How university students continue to live in a bilingual society in Puerto Rico

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Williams, Chandler
Gaunt, Philip

One of the most critical questions for Puerto Ricans today is whether or not to become the 51st state of the United States of America. In a recent interview with Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rican commissioner to the U.S. Congress, he discusses the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a sovereign state. One of the biggest disadvantages is that Puerto Rico would have to make English their primary language while currently Puerto Rico functions as a bilingual society. Why is the question of language so important? What role does language play in Puerto Rican culture? How does one culture survive with two national languages? Is one language used more than the other and why? I want to know in what social settings Puerto Ricans use Spanish and in what other social settings they use English. To do this I will compare how Puerto Rican college students use literature and social media inside and outside of their university.

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Second place winner of oral presentations in the Humanities and Social Sciences section at the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Center, Wichita State University, April 9, 2013