December 2014

IZA DP No. 8748: The Impact of Multilingualism on Spanish Language Acquisition among Immigrants in Spain

published as 'The impact of multilingualism on host language acquisition' in: Empirica, first online 20 October 2018

This article uses micro-data from the Spanish National Immigrant Survey to analyze the acquisition of Spanish language skills for immigrants in Spain. The motivation of the paper is threefold. Language skills are important for an individual's labour market performance, Spain offers an important non-English speaking country instance and the main novelty of our paper is to explore the impact of speaking multiple foreign languages on host language learning for immigrants. The results reveal a strong positive association between multilingualism and the probability of reporting good or very good Spanish language proficiency for immigrants in Spain.