achieving students.
It also helps to attend a school where most students speak English, or, at least, don’t speak the same home language.
For the Spanish speakers — who make up 85 percent of all English learners in the state — the fact that they frequently hear Spanish at home, on the playground and on television also appears to be an impediment to fluency in their new language.
“Asian immigrants come to the United States without a lingua franca … (so) the Asians tend to gravitate toward English faster than the Spanish speakers,” said Marcelo Su‡rez-Orozco, co-director of immigration studies at New York University’s school of education.
I wonder why the study didn’t include Vietnamese speakers, who often come from low-income families yet learn English quickly and excel in school.