Immigrants Identify Learning English as Key to Succeeding in US

Share Article

Immigrants overwhelmingly acknowledge that learning English is crucial to success in America, a new study commissioned by Express Employment Professionals and conducted by Harris Poll reveals today.

The survey dispels the notion that immigrants do not want to learn nor value the English language

Immigrants overwhelmingly acknowledge that learning English is crucial to success in America, a new study commissioned by Express Employment Professionals and conducted by Harris Poll reveals today.

The online survey was conducted in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Chinese, on behalf of Express in October 2015.

When asked, “In order to be successful in the United States, how important is it to learn English?” 65 percent of immigrants said “extremely important” and 22 percent said “very important.” Only two percent said it was “not at all important.”

The survey also showed that while 36 percent of immigrants said they were fluent when they first arrived in the United States, a segment almost as large at 28 percent did not speak any English.

“The survey dispels the notion that immigrants do not want to learn nor value the English language and confirms that even in this challenging economic period, people who immigrate here recognize the importance of becoming fluent in English as the foundation for success in the U.S.,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

  •     From the survey, 88 percent of immigrants believe that “In order to be successful in the United States, it’s important to learn English.”
  •     Seventy-seven percent of immigrants who spoke a little or no English have become fluent in English since their arrival in the U.S. In comparison, 28 percent of immigrants spoke no English when they arrived in the U.S.
  •     Seventy-two percent of immigrants arrived only speaking at least some English. Now, 99 percent speak at least some.

WHAT IS THE BREAKDOWN OF THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION?

The following is a breakdown of survey participants by native country (mentions of 2 percent or higher):

  •     10 percent from Mexico.
  •     8 percent, Germany.
  •     8 percent, Puerto Rico.
  •     6 percent, Canada.
  •     5 percent, Cuba.
  •     4 percent, China.
  •     4 percent, England.
  •     3 percent, Columbia.
  •     3 percent, Dominican Republic.
  •     3 percent, Peru.
  •     2 percent, Argentina.
  •     2 percent Brazil.
  •     2 percent, Japan.
  •     2 percent, Hong Kong.
  •     2 percent, India.
  •     2 percent, Spain.
  •     2 percent Venezuela.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than six million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $2.85 billion in sales and employed more than 456,000 people in 2014. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

Survey Methodology

Harris Poll Topline Results

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals from Oct. 5 – 21, 2015, and included 2,043 U.S. adults aged 18 or older from the general population and an oversample of 781 foreign born US residents age 18 or older. In total, 866 foreign born U.S. residents were surveyed, of whom 59% identified themselves as Hispanic, 12% as European, 11% as Asian and 18% as other.

Data is weighted to be representative of the general U.S. population and U.S. residents who are foreign-born.
Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. Totals may not equal the sum of their individual components due to rounding. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sherry Kast
@ExpressPros
since: 08/2008
Follow >
Visit website