Publication details [#59852]

MacGregor-Mendoza, Patricia. 2015. La palabra enseña, pero el ejemplo arrastra. Profesionista immigrants’ views of Spanish and English. Spanish in Context 12 (3) : 327–348.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Although previous research has focused on working class immigrants, currently, one out of every nine immigrants from Mexico derives from its university-educated class of individuals, known as profesionistas. Profesionistas’ enhanced cultural capital allows for greater mobility in terms of housing, travel and personal contacts beyond U.S. Spanish-speaking communities as compared to traditional working class immigrants from Mexico. Nonetheless, these same conditions are ripe to promote a shift to English for their families. The present study examines the values held by women profesionistas regarding Spanish and English and their use of both languages within their households. The findings reveal that, in contrast to previous studies of Spanish-speaking communities, Spanish is held in equal esteem with English and profesionista informants aspire for their children to cultivate equally strong skills in both languages and make efforts to guide their children’s development of Spanish.