Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Patricia Obenauf

Committee Co-Chair

David Callejo

Committee Member

Joy Faini Saab

Committee Member

Ahmed Fakhri

Committee Member

Perry Phillips


According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2010), 12.9% of the population in the United States is that of immigrants. With this increase in recent immigration, the population of limited English speakers has also increased which includes both children and adults. While much research has been done in terms of how bilingualism and biculturalism have impacted the children within immigrant families, very few studies have focused on the parents and how the children's English language learning and acculturation have impacted their own English learning and acculturation. This study was intended to fill that lack of research by exploring the sociolinguistic impact that children are having on their immigrant parents. This research had three main goals: 1.) to determine the effect of children on the parent's acculturation level, 2.) to determine the effect of children on the parent's motivation to learn English, and 3) to explore the effect of the English language use on the family structure of these immigrant families. This study used a survey questionnaire to measure the impact of children on their Hispanic immigrant parents in terms of acculturation and motivation/attitude toward the English language. Four hundred surveys were distributed at multicultural events focused on the Hispanic population in Denver, Colorado. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis were used to analyze the data. The statistical analysis showed that these participants had an overall low acculturation level, but a high motivation and attitude toward the English language regardless of the children-related demographic factors. However, through the qualitative analysis it was found that the children's English language use was in fact impacting the immigrant parent's motivation to learn the English language as well as altering the roles and practices within the family.